Costa Rica: Alex’s 40th birthday, and a surprise marriage proposal

In January 2018, we realized a dream vacation we had been planning for about 7 months. We stayed at a VRBO with about 15 of our friends in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. The rental property was huge, modern, and amazingly comfortable for such a large group. We discovered that we were actually a pretty skilled group of chefs, as we worked as a team to prepare delicious dinners from groceries bought in town and fish caught by the guys. The house was literally right on the beach, and there were literally professional surfers and retired professional surfers shredding the waves right outside our living room. Wow: what a vacation, indeed.


Here’s our VRBO rental! Right on the beach, in a gated community filled with professional surfers. WOW.


The view from our front yard. Again… WOW.

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For those of you who haven’t heard the proposal story… here it is. 🙂

January 4, 2018: The guys decided to go on an ocean fishing charter this day. Seeing as this involved leaving the house by about 6:30am, the girls (plus Zac, of course) opted to SLEEP IN and go to a horse rescue and ride horses and enjoy a natural mud spa.

In the evening, the guys’ and girls’ groups reconvened at the house. Our friend Mandy literally was asking me if Alex and I ever planned to get married, and I answered “Oh no, we’re not in any rush on that at all.” About 5 minutes later, Alex asked me to go for a walk, “just the two of us,” on the beach. As we left the house, the thought crossed my mind that this would be a great time to propose. But I thought “Nope, no way. We haven’t talked about that at all, and he wouldn’t do that on his birthday trip. I have nothing to worry about here.” Yeah.  🙂

We walked north on the beach. After you walk about 5-10 minutes in this area, you end up on a long stretch of beach that literally has no development on it. You can look in both directions down the beach and feel like you’re on a deserted island. It’s gorgeous.

This is the spot where Alex proposed!

Alex took me down to that open area. He was walking pretty fast for a beach stroll, which I thought was a bit strange. Then, all of a sudden, he pointed me to the right to something written in the sand: it was a giant heart with “Marry me?” in the center. I was totally shocked! The most shocking part was that Alex insisted that he had nothing to do with the “Marry me” message… someone else must have just gotten engaged there? Or some special force made that happen.  We wonder if it was Alex’s dad. 🙂  We walked back to the house, where our friends were waiting with champagne and decorations, and we called our families on Skype to tell them the good news. I was so shocked to find out that, not only had all our friends known about this for MONTHS, but Alex even asked permission from my parents! I have to say, he slam dunked that proposal.


Here we are upon returning to the house after I said “Yes!” Our friends came in strong with the champagne!

2 days later… Happy 40th Birthday, Alex! What a fun trip.

I thought I was going to come in strong with the big surprise. I arranged sky diving for Alex’s birthday. It was his 2nd time doing this and my 1st time. It was amazing! We jumped out of the plane right over the beach and mountains, and we weaved in and out of clouds.



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Here’s a recommendation if you ever fly into the San Jose airport in Costa Rica. We stayed at Baron’s Resort, a quick drive from the airport, the night before we left, in order to be closer to the airport. This hotel was $93 and incredible!

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