Will and I have been together for about four and a half years, but it had been years since we had taken a vacation with just the two of us, no family members or friends, and absolutely no work.
We decided in 2014 to save up all of our vacation time for a full two weeks going "off the grid" to a private ecological-friendly home called a Palapa (meaning a house without walls) south of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) that faced the ocean and was only accessible by water taxi. No traditional power source, no cell phones, no computers, no TV, and no walls in our rental made for the vacation of a lifetime!
We traveled to other towns, learned to kayak, zip lined through the jungle, went parasailing, hiked, tasted tequila, haggled for fish in Spanish, and took hundreds of pictures of iguanas and the neighboring creatures we encountered.
Halfway through the adventure (March 25th) was my 30th birthday, which was not really one I was looking forward to, we were watching one of the stunning sunsets on our Palapa's private deck while I read a book on the eve of my birthday and Will got up to go inside the Palapa.
He turned off his portable speakers, which had been blasting a track from Ludacris (we're both big fans), and I didn't think anything of it, since the speakers would fade in-and-out on occasion. All of a sudden, he came up behind my chaise lounge on the deck and said, "Hey Hillary, I have a question for you." I said, "What's up?" and looked over to see the most beautiful ring I've ever seen and Will, still behind me, on one knee. "Will you marry me?" he said.
At this point, I half-blacked out/half-burst into tears for a couple of minutes until I could finally say, "Yes!" I couldn't imagine a more perfect engagement: The last night of my 20s became my first night as an engaged woman, and my first full day of being 30 became our first full day as an engaged couple. What a relief! We are now planning a August 8, 2016 wedding in Colorado, and are so excited to start married life together!