Vivian and Jeff

Our Story

Our beginning (written by Vivian):

Jeff and I first met over milk tea and Hong Kong egg puffs (though little did I know that Jeff doesn't actually like Asian desserts all that much -- it was a trap!). Jeff told me all about fusion energy and I shared with him my passion for serving underserved communities. On our third date I suggested that we go on a hike. Little did Jeff know that I love all things related to exercising/working out and we ended up hiking 14 miles. (Jeff later told me that when I suggested such a long hike so early on he thought "this girl is intense"). I was skeptical as to whether Jeff could keep up at first after he plopped himself on the ground in the middle of the hike to eat a sandwhich, but Jeff persisted and we found ourselves atop of a mountain looking down onto the city. Afterwards, I was happy to introduce Jeff to Vietnamese food (my favorite cuisine), of which he only had once and thought was plain and disgusting because he didn't know he was supposed to put fish sauce on his vermicelli! Needless to say, we had many more bowls of bún thịt nướng chả giò after that!

Eventually we found ourselves traveling the world together -- glamping in the sand dunes of Morocco, eating pastéis de Nata in Portugal, snorkeling in Hawaii, and of course, hiking higher mountains. (Yes, it was my idea to wake up at 5AM to hike a fourteener in Colorado, where we hurried down the mountain as the rain began to pour and the suspect of lightning grew higher. But we made it down safely and Jeff had to sleep 14 hours afterwards while I woke up at my usual 6AM to make breakfast).

The proposal (written by Jeff):

July 13, 2019

I knew that one of Vivian's favorite spots in California is Point Lobos near Monterey. We had intended to go the year before but that fell through, so I planned a weekend in Monterey.

We arrived at Point Lobos after picking up some burritos for a picnic in the park. Even from the beginning Vivian noticed some strange behavior on my part. I insisted on carrying my own backpack as I was keeping the ring inside of it, even though she already had her own backpack and thought one would be enough.

Once inside, I looked for an opening to make the proposal -- ideally a secluded spot with nobody around. But that proved to be difficult as Point Lobos was popular that day. A couple of close calls passed by where I came very close to dropping to one knee when other people ruined the chance. Vivian told me later that she noticed me constantly looking around and wondered what the heck was wrong with me. A few times I even said "There are so many people around" which must have also seemed suspicious.

After several hours of enjoying the scenery at Point Lobos, we were on a wooded path to leave the park and I was growing a little concerned that I hadn't found a place.

Finally, a section of the woods seemed to be devoid of people, as I strained to look back and listen ahead for voices. This was my chance. But Vivian had kept on going and was 50 feet in front of me. "Hold on!" I said. "Why?" she responded, but she came to a stop. And then came the moment I had been awaiting as I dropped to one knee and poured my heart out to Vivian.
Phrosne Ras