How We Met
Algin and I have shared such an amazing journey. When we first met, we were both working in an emergency room as registered nurses. I was working night shift and he was training on dayshift. I laid eyes on him at shift change and was instantly enamored. We began hanging out in social settings and then slowly started to realize how much we had in common. Our relationship began to blossom into an amazing friendship. We started dating and couldn’t spend enough time together. What I love most about our relationship is that we continuously push each other to strive for better and encourage growth. After a couple of years of dating, we decided to go back to graduate school. He applied first and was accepted into a nurse anaesthesia program in another city. We spent a year in a long distance relationship and our love for each other grew even stronger despite the distance. I applied for the same program a year later and our journey in a new city began when I was offered admission.
how they asked
I relive this day several times throughout the day still. . .Algin recently graduated from his program in May and we talked about taking a graduation trip to celebrate before he started working. Unfortunately I was still in school and most of the planning fell onto Algin’s shoulders. Little did I know, this was his plan all along. A few months went by and we talked about taking a trip to Hawaii, as I have never been and we wanted to experience something together for the first time. While I studied, we would talk about different hotels, activities, places to eat, where to go, what to see, etc. He was amazing at keeping everything organized and orchestrating it all and I am so excited to share this chapter of our story. . .
So the time came for our trip and we had it all planned out that we would take our Christmas card picture while on vacation. We bought new outfits, new shoes, etc. We got to Hawaii around 1 in the afternoon and found out that just 2 days prior, there was a massive storm that knocked out the power on the island. Luckily, all was restored just hours before we landed. The skies were still a little gloomy and there was a slight drizzle. We picked up our rental car and made our way to the hotel for check in. It was amazing! We got to the Westin, checked out the resort, and had a couple of drinks to settle in for the day. We passed out! We woke up early . . . I mean early in the morning and decided to start our day. Our plans for the day were to enjoy breakfast, lounge near the beach and then get ready for our luau that evening and take our pictures.
That afternoon, we got dressed and hit the road to the luau. The sky still had some grey spots but as the day progressed, the sky became bluer and the sun was more radiant. We pulled up the Four Seasons and the valet approached the car and asked if we were there for the luau. Algin replied yes and we were told to meet with Mark who would escort us to the luau. Mark approached us and asked for our names and requested that we follow up to our special seats for the evening. We paused at the elevator and Mark began to tell us about the history of the luau and how people would arrive to the island at night with all senses but sight. He uttered the phrase “Hau òli Lā Hānau” and explained that it meant, “journey through one’s senses” and to honor the tradition, we were blindfolded and escorted onto the elevator.
As we exited the elevator, Mark then asked me to take a breath and let my senses explore my surroundings. I was asked to lower my blindfold and the first thing I saw as Algin standing under a plumeria tree dressed with bistro lighting, surrounded by roses, plumerias, and candles. I was in shock. I slowly began to process my surrounding and realized there was a ukulele player serenading songs that Algin and I loved.
I approached and met him under the tree, hand shaking, knees buckling, tears on the brink of escaping, and stood there while he gave me the most incredible speech on our friendship, our journey, and our love. When he asked me to marry him, I couldn’t help but say “YES!”
I turned to see a photographer and videographer capturing the most magical moment in my life. We were taken down to the beach and began our engagement photo shoot. Taking all of the pictures was a total blast. We walked along the sand under the perfectly blue sky and couldn’t help but laugh, smile and stare at each other. It was wonderful. After we took our pictures, we were escorted back upstairs to Plumeria Point, where he proposed, and under that same tree was a table set for dinner for two! The ukulele player continued to sing, and Mark had revealed to me that Algin had met with a personal chef and told her a little about our favorite foods and us as a couple. She was inspired to create a 7-course meal with wine pairings and I was ecstatic!!! Algin told me about all of his planning and how over the next couple of days he had something special planned for us. We wined and dined watching the Maui sunset that quite honestly couldn’t be captured in words.
The next day, we embarked on a doors-off helicopter ride, which took us from Maui to the island of Molokai. It was spectacular. The views were amazing and sharing it with my FIANCÉ made it even more special. After the helicopter tour, we went back to the resort, lounged, had a few cocktails, and then got ready for the luau. Yes, there was an actual luau and I was so excited! The luau was perfect, the culture, history, and company were great and Algin had arranged for our seats to be right in front of the stage. He thought of everything!
The last day on Maui was bitter sweet. We couldn’t wait to come home and share the wonderful news with our families but we also didn’t want this trip to end. Algin had planned a snorkeling adventure and a couples cabana massage ON THE BEACH. It was heavenly. We departed the hotel that afternoon to grab an early dinner before our flight back home. We couldn’t stop smiling and talking about the past few days.
We were also so excited to see our families the next day. Our first stop after landing was to my mom’s house to change so that we could run into town to meet Algin’s family for lunch. The plan was to tell his family then we come back to my parent’s and share the news with them. We pulled up to the restaurant, gave each other a look of pure joy, and walked inside. When we turned the corner I was floored. Our entire families were there and some of our closest friends. THEY KNEW ALL ALONG! Algin had planned for so many months and made every moment so magical.
The next day, we went to Cartier and got matching rings!!! I still stare at the ring randomly throughout the day and remember how special and magical Algin made our proposal. I am so happy that I get to spend my life and this journey with my best friend and now fiancé.