How we got engaged, as told by the Groom, Oin:
In October of 2011, Cynthia and I took a trip to Oahu, Hawaii. It was the first time there for each of us. Our flight left LAX in the afternoon, and we arrived in Honolulu around 8 pm local time. Most of our stay was at the Sheraton Waikiki, but our first night upon landing was at the Hotel Ala Moana. We unsuccessfully looked for some local dinner spot around the hotel, and ended up just going to bed. So, next morning, we woke up very early for a vacation: around 5:30 am. Still on California time. I had planned to go to a state park that was not very far from the either of our hotels, and I wanted to try and go at either sunrise or sunset. I figured that since we were up already, we should get in the rental car and take the nice drive up the mountain to the park, Puu Ualakaa State Wayside, and we would likely be the only people up there, arriving just when the rangers opened the gates on the driveway. This park has a great view of Honolulu from an almost dock-like structure going out over the rolling drop-off of the mountain, with Diamond Head on the left, 180 degrees over to Pearl City and the Military Base on the right. I just wanted to go there and have a great view and take some pictures of us together, but as we got dressed, I started to think about how I could maybe propose there, if it was nice enough. (I had a plan already to propose during a dinner I had booked for our last night there, at a nearby Steakhouse that had great reviews, but turned out to be under construction during our trip.) I was trying to come up with a good way I could do this at the park.
All I could think of was to say something like ” This is such a beautiful view and wonderful trip, the only thing that could make it better is if you would be my wife,” and then get down on my knee and give her the ring. I had snuck the ring over in my pocket the whole time, except during security screening when I stuffed it in my carry-on. It went back in my pocket right on the other side of the metal detector. So, after a crisp, cool, and lovely drive up the mountain, we arrived at the park, and were the only people there. We looked around for a while, took some pictures of EVERYTHING, and then were taking pictures of ourselves at arms length. Cynthia was taking a picture of me with my back to the beach, Diamond Head to the left of me in the picture. While she was setting the camera before this shot, I had my hands in my pockets and palmed the ring into one fist. I had my arms folded for this picture. After she took it, I told her I thought it wasn’t a good shot, I blinked or something, and could she take another? She agreed, and when she was bout to shoot the next one, I said ” and make sure you focus on this.” I outstretched my arm and held out the ring, hoping she would actually see it through the viewfinder first. I think she bypassed the camera and looked at it with her own eyes. She began squealing and jumping up and down, so I left my arm outstretched and just got down on my knee and asked her if she would make me the happiest man on Earth and be my wife. And she said “Yes!”
We had a few more minutes alone before another vacationing couple approached. They could see how happy she was, we told them what just went down, and they took some pictures of us together. From there, we went back down the mountain to Waikiki Beach and had breakfast at the Wailana Coffee House, where I seriously enjoyed some Macadamia Nut pancakes with Coconut syrup. I think Cynthia was still a little too excited to eat a proper breakfast. So, this was the greatest way to start our vacation in Oahu, and start our lives together.