September 30th, 2023
6922 Preston-Fall City Rd SE
Issaquah WA, 98027
How We Met
It's July 12, 2013. Thanks to the birthday of their mutual friend Liz, Sean and Alyssa meet for the first time. It’s a fun night at Next Door Tapas Lounge in Studio City. He is both very interested in her chill Torrance vibe and intimidated by her tough presence. She reminds him of his Hawaii upbringing. He tries a low-key approach, and they add each other on Facebook. His Facebook Messenger attempts are too low-key, so nothing happens for a while.
It’s July 12, 2014, in Las Vegas, once again their mutual friend Liz’s birthday. Sean and Alyssa meet again after exactly one whole year. Sean has more courage this time around, and Ben (Liz’s brother, Sean’s college friend) even puts in a kind word on his behalf... Things go well and let's just say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Sean's Halloween party 2014. Things have been going pretty well, a few fun dates and many playful text exchanges. Sean is breaking through Alyssa's tough exterior and is finding a fellow geeky kindred spirit. Sean texts an invite to Alyssa for his Halloween house party... Little do they know, Alyssa's newly acquired iPhone introduces some technical difficulties, and Sean's messages aren't getting through. Sean is bummed, figuring maybe he got ghosted. Alyssa is mad, because she catches wind of his house party through a friend and wonders why she didn't get an invite. She reaches out on Facebook Messenger, and a few screenshots and a fixed iPhone setting later, misunderstanding solved :)
The morning after... well, the noon after, Alyssa makes Sean a meal. This instantly seals the deal for him that she's a keeper, and he officially asks her to be his girlfriend. They spend a few years visiting each other between Azusa and Torrance, and eventually move in together in Azusa. They create many happy moments together geeking out in places like Disney trips, anime/game conventions, renaissance fairs or taking in the natural beauty of their favorite places ranging from their local hikes to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Colorado. Mostly they enjoy their "indoor kids" time watching movies, anime, TV shows, UFC events, and playing video games, sharing in the childhood nostalgia that shaped their nerdy selves. Sean must travel for work semi-frequently (this was pre-pandemic), and more and more he notices this deeply empty feeling that pops up when they are apart...
It's early 2019. Sean has secretly measured sizes from the various rings Alyssa leaves on her desk. He's found a custom wedding ring designer in downtown LA, and they've helped him work out a design to the theme of her favorite childhood game: Zelda. Since the first time they exchanged the big "I love you" was on New Year’s Eve 2016, Sean has decided to make secret New Year’s Eve plans.
It's December 2019. For New Year’s Eve, all Sean tells Alyssa is to pack an overnight bag, and plan to have a dressy outfit for that night, themed 1920s-ish. She is a natural sleuth, always guessing (with surprising accuracy) where the plots of movies and shows usually lead to. Her skills are at work as they make the drive to the secret location. The literal instant they merge onto the 710 freeway to Long Beach she blurts out in her cute spazzy manner "WE'RE GOING TO THE QUEEN MARY!!!" They laugh hysterically and he partially spills the beans that they're spending the night for the special New Year’s event at the Queen Mary.
They spend the day enjoying all the activities the Queen Mary has to offer. There are things like tours of the ship, ice skating, and making gingerbread houses. At night, they get dolled up to enjoy an amazing dinner, and enjoy a fun night of exploring the various themed rooms of the Queen Mary and dancing. At one point, they find the secret "speakeasy" room, and find themselves in a fun intimate setting with a jazz trio in one corner, and a palm reader in the other. For fun, Alyssa gets her palm read and the palmist asks her a question, "Did you two get married recently?" Sean is internally sweating bullets, and with the best poker face he has, he blurts out a quick cover story of "no, but we did recently attend our friend's wedding, so maybe that's what you're feeling?" They've moved on, *whew they bought it...
At midnight, fireworks light up the sky as they welcome in the new year. They retire back to their room for a quick break before planning to go back out for a bit more fun. Alyssa is redoing her makeup and Sean snags the ring he hid in his bag and gets into position as they are casually talking about the night. She finishes her makeup, turns around, and he pops the question. She says yes! They laugh and tear up. He managed to surprise her!