The other side of the proposal

The other side of the proposal

We’re engaged! I asked my fiancé (ooh-lala!) to write up his side of the proposal story, and I’m sharing unedited photos and video clips from my iPhone camera roll (these were actually for instagram but oops). This day was pure bliss. I’m so in love.

May 24, 2019

It was a beautiful day following a beautiful week preceded by 2 weeks of rain, stomach flu, and weekend work. I was feeling good and was especially excited for this weekend; it was our 5 year anniversary, and I had big plans.

I’d known that I was going to marry Relli for the last year or so, and many people in my life were starting to ask, “well are ya gonna do it or what??”

I’d asked Relli’s dad Noni at the end of April if I could marry his beautiful daughter, and he told me “Yes! We’ve been waiting for this day! We love you Ian”. I had been meaning to ask her all month, but every weekend something unanticipated seemed to come up. 

Relli and I weren’t sure what we wanted to do for our anniversary, but we knew we wanted to do something special. On Thursday she asked me if I’d like to go camping up on Alava. This had been on our list for awhile, and I thought, “damn if this weather holds and nothing crazy happens, this could be perfect”. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, or force the moment, so I told myself that I’d just bring the ring, and if it seemed right I’d pop the question. 


We got early release for Memorial Day, so I brought the ring with me from the Park office where I’d been stashing it for way too long, and sat in the Sanctuary parking lot looking at it while I waited for Relli to get off. 

When we got home, the tide was high and the water was glimmering, and we were both freakin roasting so we jumped in for what we thought would be a quick dip. An hour later we realized we should really get this show on the road if we still wanted to do this hike and make it in time for sunset!

We hastily packed our camping stuff, a ton of water, a water bowl for Yodi, and a little bit of food. We wanted to grab a quick bite to eat at Henrys Diner before the hike, but realized we were running super late so we settled for McDonalds. As soon as we got through the drive-through we both realized that was a terrible idea that we were definitely going to pay for on the hike up. Nothing like speed hiking on a hot day with a belly full of fried food!

The hike started a bit rough, but as soon as I sweat off the fried food, the hike stayed rough. It was freakin hot and the way the sun was setting we didn’t get a whole lot of shade. We did get some epic views of Upolu and Savaii on the way up, and Yodi seemed to be enjoying herself immensely, so that was nice. 

The whole way up, I kept thinking about how I would propose if this didn’t work out. Maybe I’d do it for sunrise? Or maybe a sunset SUP, or SCUBA dive? Every time I started to think too much about it, I’d just try and focus on the hike so I didn’t start stressing. 

At one point I got a glimpse of what I thought was the radio tower, but I now think might have been a bare tree. I excitedly informed Relli that we were almost there. Thirty minutes later when we still weren’t there I tried not think about how she might be feeling about my idiocy. 

At long last we made it to the top. And just in time for a super epic sunset! I knew this had to be the moment. I wanted to film the whole thing with our drone (we were outside of Park boundaries), but we were cutting it so close I didn’t want to risk ruining the moment. 

I was the first one up to the lookout point, and I hastily got the ring out of my bag and put it in my pocket. I was super paranoid about it falling out and kept feeling my back pocket to make sure it was there. Relli started taking a bunch of photos and seemed super happy so I knew this was gonna be it. I brought the ring out and then she asked me to bring Yodi up so I kept the ring in my hand as stealthily as I could and picked Yodi up onto the platform. Relli was facing the other direction taking a photo and I got down on one knee and very quietly asked her if she’d like to marry me. 

She left me on one knee for a solid minute as she acted very surprised, but didn’t say yes right away! She eventually said yes, and I got up and gave her the ring. She informed me that I was supposed to put it on for her, so I did that as well. 

I was super relieved she said yes, and was happy that I pulled of a pretty epic proposal moment. She was also super surprised which I’ve gotta give myself a little pat on the back for. 

We spent the rest of the night talking, playing with Yodi, and cuddling. We did end up getting a little rain during the night, but it was all worth it. I’d do that hike again a thousand more times to experience that feeling when she said yes just one more time.

Did I say a thousand?? Ok maybe 100….


May 24, 2019 ended up being one of the best days of my life.

Thank you Relli for an incredible 5 years.

Looking forward to spending my life with you. 

Waking up at Mt. Alava (ENGAGED!)

Waking up at Mt. Alava (ENGAGED!)

A bright and glorious morning up at Mt. Alava in photos.

From the night before (not pictured)… We set up camp on the platform. Ian sang me a song. We watched the stars. Cuddled with Yodi pup. Reminisced on the last four years together. Talked about many more. Stared at my finger adorned. Felt the cool mist get colder. Moved our tent to the fale. I whined about the mozzies. Ian emptied the tent to clear them. And read until I fell asleep.

lovable moments in black and white. camping at Mt. Alava.

You can see all the islands from up here!

You can see all the islands from up here!

At Mt. Alava – the next morning we woke up just as the sun was rising. Yodi was up already and wagging her tail. She slept in the tent with us. I was in between reading a book and staring at my engagement ring. I don’t normally wear rings, so it felt different, new. Ian got up to attend to nature’s call. And the light was streaming through our tent under the fale. We got up and breathed in the cool air and took in this majestic view.

You can see all the islands from up here!

Well not all of them, but way more than I’ve ever seen all at one time, so I was really excited. To the west we could see Upolu and Savaii, and to the east was very clearly Ofu and Ta`u of the Manu`a island group. We jumped back up on the platform and ate some potato chips, snapped some couple-y photos, and called our mains to break the news. This was our first day as an engaged couple, and it was off to an epic start.