Peter + Vanessa | Southern California Engagement Session | Citrus State Historical Park | Pt.2

{Peter + Vanessa | being cute in the middle of Dufferin St. in Riverside, Ca | January 2012} ...there love story continues. :) If you didn't catch P + V's part one, go Here. And take note that after you trudge through all the gooey tenderness, at the bottom of the post you'll get to read the first-hand account of their proposal back in December. Beware though. He sets the bar UBER high. It's kinda ridiculous actually. | lkm I really would like a huge glowing canvas of that bee in the branches (image below left)Such a pretty little thing :) and oh my gosh, can they get their goof on!I don't get it either. African flossing? My heart just swells at the idea of God blessing Peter with Vanessa as his bride...a woman whom he loves, tends to, cares for, who loves Jesus and others. The innocence and sheer delight and new experiences and amazing sense of 'team-mate' ahead of them--yup, there's the grapefruit in my throat again.  My joy in my brother is unabashed. The blessing in having him include me in these plans and attempts to woo his lady is beyond me. The phone calls and questions and opinions on 'how should i do this?' made my heart swim with glee :)'s the proposal story I've been gushing about. (as told by Peter)...note: at the end of Vanessa's semester abroad in Africa, Peter joined her parents to spend Christmas on safari and traveling about the country. I know. Sick huh?

Sent via facebook to all their close friends shortly after they got engaged...

She said yes! Here's how it happened: 

On December 25th, I gave Vanessa her first clue: a small silver treasure chest. The next day I gave her a silver key with the verse 1 Peter 1:22-23. The third clue was the movie Muppet Treasure Island (in which Gonzo says the line, “to Zanzibar, to see the Zanzi-barbarians!”). Fourth clue was a hand towel and fifth clue, conveniently placed on her bedside table by her dad this morning, was a photo album showing the timeline of our relationship so far. 

Last night, we arrived on Zanzibar island off the coast of Tanzania (in eastern Africa). I immediately began to scope the area for the big question, since I was planning on burying the ring in a cherry wood treasure chest I had a guy make for her. I approached “Gharib”, a local African at the receptionist desk and in a conspiratorial tone said, “I am planning on asking my girlfriend to marry me tomorrow but I need your help.” His eyes lit up. He was in. He found me a shovel and a place on the beach that was on the edge of the Breezes Beach Club property. Mr. Johnson talked to Sarah, another helpful worker to get a glass bottle for the treasure map. The closest she could find was a wine carafe—it would have to do. I then had Vanessa’s brother Aaron set up a camera behind a tree as I buried the treasure chest next to a palm tree. I made the appropriate pirate markings on the piece of synthetic leather I had burned and dirtied (for authenticity of course), and then went to pick up Vanessa. 

She had all the clues ready with the additional zebra striped bowl we picked up in South Africa. I then gave her the wine carafe with the treasure map which she untied and gazed with artistic appreciation for a few moments before looking to me for direction. “Well, follow the map, I said.” So we did. I purposely made the dotted pirate route wind through the club grounds before looping back along the beach to the chosen palm tree. She noticed the camera first and laughed. Then she noticed Aaron sulking in the shadows of the tree and laughed some more. Aaron turned on the camera and discreetly took off down the path. “Oh look, a shovel!” she said. “Well, what do you think you should do?” I asked. “Maybe I should dig in this soft dirt over here…” she jested (so maybe I’m a pirate in training and didn’t cover my burial site so well). She dug up the treasure chest, unlocked it with the key I had given her as a clue, and opened up the chest to find a journal and a small box. The journal had some words about love and stuff and then after reading John 13 I had her sit on the treasure chest while I washed her feet in the zebra bowl. I dried them with the red hand towel (4th clue) and had her open the small box. Inside was a smaller box containing a black ring box and inside the ring box was…the ring. I told her some more stuff about love and running the race alongside each other and more mushy stuff and then said, “Vanessa Nicole Johnson, will you marry me?” She said yes. We hugged for a few moments then realized how humid it was so we headed in to breakfast with Vanessa’s family. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Hope to see you soon. 

Peter (& Vanessa)