I always knew I wanted to ask Rachel to marry me in Blacksburg. Blacksburg is where it all started and will always feel like home to both of us. We fell in love with Virginia Tech and fell in love with each other in between juggling classes and happy hours. There is one memory I’ll never forget in downtown Blacksburg. In the midst of loud music, a smoke filled bar (Big Als), and rowdy scholars doing what they do best, I noticed a red dress in the corner of my eye. This was no ordinary dress nor was the girl wearing it. I was in awe. The room stood still as tequila burned going down with some random girl whispering something in my ear. I thought to myself wow that is the prettiest girl I have ever seen.
We had already met and hung out a few times so I waved her over and the girl in the dress came over to the bar. I didn’t say anything for a few seconds then squeezed a lime down my throat to rinse down the tequila. It was quiet for what felt like an hour, then the other girl I was standing with walked off as I put my arm around Rachel and said in her ear, “I am going to marry you one day”. What did I just say?? I hardly know this girl. Surely she will walk off and I will never see her again. Time stood still. She smiled and said “really?” I quickly changed the subject and asked if she wanted to dance. We danced and the rest is history. Not sure why I said what I did, but I am indeed going to marry the girl in the red dress. Why she didn’t run off right then I don’t know but this memory and all the other memories in Blacksburg we’ll never forget.
So, Blacksburg was the place I had to ask her to marry me. Summer 2016 was coming to an end and football season was approaching. I knew we would be together in Blacksburg, I just had to narrow down my options of where on campus exactly. With the help of my cousin, Charles, I was able to set up a fake tour of Lane Stadium. The tour was the Friday evening before the season opener. Rachel was under the impression we were going to take a tour of the stadium and needed to be in Blacksburg by 5pm. That was the longest drive to Blacksburg. I was a bit nervous thinking of how things would play out and got a speeding ticket on the way. None the less we made it. We were met by the assistant Athletic Director on the West Side of Lane Stadium. I made sure Rachel got out of the car first and that she walked in front of me so she wouldn’t see the ring box in my back pocket. Charles introduced us and the “tour” began.
I noticed Charles was sweating and seemed really nervous. That actually helped calm my nerves. We walked into the West Side of the Stadium then exited on to the bleachers and walked down to the field. There was was a photographer taking pictures of the Hokie Bird at the time. We asked if we could get a picture with the Hokie Bird on the 50 yard line. We took the picture and Rachel began to walk back toward the sideline, as the Hokie Bird left, I knelt down and Rachel turned and saw me kneeling with the ring box in my hand. She was crying and smiling at the same time. I asked “will you marry me” and she said YES! I’ll never forget that smile. We are truly blessed. Go Hokies!