I knew from when I picked up the rings that there could only be two possible places for me to propose to Ashley. One of those places was the top of the extravagant ancient city of Machu Picchu; a place that screams epic and romanticism. It is a place that was built to survive anything and against all odds. The other place was where I saw an exciting future flash before my eyes while looking into hers. Not as “epic” as Machu Picchu in beauty or grandeur, but just as beautiful in the fact that it was where I knew I wanted to spend the rest my life with her. This place was a cow pasture in Point Reyes on November 7, 2010 at sunset. We had gotten lost on a hike that we hadn’t planned and walked amongst angry cows and flat lands. We stopped on a hill and watched the sunset. And as I looked into her eyes and took a deep sigh, her face transformed from her 25 year old face to a beautiful old lady with visions of children and us holding hands. I was certain that day that she was the one for me.
So I chose Point Reyes as the place where I would propose. I knew she expected me to do it in Peru, as it would have been perfect for any other couple that didn’t have the Point Reyes life changing experience. After we left all the magical places in Peru, Ashley asked me when I was going to propose, almost angry that I hadn’t done it in Peru as she had in the rainforest.
After we got back from Peru, I asked her if she wanted to take a day trip out to Point Reyes and have a picnic. We packed up a backpack, some hiking shoes, bathing suits, (I packed the ring), and the $100 bottle of wine that we bought for $30 at Grocery Outlet and went to Point Reyes. Along the way we stopped for cheese at various cheese makers and some sausage and bread and then made out way out to the beach. We did some body surfing where we both changed into and out of our bathing suits behind a rock on the beach. We ate our fancy cheese and sausage and even cracked open the wine and poured it into my plastic Nalgene bottle (because we are classy like that).
At sunset I got down on one knee and proposed with my pre-prepared speech that I had practiced about 15 times to myself at home. The speech went something like this:
“You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You are the most caring, strong, intelligent, beautiful, person I have ever met. You push me to do the right thing and think about what the consequences are of my actions; whether it be affecting the environment, other people, or myself. I am a much healthier person now: both physically and emotionally. I feel like I am actually myself. You make me be a better person and I feel like I can actually be myself and do the things I want to do. I feel like we complement each other in so many ways that I really do feel like you are my better half and I am your better half. Together, we make the perfect person. You are an extraordinary woman who deserves the best that life can offer and the best that things beyond this world can offer. I am so blessed to be able to stand here today looking at the woman I love and know that we are meant to be together forever, no more, no less. I know that we are meant to be together not only because we match so well, but because our love has never felt anything other than natural. I look into your eyes and I see us growing old together. From swinging a child between our linked arms to seeing your wrinkley eyes looking back at me. That is what I saw here at Point Reyes. I saw us growing old together and I saw how happy we were together. This was the start for our future for me. This was the place I knew we were to be together forever. Ashley Thomas, my owl, my love, will you marry me.”
And she said yes, both of us crying and hugging and kissing on this secluded beach. We both stood up and I sung her a medley of love songs and we slow-danced.
I am a lucky lady to have found this one. And as you read the rest of this blog about my struggles with my family, you will definitely understand that I am so very blessed to have a loving and patient fiancée. She was there through it all and has subdued her feelings about everything for me, which is something no one should have to endure. I am forever grateful for her constant love and support. And I know more now than I did when I proposed to her that she is the one for me in every aspect. She understands me and is there constantly pushing me to be the best and be treated no less than what I deserve. And I am so very excited to announce that we are getting married in New York October 11, 2012!