Nikki and TJ

Image 1 of Nikki and TJ

How We Met

It was my senior year of high school and I needed a prom date. April 18, 2008-It was about a week before prom and I was on my way to a track meet with my mom. I told her that I was dateless, and when she got over her initial fit of laughter, she recommended that I ask Nikki.

Image 2 of Nikki and TJ

Nikki was a family friend, and although she was good friends with my sister, I had never actually met her at that point in time. My mom called Nikki and gave the phone to me. Whether it was fate or utter stupidity, she said “yes.” The rest and what comes next, is history.

Image 3 of Nikki and TJ

how they asked

March 2017 – Initial preparations. I bought the ring and while it was getting resized I drove to Nikki’s parents and asked for their blessing to marry their eldest daughter. Both said yes, and both kept it a secret! Her younger sister and brother were also there and both were very excited for us. Around this time, I contacted two of Nikki’s close college friends whom she had not seen in a long time. I asked them to be part of the proposal to make it even more of a surprise!

Image 4 of Nikki and TJ

April 27, 2017 – The plan was set for the special day! Nikki thinks I am picking her up for a hike at Point Reyes, one of our favorite places. It is a secluded national park with little to no phone service which makes it perfect for a hiking weekend getaway. But we won’t be alone. Nikki and I will go on a short trail hike, with our friends and my brother following closely behind, out of sight. Ahead of us are two friends who will already be at the end of the trail, hiding in the shrubbery to capture the moment. Our dog, Eko, will have the ring around his torso in a fanny pack. When they see Nikki and I at the end of the trail, our friends will take off Eko’s leash and he will (hopefully) run towards us to deliver the ring!

Image 5 of Nikki and TJ

April 28, 2017 – Yes, almost 9 years in the making. I know, I know I might be a little late. But part of me is old school in that, I knew I did not want to propose to anyone before there was a good chance at stability and a way to support my family. Three years into medical school, I found that stability. Also, after hours of seclusion studying and coming home to an empty apartment after long days in the operating room or delivering babies, or getting yelled at by senior doctors that don’t even know your name, would make anyone long for their significant other and appreciate them that much more.

Image 6 of Nikki and TJ

Our friends and I had to coordinate beforehand due to the absence of cell phone reception. I told them that they should park out of the main road’s view just in case Nikki recognized their cars, but at the same time they had to see us driving by so that they could follow us to the trail head. On our way through Pt. Reyes, I told our friends beforehand that I would pass their position at exactly 4.30 pm. Again, this time had to be exact as possible because we had no cellphone reception. After taking her to Tony’s Napoletana and Sophie’s crepes in San Francisco (her two favorite places to eat of all time), we made our way to Pt. Reyes.

We were a little early, and knowing our timing had to be just right, I pulled over and pretended to pee in order to buy time! As Nikki and I were driving past where our friends were parked, she looked over and I hoped to goodness that she didn’t see them. She didn’t and we arrived to the trail. At the end of the trail is a breathtaking view of the park and the ocean bordering it. You could not tell there were two people hiding in the bushes taking pictures. After what seemed like an eternity waiting (5 minutes), I saw Eko running towards us! At first Nikki was so surprised that she didn’t think it was Eko, but instead a different dog that looked exactly like him!

Image 7 of Nikki and TJ

I took the ring out of Eko’s fanny pack (after chasing him around for a good minute because he was so excited), and took Nikki’s hands in mine and got down on one knee. What I said to her exactly are for her alone, but I asked and she said “Yes!” By the time we let go from our embrace, our friends were around us and she was taken totally by surprise. We spent the rest of our weekend with our group, staying at a home we rented, hiking, bonding, and enjoying each other and the company of our loved ones. This was truly the best weekend of my life so far, but I get to spend the rest of my life in the best way possible- with my true Love.

Image 8 of Nikki and TJ

Image 9 of Nikki and TJ

Our Video

Special Thanks

James Borromeo
 | Photographer
Miguel Morga
 | Videographer
Carrie McCluskey
 | Photographer