Mariana and Vlad

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How We Met

So the journey of our relationship started on Christmas night winter of 2014. Me and Vlad met through a phone call while I was using a friends phone. I had hung up and within a few minutes I got a message from him asking who I was. After that night we casually began talking about where we lived, our interests, our goals for life, and our dreams.

At first I didn’t really know where any of it was going until he mentioned that he wanted to come and visit me. I was surprised because he lived (and still lives) in Vancouver Washington, and I live in Bellingham Washington which is 250 miles away (about 4 hour drive).

It seemed to me that this visit was going to help me decide whether I wanted to continue getting to know him and see if there could be the slightest chance for something more.

I had finally agreed to him coming to visit me during early spring, (even though I had a few hesitations and doubts) but when the day came I was proven wrong.

He arrived and we had some lunch with my family and then we went out to Bellingham’s iconic oceanside park Bellingham Bay. I was really surprised at how well we clicked and how much I had liked him from our first date, which got me excited and optimistic about what the future could hold for us.

After that first date Vlad started regularly visiting me a few times a month (even though I thought he was going to get tired of driving and eventually quit) but he kept coming and kept proving me wrong.

Over the next year and a half we spent every season discovering new places, enjoying the outdoors, going on epic adventures, and making tons of memories.

We also took a few trips with our friends to the Oregon coast, and explored other popular places around the Pacific Northwest. We always made the best of the time we had together, and we cherished every moment we shared.

How He Asked

After about a year and a half of dating, fall season came around and Vlad told me that he’d been wanting to to take me on this one surprise hike that he’d planned. He wanted to take me that upcoming weekend on Saturday before the weather would get too cold to hike.

Of course without hesitation I agreed and was completely excited to go. We ran into some complications though because of the awful weather being promised all day on Saturday, but when I asked him if he would be willing to come on Friday instead, he absolutely changed all of his plans so he could come and take me on the surprise hike on Friday.

In the morning on Friday October 28th Vlad came early to pick me up. We stopped at Bellingham’s local coffee shop Woods Coffee, grabbed some snacks and drinks on the go, and we were off on our adventure.

It took us about two hours to get to the trailhead during which we had lots of laughs and interesting conversations. (We also got lost trying to find the place which added an extra hour to the drive) but when we got there I was excited to see that we were about to go on the Mount Pilchuck hike.

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Previously, I kept seeing lots of people posting pictures raving about this hike saying that it’s the ideal Northwest experience with a beautiful 360 view at the top, so as you could imagine I was really fired up and looking forward to it.

Vlad had thoughtfully packed two hiking backpacks full of snacks, tea, a blanket, and some other sweets to enjoy at the top (he later told me that the backpack I was carrying had the ring carefully hidden inside all along)!

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We had started our hike and it was a completely gorgeous day, the sun was out and the air was perfectly cool and crisp. The hike began in the forest and then gradually changed into a more rockier scenery with an amazing view of the hills and mountains. We stopped occasionally to soak in the views and take tons of pictures of each other.
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After three hours of hiking we finally made it to the top at about five o’clock, even though we were really tired and soar, the view was definitely rewarding and worth the hike.

It was so perfect because we were basically the only ones up at the top except for two other people who were also hanging out and taking pictures (happens to be that they were waiting for us to take pictures of the proposal, but at the moment I had no idea and paid no attention).

We took a few more photos of the scenery and then Vlad spread out the blanket he had packed on the edge of a cliff that over looked this huge expanse of forests, hills, and the ocean in the distance. He unpacked a little picnic for us with fruits, sandwiches, chocolates, and other sweets.

We enjoyed the view and took a few more pictures when we decided to climb to the lookout that sits at the top of the rocky peak. When we got to the top the wind started to pick up and it was really cold but we didn’t mind because the scenery was absolutely breathtaking.

It felt like we were on top of the world, with a 360 view of the Cascade mountain range, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, and the Olympics.

At a 5,300-foot elevation it was the most amazing view I’ve ever seen, and I got to experience it with the man I love most! The sun was perfectly setting, painting the sky with hues of orange, pink, and gold, when Vlad told me go stand on a rock that over looked the setting sun and the beautiful view so he could take a picture of me.

So I looked into the distance so he could get a good shot, then I turned around and saw him standing on one knee, holding out a beautiful ring.

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He then asked me to marry him saying that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and of course I said YES!

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He stood up, put the ring on my finger and gave me the sweetest hug while telling me “I love you.”

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It was the most unbelievable and amazing moment that we got to experience and share together! Vlad had planned everything out so perfectly and thoughtfully, he planned for us to come to the top in time for sunset, set up the sweetest picnic for us, arrange a plan with the photographer, and propose to me in the most memorable way, all without me having the slightest clue.

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It was the greatest, and most unforgettable surprise for me, that I know we’ll always remember and cherish. We are both so excited for this next chapter in our lives and we both cant wait to spend forever together.
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Special Thanks

David Priymak | 
Photographer