Sol and Andres

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How We Met

On a warm Miami night, paths crossed, and lives were magically changed. It was October 2013, and I agreed to come out with one of my girlfriends. Upon coming inside the apartment where we were meeting the group, a boy who was sitting on the couch across the room stood up and made his way towards the girls. He reached out his hand towards me, and with that captivating smile of his said: “Andres, very nice to meet you.” I shook his hand and replied to the beaming smile “Hi, I’m Sol. Nice to meet you also.”

Throughout the night, and through loud music, we got to know a bit more about one another. Before leaving the lounge, Andres asked for my phone number, and once I recorded it on his phone, he added: “love of my life” after my name. We said her goodbyes and I was quickly on my way home. For the following few days, Andres reached out in hopes of arranging a date. He offered to take me out for almost everything but kept getting denied. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, coffee, even ice cream, he could not get a yes. Andres headed home without seeing Sol again.

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A few weeks after, during Halloween night, I bumped into some of Andres’ friends I had met that night. Dressed as Super Woman, I was asked to take a photo with one of the guys. This photo quickly arrived as a message to Andres’ phone. Andres proceeded to forward the photo to me with a message under it that read “what a gorgeous smile.” That compliment was enough to open the line of communication, and soon Andres and I were talking all day long. Before we both knew it, December came along, and Andres made his way back to Miami to spend a few days together. We celebrated New Years together. I made Andres go to the dog park. He met my family and some friends. In January, I visited Andres in Connecticut. I met his family, friends, and saw snow for the first time since I was a little girl. We continued to fall in love with distance until August 2014, when I moved to New York City to attend graduate school. During my two years there, and in a tiny Upper West Side apartment, the love we shared continued to solidify. After graduating, I accepted a teaching job in Connecticut and together got our first apartment in New Haven. Shortly after, Aloha (our Great Dane)joined us and together we played, and loved and, grew closer. After living downtown for almost two years, we purchased a beautiful house in the suburbs of North Haven. Together, we demolished walls, laid tile, painted walls, build kitchen cabinets, and laid topsoil and seed to grow grass. We have welcomed our families, and friends into our home, and continue to make beautiful memories in it today. Andres and I share a kind of bond that is rare. We are the greatest friends to one another, love each other beyond measure, and complement one another in every possible way.

This new phase in our lives allows us to continue planning the rest of their lives together as husband and wife, as opposed to just dreaming of it.

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How They Asked

In December, Andres surprised me with a trip to Rome. After much anticipation, April came around and we were on our way! When at the ticket counter, the agent clarified that we were flying from New York to Venice. I was not paying attention to the agent and did not hear the true destination. When walking towards the gate Andres kept insisting that the tickets were wrong, after I continued to not pay attention, he grabbed my ticket and said “we’re going to Venice instead of Rome.” After checking with her ticket, and in the middle of Newark Airport, I hugged Andres tight.

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Venice, really?! How more magical than that!

After many hours of travel, three airports, and a water taxi, we were settled in the hotel room, and quickly off to meet this beautiful city. We walked around, did some shopping, had pasta and gelato, and then headed back to get some rest. The next day consisted of many more steps, but also many more carbs. While falling in love with the city, and walking through its magical streets, Andres told me that it is good luck to kiss your significant other on every bridge. In Venice, there are a lot of bridges, and after the first 50 bridges and kisses, I was no longer stopping for a good luck kiss.

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Andres was firm on earning his good luck and always grabbed me to kiss me, whether it was on the back of my head, on my hand, or on my cheek. After a long day, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. According to Andres, there was a beautiful basilica that plays its bells during sunset, he thought it would be a good idea to see it. We both showered and got dressed for the night, me, making the bold choice to wear a leopard and leather- Andres letting me do so. They took a water taxi to the other side of town and walked beside the ocean towards the basilica. After a few blocks, Andres said, “I think we can make it faster this way.” He then gestured for me to start walking down this narrow path between two tall, brick buildings, and continued to head down it until they came across a tunnel.

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From where they stood, I could see there was a small bridge right after it, and as we approached it, they could see the hundreds of red rose petals that laid on it, and a photographer patiently waiting for the lucky couple to come to cross it. Once out of the tunnel, Andres pointed to his left and walked away from the bridge, until reaching a dead corner beside the water. They turned back around, and upon reaching the bridge once again, Andres asked the photographer if they could cross. With a heavy Italian accent she said “quickly please!” and so I quickly climbed the steps towards the other side. When at the top, Andres grabbed my hand and said “give me a kiss,” I was thinking that a soon-to-be engaged couple might arrive at their decorated bridge any second, so I dismissed Andres and pulled his hand towards the steps to get off the bridge. He then tucked me his way, pulled me into his arms, and said “and make it a good one- it’s the very last kiss as my girlfriend.”

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Andres proceeded to get down on a knee and propose to his girlfriend of over five years. While holding my hand and with tear-filled eyes, he proceeded to ask the question he had carefully planned all this around, he said: “Maria Sol Rachi, will you marry me?” After an emotional “YES!” Andres held me tight, kissed me, and then proceeded to put the most magnificent ring on my finger. The photographer snapped pictures of their special moment, and a violist played beautiful melodies for them in the background. After months of planning, FaceTiming with the photographer, violinist, and concierge, countless emails, meeting with the jeweler and designing an engagement ring, asking my parents for my hand in marriage, hundreds of red rose petals, hours of traveling, three airports, and a few water taxis later- Sol and Andres were engaged!

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