Kierstie and Peter

How we met

It all started during my junior year of college at Texas State University. “State” is known to be a bit of a party school with endless opportunities to float the rivers, take a dip in the hidden water holes, mingle at the pool parties and frequently enjoy “The Square”, a small area in the heart of San Marcos with an array of different bars, clubs and restaurants. Naturally, I spent most of my weekends (and some weekdays) roaming around the bars, dancing the night away with my girlfriends. February 2nd 2012 seemed like an average night on the town, when a cute boy came up to me and made me giggle with his best cheesy pick-up lines in a handsome Latin accent. Embarrassingly, from that point on the details revolving the encounter with this “mystery man” were a bit hazy (maybe one too many gin & tonics). The next morning I woke up with a head ache and a text saying “Great meeting you last night –The Brazilian Guy” to which I had little memory of… So, I asked my girlfriend if she remembered anything more about him than his tall build and cute Portuguese accent. She told me “no, forget about it”. So I did.

One week later at the same bar (a few less gin & tonics), the handsome mystery man appeared again before me. Instantly I regretted not texting him back the week before. He made his way over to me with a disappointed look on his face and asked me why I blew him off, I smiled and knew from that point on I would never ignore his texts again. We have been together now for 5 years, traveled to 20 different countries, lived on two different continents, and called 4 states home. We are currently planning our wedding in Austin, Texas next April. Although I may not have remembered him very well the first night we met, every day since has been nothing short of amazing and the memories we have made will never be forgotten.

how they asked

Kierstie has always enjoyed adventures. For the proposal I definitely wanted to WOW her.
She has always enjoyed watching the sunset, something she does multiple times a week, either from our apartment window or at the beach. That was the first element I wanted to include in the proposal. She also loves to hike. Being in contact with nature while observing the view definitely beings joy to her heart. That was the second piece to the puzzle.

I started searching for places where we could hike and then watch the sunset; here in San Diego there are a lot of options. However, I also wanted to make it private, something exclusive, so we could enjoy it to the fullest without worrying about what other people would think. This third item on my proposal list was making the search for the perfect spot quite hard, once every sunset spot in San Diego had its fair share of tourists and locals indulging in its beauty. After quite some research I found the location which seemed perfect: Font’s Point in Anza Borrego State Park. This spot was on the top of a peak where you could have an amazing view of the badlands; a breathtaking view at the so-called California’s Grand Canyon.

After having the place set, I wanted to add another twist to the plot: I wanted to have it all registered so we could share the memories with our families and future kids. So I started researching on photographers in San Diego. My idea was for them to be at Font’s Point pretending to be regular folks capturing the scenery. Getting a top notch photographer to drive almost three hours plus 4 miles into the sandy desert (where you needed a 4×4 vehicle to access it) was definitely not easy. I contacted three photographers in San Diego with no success. Then I switched my pursuit to professionals closer to the desired location. The very first photographer I contacted could not do it, but he suggested “the perfect person” for the job. When I told Erika about my proposal plans she was immediately excited about it, and said she would do it.

Everything was set – except for two minor details: I do not have a 4×4 car, and I am not the biggest fan of hiking. Suggesting such a plan without a good excuse would definitely raise red flags. So I have a friend at work that is in a long-distance relationship. He always tells me that we all four must hang out when she comes visiting. So I told Kierstie that “the girlfriend” would be visiting in two weeks and that they wanted to go hike with us. She believed it and was excited about the mini adventure. To get the SUV we needed to access Font’s Point I got somehow got lucky: about a month before the proposal a girl slightly rear-ended me at a red light. So I told Kierstie two days before asking the big question that I had left my car at the shop to be fixed, when in reality it was parked at the rental car place and I was driving a rental 4×4. This was the last hurdle I had to overcome; from here on, it was just sticking to the plan.

August 31st 2016 – the day had finally come. I had already gotten the car and picked up her favorite champagne from the store; I even messaged the photographer telling her what I was wearing in case there were a lot of other people there. Right before we left the house I had to “break the bad news” to Kierstie: “my friend’s dog got hit by a car”. The dog was going to survive, but he was very sorry he had to cancel it last minute. Kierstie asked me if I still wanted to go. I unenthusiastically said “might as well”.

On our way there I might have freaked out a little bit when we were lost, late and without phone signal in a sketchy backroad the middle of the desert. Eventually though, we arrived there – there was nobody but the photographers, already taking pictures and doing a great job of staying on the down low. We walked to the top of the hill, I winked to the photographer. Kierstie and I were enjoying the mesmerizing view, truly breathtaking. After a few minutes I grab her by the hand, try to tell her the few lines which I repeated to myself so many times before: how that even though we were struggling with recently moving, that we are not sure about our jobs or where we would be living next, that no matter the scenario, there was one thing that was always there for me – her. Towards the end of this love speech I started to make the move: hand in my pocket, kneeling down. I pop the question.

She takes her hands to her face, covers her mouth, mumbles “Are you for real right now?” and starts crying. I do not remember 100% the details because I was also very nervous – it was a life changing moment. I do remember that she repeated “Are you serious right now?” about three times before saying yes.

So then we kiss, hug, enjoy the moment, and I tell her to wave. She asks to whom; to which I reply “the photographers”. She was very surprised about that. To confirm her surprise, she laughs and somehow upset says: “I cannot believe I am in my hiking boots!” We watched the sun set below the horizon in bliss as the stars took over the sky and her dazzling smile told me it was a success.

Special Thanks