how we met
I first met Rocco at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA in 2000. After West Valley I transferred to San Diego State University. As luck would have it Rocco had a number of close friends living in the San Diego area. We crossed paths about five more times while living there to only briefly say ‘hi’ at the bars in Pacific Beach. Three years later, in May 2007 while I was living in San Francisco fate stepped in at The 180 Restaurant & Lounge (now LGBG) in Los Gatos, CA. Timing was perfect. We dated for three months until Rocco asked me to be his ‘Last Girlfriend Ever’ while holding each other close with no one around on the roof top of the Julius Castle Restaurant in San Francisco.
how they asked
The night before Rocco told me we were going to have an overnight trip to Napa which was about 1.5 hours away. He also said that we were leaving around 6am and that I needed to wear warm clothes but a nice outfit. I kept asking questions as to why, and finally, out of the blue he made up this story that we were going ATV riding through the vineyards and wine tasting. The package came with a photographer so that’s the reason to dress nice. He was really worried about my shoes and pushed for me to wear my boots. Looking back, it’s because he didn’t want me to fall out of the balloon wearing heels!
We were about to check into the Napa hotel and meet the company to take us on the ATV ride and Rocco spilled the beans… Surprise, we are going on a hot air balloon ride instead! He didn’t want to tell me in case I got scared and would back out. I was super excited. We met our pilot who drove us to the take off site. We were extremely delayed as it was really foggy and they weren’t sure if we would be able to take off. Rocco was trying to get the GoPro App working on his phone the whole time while we waited but I later found out he was texting everyone else involved updating them on the delay. About an hour later we took off and had an amazing flight. It was super peaceful and I was feeling nice and warm from my mimosa. Half way though the ride the pilot was getting adventurous and told us he was going to try and tough the basket on the top of this golf course lake. I instantly went into panic mode and pictured the balloon falling on top of us and me having to rescue Rocco because he can’t swim. About 5 seconds later Rocco said look at that and pointed past the water.
I looked and saw a group of people standing on the lawn with a huge sign that said, “Will You Marry Me?” I looked back to find him on one knee with a ring. I said YES of course then I heard someone below yell, “Put the ring on already!” I looked down and realized that the people were our closest friends and family.
I couldn’t hold back my tears from there. Once we flew past everyone we had a beautiful 20 minutes together and then met everyone for a private brunch that Rocco organized. It was such a perfect surprise and a day I will always remember.