Rio and Ellegra

Image 1 of Rio and Ellegra

How We Met

I had just moved to Chicago because I needed a change. I had no friends and no job. Moving to a very cold, big city by myself. Chicago is a city of neighborhood bars, so I started spending a lot of time at my local bar. One Friday night I was sick of being home and decided to throw on my winter clothes and head down to the bar. I sat by myself, ordered a beer and pulled out a bunch of left over halloween candy. I noticed this cutie bearded guy behind the bar that I had never seen before, and he noticed me too, or my halloween candy. He came over grabbed a piece of candy and started talking to me about leaving California. We’re both California raised and Chicago transplants. I ended up staying at the bar until closing flirting with the cute bartender, when the bar closed he told me to go to this 4am bar and I thought “omg, he’s going to come meet up with me after work.” I went to the other bar for a little bit, it was such a cute little bar with these fancy cocktails and a late night menu. I couldn’t stay awake till 4am but I loved the bar so much I went back the nest day during normal business hours. I’m sitting there enjoying my fancy cocktail and in walks cute bartender! He worked there too. I ended up hanging out there with him till five in the morning chatting with him all night.

how they asked

Rio and I were on our yearly trip to Denver to see my favorite band, The Head and The Heart. This year they had two back to back shows and obvi we went to both. With Rio having a press pass this year it made the whole Red Rocks experience like 10000 times better (we didn’t have to walk up that huge hill.) So day two of The Head and The Heart, we’re in the first row of general admission and like right smack in the middle of the band. I’m super distracted watching Josiah Johnson (former bandmate) backstage dancing and singing all the worlds like a proud parent and I’m LOVIN IT. Then Rio hugs me, kisses me on the head and says “babe, you know I love you” and starts kneeling down on one knee.

At this point the 35 high school girls surrounding us are screaming their heads off during the softest most beautiful song, I still feel terrible I ruined that song for people. Rio gets on one knee and apparently I say “DON’T GET ON ONE KNEE,” I do not remember this, but Rio swears. I start crying, obviously, look up and Kenny, the keyboardist is looking right at us with like the fattest smile on his face like he’s known Rio his whole life and he’s genuinely excited for us. The beautiful song ends and the other members of the band are like wait wtf, “what just happened over there,” Chairty, the lead female vocalist, even says “I thought we just really hit the harmony.” So they are ALL looking at us with these huge fat adorable smiles, and they call us on stage to talk to us. At this point I’m pretty positive I’ve blacked out. We go on stage, we’re giving high fives, we’re hugging, I’m focusing on not puking in front of ten thousand people, and we talk to Charity. She says something about my sequin jacket, and my response is “yeah, I wore it yesterday!” Why legs, WHY. I literally couldn’t process any of this, I was in total shock. She then asks us if we want to dance around on stage for the next song and celebrate. Rio and I look at each other and we’re like yeah sure, lets dance around in front of ten thousand people and look like total morons. I would stop and look up sometimes and see all these people and this amazing beautiful venue and it was unreal. I so badly wanted to take a pic of my ring with the audience in the back but I couldn’t function, I was SO overwhelmed.

The song ends and they politely kick us off stage after more hugs. I’m shaking,I thought I was going to fall over my legs were shaking so badly. My nerves are through the roof, and I’m starting to feel sick.

Now this is where the story really gets good. We’re in the second row and I’m trying to sneak through the rope they have up to get easy access to the bathroom cause I need a second to chill the f out. Guard says no, he takes his job very seriously. So I walk through the crowd of 50 something people to get to the bathroom, this crowd just saw us get engaged and dance on stage like idiots and this crowd is going apeshit hugging me, taking pictures, touching me as I walk through.

So sweet, but like legit ya’ll I’m about to puke my brains out. I’m running to the bathroom and everyone I pass wants to hug and congratulate me. I barley make it to the bathroom before I blow chunks, my nerves are out of control and you should know I’ve always been a nervous puker. I go back to my seat, give myself a little pep talk and TRY to get my shit together. NOPE. I puke in the second row at the RED ROCKS. My beautiful amazing husband to be blocks me, gives me water and gum, I look at him and I’m like, “yo, we gotta go.” We sweep all our stuff up, I grab this girls empty beer cup thats in front of me and I bolt. I make my way out of the crowd, change out of my sparkly jacket hoping if I put a hoodie on we can sneak out and no one will notice I’m throwing up in this beer cup. We aren’t allowed to leave the same way we came in where we don’t have to walk down that huge hill.

Once again we’re met with someone who takes their job very seriously. So down the huge hill we go, we’re getting stopped every five steps by people congratulating us, giving us marriage advice, wanting to hug us. Mind you I’ve just puked, and I’m holding a cup that I had also puked in. Walking down this hill. Not my finest moment but you know what, it’s part of our story. We make it back to the car and I can hear “Rivers and Roads” in the distance I’m super bummed we had to leave, so we take a moment to just look at the Red Rocks one more time before we drive away and BLEEEEEG, more puke.

Image 2 of Rio and Ellegra

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(We didn’t hire the photographer he was shooting the show, we just got lucky!)

Special Thanks

Noel Alva
 | Photographer