How We Met
To start off, we both have the same name, but with different spellings – Jessie and Jesse.
We met at a golf course where we both worked in the summer of 2014. He worked in the pro shop and I was the bartender. We became instant friends, but never considered dating because of our names being the same. When the season ended, we remained in contact every day. When he finally asked me to be his girlfriend, I explained to him that if we were to date, it was only going to be temporary because I was planning to move to Dublin, Ireland the following year. Knowing the stipulation, he agreed to date me anyway.
On the exact day of our one year anniversary, he brought me to the airport to say goodbye as I departed for Ireland. I was not willing to have a long-distance relationship so we broke up as planned. Regardless, he did not let me move on. He called me every day and actually came to Dublin six months later. He asked me to come home and as requested, I ended my Europe trip early and booked my flight back to Pittsburgh to be with him.
How They Asked
Jesse had been attending nursing school throughout the duration of our relationship. For his graduation, we planned a celebratory backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. Our first stop was in Vietnam. We started in Hanoi, the capital city, and worked our way south. Jesse had planned to propose to me in Da Nang which is a small city in the middle of Vietnam. However, due to Chinese New Year at the time, means of travel were limited and we almost did not make it to Da Nang. In short, because of future stops on our itinerary, we were able to make arrangements to get there but could only stay for one day. (In the span of our 5-week backpacking trip, this was the only day it rained.)
We made it to Da Nang in the morning on January 29 and immediately went to Sun World Ba Na Hills. The world’s longest cable car took us to the top of the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. At the top is a theme park; there are lovely gardens, a wine cellar, a giant Buddha, and a bunch of other fun attractions. Ba Na Hills was having a flower festival while we were there, and the entire place was decorated with tulips in every color.
The main attraction at Ba Na Hills is the Golden Bridge (Cau Vang). It is a gold bridge being held up by two giant hands. It is meant to represent God pulling up the gold from Earth and giving it to heaven. The view from the bridge is supposed to be an absolutely breathtaking landscape of the green mountain range below. Unfortunately, because it was raining, it was so foggy we could not see anything past the fingers of the hands.
I was leading our walk across the bridge weaving through countless other tourists. While admiring the magnificence of the Golden Bridge, Jesse told me to turn around right next to the left hand. I turned to him down on one knee with an open ring box. He asked me to marry him. I cannot explain the feeling of pure shock; it was like the world stopped. I was brought back to reality by a full audience of people clapping and taking our picture. I said YES!
Although the view beyond the bridge was not ideal for photos, the clouds made it feel like the Godly hands had already lifted us up to heaven. We were certainly on Cloud 9. We did not announce our engagement until we got home, and his graduation trip changed to our engagement trip.