Toni and Jesse

How We Met

15 months ago I met Jesse while backpacking in Thailand. I was living in Canada at the time and he was living in Texas. From the second I met him I knew that I loved him and when we had our first kiss in the Phuket Airport, it sealed the deal for me!! It was that instant weak in the knees feeling mixed with the most severe case of butterflies and topped off with my heart pounding out of my chest!! I was without a doubt in LOVE with a stranger & an instant believer in love at first sight! We spent 2 weeks together exploring the gorgeous islands of Thailand, experiencing an entirely different culture, meeting new people, making memories, and even getting robbed together! It took just over a week of knowing Jesse for me to FINALLY say what had been on both of our minds from the day we met – “I love you”.

The feeling was absolutely undeniable & I wasn’t going to be able to live with myself if I didn’t tell him exactly how I felt! With each day that passed I only fell more and more hopelessly in love with him. And with each day I was also becoming more and more terrified of the day where I had to say goodbye to him that was approaching way too fast! But before I knew it, it was time for Jesse to go back to Texas and I still had a month left of planned travel. Even when I was done with my trip I was still headed home to a different country, thousands of miles away from him! We had talked about coming to visit and staying in touch and even tossed the idea of me moving (I am one of those super lucky people that has dual citizenship as a Canadian/American) to Texas. I knew that all I wanted was to be with him and could only pray that he felt the same way and meant what he said.

Friends I talked to said it was probably just “vacation love” but I KNEW it was something way beyond that. I knew that I had met my soulmate. And watching my soulmate drive away in complete possession of my heart not knowing if I would ever see him again was absolute torture. Fast forward a week or two and I’m still in Thailand trying to figure out how to get home sooner to get medical attention after being stung by a giant wasp, and Jesse is back in Texas. We remained in contact and I had my reassurance that we’d be seeing each other once I got home because Jesse asked me to come visit Texas and see him and if I liked it, he wanted me to move in with him! It was a dream come true! But better because I NEVER even dreamed of having my own love story playing out the way it was!

I returned home from Thailand the second week of March and just a few days after landing back in Canada I was off to Texas to reunite with the man who was holding my heart hostage! Needless to say, I instantly fell in love with Texas and more importantly the feelings I had developed for Jesse while on the other side of the world were even MORE intense in the “real world”. I already had my mind made up before I visited Texas that I wanted to move because it meant being with Jesse, but after my 2 week visit, we both knew for sure that it HAD to happen. And that is exactly what happened, 2 weeks after my trip to Texas, Jesse flew up to Canada, met my family and then we started our road trip to move me down & continue our crazy adventure together that we started on the other side of the world ??

Toni and Jesse's Engagement in On a helicopter tour of Aruba

how they asked

For our first “Anniversatines” together, Jesse booked us a vacation to Aruba! He had been working for almost 3 months straight prior to booking the trip and we both wanted to spend some quality time together! Having both traveled to a few of the usual vacation spots we decided on Aruba because we both had never been and because we had actually met a friend that was from there! And what better way to experience a new place than to have a local to show you the ropes! Our first afternoon/night in Aruba was spent with our friend and catching up on some much needed sleep after flying all day! So the next morning it was time to hit the pool and catch some sun! Jesse had informed me that day that he had planned something for us to do that afternoon and to take it easy on the drinks so I didn’t get too tired and so I could enjoy lunch after our adventure we were going on.

Fair enough, I was mostly interested in the sunshine anyways! So we just relaxed in the pool until it was time to go get ready. Not knowing what we exactly had planned I asked Jesse to help pick out what I should wear. I bought the same dress in white and dark red for vacation and hadn’t shown Jesse them so I simply asked him to pick between the colors and he chose white. So I put it on and asked him if it was okay for what we were doing that day and for the lunch I assumed we were going for after. More on that later…. So we go down to the lobby, get in a taxi and Jesse shows the driver where we need to go – I still am unsure of what the plan is. It wasn’t until right before we got to our destination that I was informed we were doing a helicopter tour of the island followed by a nice lunch after. Awesome!!!

We had went sky diving in Key West for my birthday and the views from the plane were unbelievable so I was excited to see what Aruba looked like from that kind of view! I had also never flown in a helicopter so I was having a bit of a little kid moment with how excited I was! Once we got in the sky I was in immediate awe of the views that I was seeing!!! Our pilot was AWESOME and knew so much about the island and while he was telling us all these fact about the island I was still trying to take it all in and decide where to look first. It was also a little difficult to hear with the headsets we had on and over the noise of the helicopter, so when he started telling us about these apartments with the blue roofs they were building I didn’t quite hear where he was saying to look because he started to kind of turn in a way where I couldn’t see the buildings or the island but more so just the open water to my left.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in On a helicopter tour of Aruba

So when we started to turn back the other way so I could see again Jesse had tapped me and pointed across me and said “look at how pretty that beach is” so I turned to look and pushed myself against the window to see what he was referring to and that’s when I am positive my heart stopped beating. Written across the beach below us in red were the words “Marry Me”. I had to stare at for a few seconds to make sure I didn’t read it wrong and when I turned back to look at Jesse he had that little box in his hand opened up and the most gorgeous ring staring at me.

With tears pouring down my face (like they are now reliving this moment) I look up at Jesse and he says “Will you marry me?” Without hesitation I screamed YES!!!!! So he put the ring on my finger and the happy tears poured down my face even more!!!! I spent the remainder of the ride crying in disbelief at the events that had just transpired and knowing that I was going to marry my best friend! I knew from day one of meeting Jesse that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him but knowing that it is one step closer to a reality still brings me to uncontrollable happy tears! And when we landed they had champagne waiting for us to celebrate with! Not only did he plan a fairy tale proposal & design the most perfect ring, he kept it all a secret and I had ZERO clue it was happening! And the dress he helped me pick out to wear – he laughed and shook his head when he saw me in it and said it looked like a wedding dress! I can’t wait to say “I do” ??

Engagement Proposal Ideas in On a helicopter tour of Aruba

Special Thanks

James Allen