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Love+Marriage

Our Engagement

Transferred this from an old blog to keep everything in one place… 🙂

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Today, it’s all about the engagement day.  Reeewiiiind.

I used to work at a hospital and worked every other weekend just like Tristan does now.  Occasionally, we’d have the same weekdays off since I would have random days off after a weekend of work.  We always tried to arrange for it, but it wasn’t always a guarantee.  I worked 50+ hour weeks and commuted to Santa Monica, so when we had a day off together, we always wanted to take advantage of it.

Anyhow, let’s backtrack a bit further.  I believe it was Wednesday, July 27, 2011.  After work, I was at Tristan’s place just being lazy and watching TV when my dad calls me.  My memory of the conversation is a little fuzzy, but this is what I remember it consisted of.

Dad:  So, Tristan came over today while you were at work.
Me:  Really?  What for? (he never comes over when I’m not home)
Dad:  He wanted to know if you guys could get married.  Are you ready for this?
Me:  Wait… Dad… you’re not supposed to tell me this.
Dad:  What?  Why?
Me:  Dad, in America, he asks me as a surprise!  He just asks you for your permission.
Dad:  Oh no!  That’s not how it’s done in Vietnam.
Me:  Really??  How is it done in Vietnam??
Dad:  Both sides of the family come together and ask if he could have you as his wife.
Me:  Oh!  I didn’t know!
Dad:  Well, he said he was going to take you to dinner next month to talk about it.
Me:  Dad!  That’s when the surprise was supposed to happen!
Dad:  Omg.

Cultural confusion.  So, anyway, I assured my dad that I am ready to be married and that Tristan is great for me.  I hang up the phone and squirm for a second because I’m not sure how to tell Tristan what just happened.  Mind you, he’s been sitting right next to me the whole time.  He had a feeling about what just happened, of course.  I apologized to him about my dad bursting the surprise bubble, but that I love him and was so proud of him for seeking permission from my dad.  I promised that I would pretend like it never happened.

Over the weekend, Tristan asked if I wanted to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific on our day off the upcoming Tuesday because they were having their summer sale where you can go to the aquarium after a certain time for half the price.  Of course, I’m always down for the aquarium visits.  I suggested inviting friends since the tickets were cheaper.  He was cool with that and said we can do a little day date since it’s been some time since we’ve been able to.  I love day dates on weekdays.  No crowds =)

Tuesday morning arrived and I called Tristan to ask what he was wearing — summery?  casual?  stylish?  I didn’t know what to wear.  He told me to wear a nice dress.  My thoughts?  A dress?  To the aquarium?  I was gonna wear a t-shirt and denim shorts, but okay.  Just for you.  I put on a nice, summery dress.  I still had it in my head that he wasn’t going to propose for at least another month.  If anything, I was thinking he’d push the date further to torture me. Lol.


We had lunch at The Crab Pot which was just as delicious as I remember it in Seattle.  We took a tour of the Queen Mary where I eventually lost my sunglasses.  Tristan was such a sweetheart.  We actually had to backtrack throughout the entire ship to try and find them.  He didn’t get flustered at all.  Looking back, I don’t know how he kept his cool so well considering there was a diamond ring in his backpack the whole time.


Anyhow, we get to the aquarium, and as we turn into the parking lot, we see Ray and Nancy at the entrance waiting for us.  Good times!  Double date!  We go inside, and I find out it’s Ray and Nancy’s first trip there together, so I was just excited and made sure I take my fair share of photos.  We walk up to the main aquarium, which is basically a floor to ceiling aquarium.  Someone was lecturing about the fish in the aquarium and a scuba diver was inside the tank talking as well.  I told Tristan we should stand closer to the aquarium, but he immediately said, “NO! Just stand here.  We’ll wait for the crowd to go away.”  My immediate thought was Why is he being so pushy right now? Eesh.

I stand there and wait.  I get a little impatient, and when some people had walked away from the glass of the aquarium, I point out that there’s an open spot for us to stand and see the fish.  Nowhe’s impatient.  Eventually he walks me up to the aquarium and tells me to just look at the fish, and don’t turn around.  I said “Ummm, okay” and stood there with a billion thoughts running through my head.  It can’t be today, can it?  My dad said a month from now.  It must be something else.  Plus all these people are here learning about fish.  I wonder if the scuba diver is gonna come down with a proposal sign. Would he bother with that?  Nooo it’s too soon.  I’m running out of fish to look at.  Why can’t I turn around?  Where’s the scuba guy?  What’s the guy with the mic even talking about? Sea bass?  Okay, I’m sure you get the picture.

Tristan comes up from behind me, turns me around, walks me closer to the middle of the area, puts his forehead to my forehead, and gives me a beautiful, heartmelting “Ever since I met you…” speech that I can’t even remember.

You don’t understand.  The entire world just stops and gets extraordinarily quiet.  Nothing in the universe existed in the however-many-minutes it took for him to say what he wanted to say.  Women bring up this moment all the time, but when it actually happens to you, it really is surreal.  Nothing else exists but you and him.


He gets down on one knee, opens the box, and I immediately say “Of course” while totally forgetting about the ring I was supposed to put on.  Who cares about the ring!  I’m marrying the love of my life!  Haha actually, the ring is stunning.  It’s a one-of-a-kind piece with details I haven’t seen anywhere else.  Hunny did good =)

At some point, I turn around and freak out as I see family and friends surrounding us.  Of course, the speaker is still on his mic speaking about fish.  He sneaks in a little “Congratulations to the couple over there!” or something like that.  It was cool.  Then it was all hugs and kisses from everyone.


Where was everyone, you ask?  Hiding behind other aquariums.  Haha.  Sneaky and so well coordinated!


One of my favorite parts of the day was just getting to walk around the aquarium with everyone.  It was a like a little field trip.  So sweet.

After we went through the whole aquarium, we decided to have dinner at Chili’s where we toasted to friends, family and love…
…but not before we got a few funky gifts from our friends.

Thank you to everyone who made this day possible.  It was truly unforgettable.  Thanks to all of you guys for also documenting every moment so well!!  I could not thank all of you enough.  This includes everyone that was apparently watching off Skype/Facetime =)

Thank you, hunny.  Our next journey is drawing near, and I can’t believe you coordinated all of this without me knowing.  It was perfect.  Every moment was amazing.  You’re amazing!

Yes, he later admitted that he had to rush and plan this after the incident that happened with my dad. Haha.  It was still executed flawlessly.

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