Susana and Mario

Image 1 of Susana and Mario

How We Met

The story of how we met is one we will be telling our grandchildren. It was early 2020, remember those days? yes, Covid had just hit, and it was late March, during strict quarantine that we matched in Bumble! He actually had to hit the extend button to get my attention, as with the world going through so much, I was not really spending a lot of time in the app. I was holding my phone at the moment that he extended the match so after checking out his profile and seeing that he was Colombian (as I am) I immediately said “Hola Mario!”. If you’re not familiar with the dating app, once you match, women have only 24 hours to be the first to write, if they don’t, the match disappears forever.

Image 2 of Susana and Mario

Since times were so critical and quarantine was so strict, it was a different dating experience. We exchanged numbers and continued texting for about 2 weeks before we had our first date: a virtual one! Can you believe we spent 6 hours on a video call? I was living with my family at the time, so I went to my car to take the call from there (this was at a time when even being out in open spaces was questionable).

Image 3 of Susana and Mario

I was really dying to meet him in person, but due to quarantine it was very difficult and everyone including the family I lived with I knew would be judgmental If I stepped outside the house to interact with anyone. Well, I was not going to let this opportunity pass so one Saturday morning I told my family I needed to go into the office to get some documents. It was obviously a lie; I was going to meet up with Mario! Unfortunately, my makeup gave me away and they revealed months later that they knew I had left that morning to meet someone.

Image 4 of Susana and Mario

We agreed to meet in the Orlando Downtown area and go for a walk around the famous Lake Eola. When we saw each other for the first time there were instant sparks. The meet-up was brief, but it was just perfect. We walked for a good 40 minutes and talked about family traditions.

Image 5 of Susana and Mario

After strict quarantine was lifted, we had our first real in-person date at his place. I know, pretty risky but hey! Everything was closed and we just wanted to hang out. We spent 8 hours sitting, eating, and talking around the kitchen island! We had brunch, talked for hours, and then had dinner! He also kissed me that day. The rest is history.

Image 6 of Susana and Mario

Image 7 of Susana and Mario

Image 8 of Susana and Mario

How They Asked

We traveled to Alaska for my 33rd Birthday and I did most of the planning and trip itinerary. Mario asked me to block out one full day of the trip for him to plan a birthday surprise. The proposal happened on our second day of the trip. The night before I asked him what I should wear, and he told me to prepare to get really cold. I was a little confused as it wasn’t really that cold during this time of year in Anchorage. The day before I had just worn a few layers of fall clothing, but nothing heavy like the ski pants he was suggesting I should wear. However, I do tend to get very cold so I thought maybe we would go high up in the mountains. The morning of we had breakfast at a local spot and then drove for about 20 minutes northeast of Anchorage. This entire time I had no idea of where we were going, but as we went higher and higher up the mountains, I thought my suspicions of hiking would be correct although it wasn’t that cold for me to be wearing ski pants.

Image 9 of Susana and Mario

Image 10 of Susana and Mario

The road ended at the most beautiful intimate resort with a few cabins and to my surprise, as we entered the place, I saw to my left about 5 helicopters and a few with the helicopter blades spinning. At that moment he said: “Surprise! We’re going on a private helicopter tour!” I was so excited and felt an urge to cry! (I am a crier) For the following 30 minutes, we took a small course, got weighed, and were just waiting for the helicopters that were out on the other tours to come back.

Image 11 of Susana and Mario

When it was time for our tour, I went in the front of the helicopter with the pilot and Mario went on the back, little did I know that the pilot was obviously in on it. As the elevator took flight, I could not contain my emotions and started crying. The views were just out of this world and my eyes could not believe what they were seeing. We flew along a valley and could see wildlife, a river, and Mountains on both sides, and far away the glacier started to appear. The flight to the glacier took about 15 minutes, I recorded a lot of the views and was just speechless for most of the flight.

Image 12 of Susana and Mario

As we were flying over the glacier, the pilot told us we were going to start flying over pools and to look down and be ready to take pictures or video as we flew over them. The second one we flew over, he actually flew around it twice and announced that that is where we would be landing. I could not believe it. It was the most spectacular crystal blue lagoon.

Image 13 of Susana and Mario

We landed on 400-foot-deep ice only 2 feet away from the blue water. We got off the helicopter and the pilot said we had 30 minutes to explore and to pretend he wasn’t there, he wanted us to just enjoy the views and take it all in. He had a camera and would be taking professional photos of us, which I knew was part of the “tour” package, so that didn’t raise any suspicions.

Image 14 of Susana and Mario

To my surprise, it wasn’t that cold, so I took off the heavy snow jacket I had on and started exploring the glacier with Mario. He saw a little mound on one end of the lagoon, and he said we should go there to see the pool from a higher point. Once at the top, he directed me to walk toward the end as he assumed I wanted a photo with the mountain backdrop (he was carrying his GoPro). So, I did as instructed and walked very carefully and slowly (to his advantage) toward the edge of the high point. I think he said “ok I took one, now let’s take one together” or something of that sort, and as I turned towards him, there he was on one knee.

Image 15 of Susana and Mario

Image 16 of Susana and Mario

Let me say this again because it’s important: I am a crier, I can cry watching cartoons. The amount of happiness and joy and love that I felt as I saw him there was incredible. I believe my first reaction was- shock, and a few seconds later I just started crying like there was no tomorrow, I was sobbing. He gave the most heartfelt speech that mentioned the fact that this was the closest we would get to heaven, where he knew his dad and grandpa were watching us closely.

Image 17 of Susana and Mario

I don’t recall seeing the ring right away or saying yes. Time froze, and it wasn’t until he grabbed my hand and proceeded to put the ring on that I saw it and cried, even more, he absolutely nailed it. It was what I had dreamed of my entire life. From there, the photographer congratulated us (kudos to him, he stayed really far away, and I didn’t see him during the entire proposal) and we explored the glacier with excitement for another 15 minutes or so while I bombarded him with questions. “Who knew?” “How long ago did you plan this?” Etc.

Image 18 of Susana and Mario

We then got back in the helicopter and flew back for another 15 minutes, this time him in the front and I in the back trying to process what had just happened. Once we got back to the resort, we video-called all of our family members and closest friends to tell them the great news.

Special Thanks

Alaska Helicopter Tours
 | Helicopter Tour and Photography