You will enjoy this “She Said/He Said engagement story. Told from both Cindy and Alan’s perspective, the good news is the outcome was the same!
We are pleased to report that their wedding at Villa de Amore in March was perfect in every way.
After spending a day on Catalina Island, we boarded the ferry and headed back to Newport Beach. During the ride back, I suggested that we grab Chinese food since Alan always wants to grab Chinese food, but he refused. He insisted on going to Mama D’s near the beach so that we could see the sunset after dinner. I thought to myself, “Weird. Alan doesn’t like to go out for Italian food since I can cook pasta for him at home, and neither one of us really enjoyed walks on the beach because we didn’t like to clean up after the sand.”
After dinner, we drove down the street and parked a block away from the beach. When we crossed the street, Alan suddenly exclaimed, “Crap! I forgot my jacket.” He was wearing one during the day…where did it go? He then told me to head towards the sun on the beach since it was cold, but I said I would just wait since it shouldn’t take very long. He proceeded to run back across the street where he opened every car door, including the trunk. What in the world? When he returned a few minutes later, he had his jacket laying delicately over his arm folded in a rectangular fashion. It became a little more than just obvious that he was up to something. We proceeded to the beach and headed towards a bench but were intercepted by another couple. This happened three times. Three lifeguard stations later, we finally climbed up and sat down to watch the sunset. Meanwhile, I noticed from the corner of my eye that Alan was fumbling with something in his cargo pocket for about 10 minutes. When the sun set, Alan got down on one knee and pulled out a half wilted flower from under his jacket. He pulled the ring out of his pocket and proposed. A silver chain was wrapped around the ring, and he was working to untangle it while the sun was setting. Alan kept apologizing over the course of two minutes or so as he worked feverishly to remove the chain from the ring while kneeling in front of me. I, obviously, said yes!
Since Cindy doesn’t wear much jewelry, or any rings for that matter, I had a hard time deciding what would be a good design for an engagement ring. Deciding where and how I would propose was another ordeal. We had wanted to go on another overseas trip for awhile, and a proposal on a romantic vacation seemed ideal…but we had too many things going on in our lives, so that seemed out of the question. One day, we saw a Groupon for ferry tickets to Catalina Island. Having heard lots of wonderful things about Catalina, I thought it would provide the perfect opportunity.
The idea was that we would spend a nice day enjoying all that Catalina had to offer. Afterwards, we would grab dinner at one of several well reviewed restaurants that I thought Cindy would be interested in. Then, after either eating or drinking too much, I would suggest taking a walk along the beach before heading back to San Diego. Some time while the sun was setting, I would propose. As we stepped off the ferry on Catalina, we were quickly disappointed. The place looked rundown, and there were plenty of places in San Diego that were far nicer. I suggested that we think of it like Italy but more rundown. This was hard to sell since I wasn’t buying it myself. Boarding time for the return trip couldn’t come soon enough.
We had tried to go to Catalina before but had to reschedule twice. Having pushed the trip off for a month already, we decided to go on a Monday, which I was avoiding. For some reason, many restaurants in Newport Beach don’t open or serve dinner on Mondays, including all of the ones I thought Cindy would like. So, the next best option, which turned out to be a pretty good place, was an Italian place over a mile away.
After a nice dinner, I suggested we walk off our food at the beach. Since I had to drive to the restaurant, I was not parked right next to the beach as originally planned. This made it difficult to retrieve the flower in the water bottle vase contraption I set up in the trunk. Unable to convince Cindy to move further away, I attempted to retrieve the flower discretely. I tried to grab it from the trunk, but Cindy could see it. I tried to grab it by dropping the backseat, but Cindy had moved her seat all the way back, so I couldn’t drop the backseat all the way. So I had to move her seat up to drop the backseat to get the flower. In all the rush, I couldn’t carefully hide the flower as I ran back across the street.
After being beaten three times to find a place to sit, we finally found a spot at a lifeguard station. As we watched the sun set, I tried to get a gift out of my pocket and realized it was tangled up. It was a necklace she jokingly said she wanted awhile back. I bought it as a gift to diffuse any potential suspicion she may have had during the day. After awhile, I gave up and decided to pull the ring out. Reaching into my pocket, I felt the chain I had put the ring on and discovered it was tangled as well. Apparently, all my proposal dry runs didn’t recreate the entanglement I was in. With the sun about to set, there was no time, and I had no choice but to propose with a ring/necklace hybrid. Fortunately, even though the proposal didn’t go as I hoped, the answer was yes.