Allison and Daniel

How We Met

It started off as your typical girl walks into a bar — boy sees the girl across from bar… and the rest is history.

Well, that’s certainly how it all started. Meeting my friend Jacqueline for a drink at Goose and Gander, Jacqueline momentarily abandoned me as she walked over to Danny’s table to greet his friend Geoff (who she worked with). Upon returning to our table Jacqueline exclaimed that my next-door neighbor was sitting at that table. My next-door neighbor? There’s no way. I’ve been living in downtown St. Helena for three months now and I did not recognize anyone at that table. Curious to meet this so-called “next-door neighbor” of mine I went back over with Jacqueline. Danny stood up, “Hi! I’m your neighbor!” After a little exchange with everyone at the table, Danny began to prove he really was my neighbor by being able to point out that our bedrooms mirrored one another (how he knew that, I guess you’ll have to ask him).

A couple of days later, as I was waiting in our common parking area for my friend to pick me up to go see a movie, Danny pulled up in his car. As I stood in the parking area, it looked like as if I were waiting for him. Embarrassed I hid behind Marcos (his roommates) truck pretending to be checking my mailbox. As Danny got out of his car he poked his head around the truck to see me half squatting behind it. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Oh! Just waiting for a friend, we’re going to the movies,” I said as if that were to explain my behavior. After a quick laugh about how ridiculous I looked, we quickly struck up a conversation that flowed as if it were an exchange between two longtime friends. We talked about our lives, how we ended up here and he told me about fishing in Alaska every summer — which explained why I had not seen him for three months — I had moved in right as he left for Alaska. Not wanting the conversation to end, I began to realize we had been talking for over half-an-hour and my friend was still not there, making my encounter seem even more awkward. Luckily they eventually showed up, very late.

The next morning I took off for a trip to Portland, thinking the whole way how easy it was to talk to Danny and how I would like to get to know him more. Picking up a postcard in Portland, my idea was to write him a letter and drop it in his mailbox, because I didn’t have any other way of getting ahold of him. As I texted Jacqueline telling her about my brilliant idea, she broke the devastating news that she had just talked with Danny’s friend Geoff (you know, the one from the bar that worked with Jacqueline) and Danny was seeing someone. Of course, Danny was seeing someone! How had that never crossed my mind! I filed the postcard away, dropping the idea completely. But for some reason, I couldn’t drop the idea of Danny… there was just something about him.

As I got back from Portland, Danny left for New York, then when Danny got back from New York I left for Canada. Which soon turned into a month of only a few cordial exchanges. While laying in my hotel room in Victoria, British Columbia I woke up having a strange dream — Danny had been in it! I grabbed my phone to text my friend Jassy about it (who was convinced from the beginning that we would be perfect for each other). As I unlocked my phone I had a message on Instagram from @danieltcpr. It was Danny!

That night while sitting on his couch at work Danny decided to send me a message on Instagram. Turns out that although Danny had been casually dating, he wasn’t seeing anyone serious and had been thinking about our few encounters as much as I had.

We began messaging over Instagram, then over text. I shared the rest of my trip through Victoria, Vancouver, Banff and Seattle with Danny via text. A week later I was flying home and we had plans to hang out. As I got home I nervously unpacked and cleaned up my apartment, which didn’t even need it, I had to keep myself busy. As I stood in my living room there was a knock on the door. I opened it to Danny standing there, a bottle of wine in hand.

It’s been over two years since that day and Danny and I have never stopped talking, laughing, connecting and growing. And I can never imagine a day without Danny in my life.

How They Asked

When Danny suggested going to Yosemite for my birthday, there was absolutely no hesitation in my answer, yes! Having grown up there, I love sharing Yosemite with friends, especially those who have never been, which was the case for Danny’s sister’s fiancé Daniel. So a couples 4-day weekend was in the works!

Enjoying our first two days in Arnold — we wine-tasted, hiked around Big Trees, cooked dinner in our A-frame and played games late into the night. Then, we traveled to Rush Creek Lodge right outside the north entrance of Yosemite National Park, where we would be staying for the last two days of our trip. Wanting to make sure Daniel got to see as much of Yosemite as possible, a big hike was in order! Danny and I had just hiked Half Dome in September and had been talking about doing Clouds Rest next.

Proposal Ideas Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park

Allison and Daniel's Engagement in Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park

So on Sunday morning of November 11 (my birthday), we woke up to darkness, sleepily piling into the car to drive out to Tenaya Lake where we would embark on the 15-mile round trip hike to Clouds Rest. With light approaching the mountain tops we bundled up and started hiking. After 7.5 miles, we finally reached the top. Dropping our packs, we took in the warmth of the sun on our faces as we stared straight ahead at Half Dome.

After a few minutes, it was time to get some pictures. I snapped a few of Vanessa (Danny’s sister) and her fiancé Daniel. As Danny and I walked towards the edge to pose in front of Half Dome I smiled, looked down, and there in Danny’s hand was a small wooden box. As he opened the box, there it was. My ring. The ring Danny had picked out when thinking of spending the rest of his life with me. After what I’m assuming was a very sweet speech in which I will never be able to recall due to my shock and excitement.

Danny started to bend down to get on one knee, the words followed, “Allison, will you marry me?” “OF COURSE!” I exclaimed as tears welled up in my eyes. I jumped to embrace him, in love with the idea of spending forever together. As we stepped back, Vanessa and Daniel were pulling champagne out of their backpacks. Sitting atop Clouds Rest, the four of us totally alone at 10,000 feet, we cheered to our future together!

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park

Special Thanks

Vanessa Cooper
 | Photographed/Packed in Champagne & Food
Daniel Ricciato
 | Photographed/Packed in Champagne & Food