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The following is a recollection of events as told by Sandra. Of course I will interject once in a while to perhaps explain my side of the story. -Sam

2005: 2-3 weeks prior to Sam's birthday (April 18)

We were on one of our billionth phone call of the day (to get everyone up to speed, Sam was living in Louisville and I was living in San Francisco - yes, we were in a LDR) when Sam happened to mention that his brother was going to go to a Tiffany's located in Cincinnati to buy a present for his wife who was pregnant at the time. My first thoughts were, "Awwww... how sweet!!!!!" Followed by, "Hmm.. I wonder if he'll get me anything. I LURVE the blue box~~~"

LDR = Long Distance Relationship. In the Philippines, they love to use acronyms.

So that evening, we talk and he describes the ring that his brother purchased for his wife. Then he drops his voice and tells me in a secretive tone that he had bought me a little something-something as well. At this point, I am beyond ecstatic and I demand to know what it is right away. After hours of "should I tell you? naw~ .... should I???" conversation, Sam told me that he has gotten me a pair of very nice earrings!!!

Yes. I am very immature and love to pull pranks.

I actually had been wanting a set of diamond earrings and I began wondering if he went a bit crazy and actually got them for me.

Hook. Line.

However, there was a catch. Sam said that since he was coming to see me for his birthday weekend, he did not want to give me my present until I gave him his birthday present. Meaning - I had to wait until his birthday to receive mine and he was due to arrive 3 days before his birthday. At first, I thought that was such an odd request -- but it kind of made sense. Trade gift for a gift. I can't be the only one getting presents, right?


2005: Weekend of April 18

Up to this point, I had spent the last 2-3 weeks browsing through the Tiffany web site, trying to figure out which earrings he could have possibly bought for me. I kept pointing out specific styles to Sam but he tells me to "wait and see".

day of the proposal

So Sam comes to visit, and since his birthday fell on a Sunday, we decided to take a drive up to Napa and visit some vineyards for wine tasting. That evening, we had made reservations at a fantastic restaurant called Gary Danko to continue the celebration.

It was an absolutely beautiful, sunny day and we set off to Napa. I noticed that Sam was wearing a corduroy jacket in the car and looked extremely uncomfortable and hot - and told him he should take the jacket off. He had a strange look on his face but proceeded to take the jacket and put it at the backseat of the car. So after about an hour and thirty minutes, we arrived at V Sattui - the vineyard where we always stopped by to have a picnic lunch. We had an absolutely fantastic lunch and lay around in the sun for a bit drinking wine, taking pictures and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

It was a beautiful day. I made sure not to eat too much.

Afterwards, Sam had found a vineyard on the internet that was supposed to be really nice - so we drove to an off-beaten path and come across a small but beautiful vineyard called Luna vineyard. Since it was Sunday, we were actually the only ones there!!

I wish I could have said that I rented the entire place out. I had rented the entire place out.

We proceeded to do a bit of wine tasting and as I looked around, I noticed that there was a staircase that led up to the "tower"! I was very excited and Sam and I ventured up to the top of the tower. Once we reached the top, the tower opened up so that we could view the vineyard in a 360 degree angle. It was breathtaking. No one else was there except for the two of us. What a perfect moment. Then, Sam put his wine glass down and said "This is perfect. NOW you can have your present!"

My heart started beating at 160 bpm at this precise moment.

I realized that his jacket was back on and he had taken a small box out of its pocket. Somewhat shocked that he had brought the gift with him, I reached out for the box - all this time STILL thinking that they were "really nice" earrings.

Sam = immature + loves pranks.

He actually let me rip open the wrapping paper and as I was about to open the jewelry box, he snatched it away from me. I looked at him with a questioning look on my face....

(This is where it all starts to become fuzzy and in slow-motion)

This is where it all starts to become fuzzy and in slow-motion.

Sam got down on his knees and propped open the box.

No earrings for me but a beautiful diamond ring.

I heard him start out "We've known each other for......." and I am a bit embarrassed to say I don't remember the rest of his speech. I was too busy bawling, sniffling and staring at him in disbelief. I never thought I would be the one to get emotional at times like this but I guess one can't help but be a girl! :)

I was fighting hard to push back the tears.
right after the proposal

We silently slipped out of the vineyard, without anyone aware what had just happened up in the tower. We were quietly basking in our moment. We went to Gary Danko that evening, now, to celebrate Sam's birthday AND our engagement.

I feel a bit selfish about the fact that I did propose on my birthday, but I honestly can't think of a better present than her saying "yes." Also, it'll be easy for me to remember the date. :)

It was an absolutely perfect day.

Absolutely perfect.

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