Tyler and Aimee
Spring 2014: When Aimee and I first started dating, in early 2010, it didn’t take long to learn how much she loved the Hawaiian Islands. As part of a military family, Aimee’s mom had spent part of her childhood living on the Islands. If not for the enormous distance from her home in New Jersey, Aimee would have attended college in Hawaii. So in Spring 2014, when Aimee and I began planning our Hawaiian vacation, I knew that would be where I would ask her to marry me.
January 2015: One challenge of proposing in Hawaii, a place that I had never been, is setting up the logistics of a proposal. I knew Aimee would want the proposal to be somewhere remote, private, and beautiful. However, I also knew that having pictures to look back on and share was a must as well. I explored the idea of having a random person take a photo of us and an impromptu proposal, however, I didn’t feel good about that. I looked all over the Internet for ideas but all of the engagement packages felt too commercialized and cheesy. That’s when I stumbled on Angie’s site through craigslist (I know, I know… I used craigslist…). Angie is an amazing photographer who listened to my vision, then used her deep knowledge of the islands to help that vision come to life.
Tuesday, May 5th 2015: Aimee and I headed to the Atlanta airport to begin what would be the best trip of our lives. Earlier that day, I had spent entirely too long, hiding and re-hiding a small black box that contained the rose gold oval ring that I would present to Aimee in two days’ time. I had been through airport security over 30 times that year, however, I have never been so nervous going through TSA as when I had Aimee’s ring in my carry on. Every scenario of a TSA agent searching my bag and spoiling the surprise had played through my mind. How was I going to make it two more days with this ring burning a hole in my pocket?
Thursday, May 7th 2015: The day was here. The plan for the day was to drive the Road to Hana. The Road to Hana is 50 miles of beautiful drive along the northeast coastline of Maui. The road is loaded with incredible scenic stops to hike and take photos and appreciate the raw beauty of Maui.
The first stop we would make on the Road to Hana would be Baldwin Beach Park. This stop was particularly important because this is where I would ask Aimee to marry me. As we approached the beach, the butterflies racing through me became ridiculous. The only comparison I have is that feeling you get right before you play a big sports game. The anticipation, the excitement, the love for what you’re about to do all racing through you. This was about 10 times anything I had ever felt through sports though.
As we walked along the beach, I tried as hard as I could to pull myself together and maintain a casual conversation. I can’t imagine I was very interesting for those 200 yards as I my mind was completely elsewhere. I didn’t think it was possible but as we approached the picnic setup that Angie had set up, the butterflies somehow got even more intense. We were about 50 feet away from the spot I would make myself completely vulnerable and ask the love of my life to marry me. As we approached the picnic the words “Will you marry me” were written in the sand… Aimee walked right past it… She didn’t see it!
Well, there went my ice breaker… I’ve dated this amazing woman for 5 years, she is my best friend… but at this moment I felt like I was asking her out for the first time again… like I was kissing her for the first time again… This was a completely new experience.
After a couple of more steps Aimee spotted the picnic. I took both of her hands and got on one knee and…. Blacked out?… Somehow neither Aimee nor myself can recall the exact specifics of this moment but we are about 90% sure she said “Yes”.
We spent the rest of the day driving the Road to Hana, enjoying the journey and looking forward to the journey that would be the rest of our lives.
That was the best day of my life. And has lead into what has been the best chapter of my life. The girl of my dreams has agreed to spend the rest of her life with me and I cannot wait to see what life has in store for us next.