Nature

Our Engagement

I love to travel, correction, WE love to travel.  So throughout the process of choosing the perfect diamond and setting for my now fiancée, Rossella,  I was also searching for the perfect location to "pop the question".  One day, while browsing the internet for beautiful places, that were also close enough for a day trip, I came across Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York. My parents and a few friends who have visited Mohonk Mountain House told me that it is absolutely breathtaking and would make for a perfect proposal site. When I mentioned to Rossella the idea of taking a trip to someplace new, which she enthusiastically said yes to, I told her June 1st would be the date. I previously chose June 1st, which was a Sunday, because it seemed like the perfect date. The Thursday before, I set up to meet her father to ask for his permission and asked if he could keep it a secret from everyone else until after Sunday. When June 1st finally came, we set out on the hour and a half drive up to New Paltz.  My heart raced as we reached the main gate of Mohonk around 9:30am and continued as we drove along the single lane road to the main house.  We had made a reservation for brunch at 1pm so I only had a couple of hours to find the perfect proposal spot. 

Before the proposal, on our way to the summit. Posing for a photo with Rossella, opposite the Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY. 

Before the proposal, on our way to the summit. Posing for a photo with Rossella, opposite the Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY. 

There was a trail that started from the back of the main house and went around the lake which we decided to take first. Armed with my camera and tripod, we stopped at different points along the trail to pose for photos together.  Each spot we stopped at was more beautiful than the last, until we reached the top which opened up to reveal a gorgeous scenic view of the surrounding area. I knew this was the perfect spot so I set up my equipment and asked Rossella to stand in position, just as we did numerous times before on the hike up.  With my Canon 5DMKII perched on my tripod and connected to a remote timer, I set it to take a picture once every second in hopes of capturing every possible moment.  The 10 second delay started to count down as I hurried over into position. I placed my Sony camera case on the ground, which hid the engagement ring box inside.  After 10 seconds, the camera began to take the first picture which marked the beginning of the next chapter in our lives together.

Seconds before I dropped to one knee. The ring was hidden inside of the small camera case on the rock behind me.

Seconds before I dropped to one knee. The ring was hidden inside of the small camera case on the rock behind me.

Shortly after, Rossella was a bit confused as to why my camera was continually taking pictures, so I reached down, picked up the Sony camera case, and pulled out the little blue box from inside.  The expression on her face changed from smiling to shocked as I opened the blue box and revealed to her the ring.

Shock and awe. She was speechless.

Shock and awe. She was speechless.

I dropped down to one knee and proceeded to ask her the famous question, "Will you marry me?".  It's still unclear if she actually said yes in-between hyperventilating, but her reaction and a head nod was all the answer I needed to know that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me.  

Placing the ring on Rossella's finger. 

Placing the ring on Rossella's finger. 

The first kiss as fiancé and fiancée. 

The first kiss as fiancé and fiancée. 

As a newly engaged couple, we stuck around at the top of the overlook to call to our parents before heading back down to the main house for brunch.  Brunch was delicious and we ordered champaign to celebrate. The waitress even brought dessert on a plate for us that had, "congratulations" written on the plate in chocolate.  We both couldn't be happier with how the day turned out and how perfect the setting was.  The idea I had in my mind months before turned out just as I had imagined and I had captured amazing pictures of a very special moment in our lives. 

Champaign to toast at brunch. 

Champaign to toast at brunch. 

Rossella answering the numerous congratulations texts and phone calls. 

Rossella answering the numerous congratulations texts and phone calls. 

After brunch, we set out to explore more of the grounds surrounding the house and lake. There were so many great spots to stop and pose for photos together. It's like we had our very own engagement photo shoot. 

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After a few hours of walking around, there came a point where we both were exhausted and decided it was time to head home.  The beautiful location and the fact that we were now an engaged couple left us both with a surreal feeling, much like we were in a fairy tale.  It was a day that neither of us will forget for the rest of our lives.  

Snowy Owl

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I spotted this snowy owl off Jamaica Bay, NY.  I wasn't too sure what he was up to but it was clear that the crows nearby didn't like his presence there. The crows would take turns swooping down to "attack" him. There was a break in the action and the owl attempted to fly away but was quickly swarmed by the crows again. By this time it I had to move on but I did manage to get a few good shots of this beautiful bird. 

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