We Got Engaged!

So Bea and I went on our New Mexico trip and it was awesome as you can tell by the title. For a little back story I had been planning our engagement since September of last year. I proposed (pun intended) this trip with getting down on one knee in mind. I had the ring shipped to Bea’s parent’s house and was coordinating with them. The day before we left for New Mexico we had to drop our cats off at their house. Placed under the sink in the bathroom was the engagement ring, which I grabbed while “going to the bathroom” and stuffed it in an oversized sweater. The next day I panicked pretty much the entire time thinking that security at the airport would ruin my surprise and pull the ring out of my carry-on. Thankfully they didn’t. Bea and I and the ring arrived safely in Albuquerque. That first night we did virtually nothing. We were so exhausted that we took an extremely long nap, that turned into just sleeping for the night. We booked an airbnb for the trip which was cost-effective and such a nice little place.

The next day while Bea was in the shower I stuffed the ring inside of a Gameboy fanny pack (yes, I’m aware of how fashionable I am) and went to do some extra planning for how I was going to propose. For months I had the idea in my head that I would do it at this lavender farm…which turns out, they don’t allow the public onto the farm. I found this out 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave. Instead I developed a quick plan B and we headed out to Old Town. We walked around doing some shopping (Bea more-so than I, as I was busy scoping out a place to pop the question). Let me tell you, Old Town is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It is so beautiful and such a romantic place to visit. Below are some pictures (I didn’t get too many because I was nervous).

The ring is my fanny pack at this point.
A section of Old Town

I finally found the perfect spot. We walked down the pathway that’s shown above to this tiny section with a beautiful garden and fountain. We sat down by the fountain and I waited for the last couple stragglers to leave the area. Mind you, this is the day before our 2 year anniversary so I whisper in Bea’s ear that I have an anniversary gift to give her. She asks me what it is so I make a big gesture of standing up and unzipping my fanny pack. I pull out the little box, nervously figuring out which side it opens on, and I get down on one knee. Bea immediately starts crying, I’m in shock and forget that I have words to say so I feel like I’m kneeling there for a solid 5 minutes (it was probably more like 30 seconds) before I said anything. I asked her to marry me and she said yes! We hugged and cried before I put the ring on her finger and then spent 20 minutes just smiling and looking at each other.

Of course we had to take a picture to send to our families ❤
This is where I asked. There are seats right around the fountain in the center.

What a special way to start our vacation. We spent the rest of the day wandering around, had lunch at a fancy restaurant and ended our night with a ghost tour. The next day we went to Albuquerque pride and it was so nice to see the crowds that turned out in support and celebration. In our hometown pride is a bit smaller just because we live in a smaller city and it was interesting getting to experience a different kind of pride.

This was the moment we officially started to burn in the sun.

The following day we drove up to Santa Fe and wandered around the shops and the outdoor bazaar that was happening that weekend. This part of Santa Fe was just as beautiful as Old Town Albuquerque. We stopped for lunch and got burritos and drinks which was one of the best meals that we had on the trip.

Here’s one of the buildings in Santa Fe.

On our final full day in Albuquerque we went to the Zoo and Biopark. Bea and I are nature and animal lovers so this was one of our favorite days. The zoo was a great size and we spent a couple of hours walking around. The Biopark had an aquarium, botanical gardens, and a “bug-arium” so they had a lot to do.

The last day we had some lunch and headed off to the airport to go home. Overall, this trip exceeded my expectations and we had a great time just hanging out in a new city together. Anytime we would mention that we were going to Albuquerque for vacation we would get responses like “why are you going there??” Honestly, we both haven’t spent too much time in states where there’s consistently sunny weather and a desert climate. It was a new experience, also a bit of a culture shock seeing adobe houses for the first time and roadrunners (those things are actually real??), and we got to spend a whole week together. For our first vacation this was the perfect place to go and if you ask me, the perfect place to get engaged. I’ll make another post about how we budgeted the trip and if there’s any interest how I picked out and paid for the engagement ring! Thanks for reading!

-Dylan

We’re going on a trip!

So for about 9-10 months Bea and I have been thinking about and planning a trip to New Mexico. It started off as a conversation while on a hike through the woods. Bea has been there before and loved it, while I have never been and am excited to visit. We had talks of doing hiking there, visiting museums, and eating lots of great food. About 5 months ago Bea and I started to get serious about going and chose the date that we would leave. We’ve never been on a trip together and we’ve never had to make a travel plan of our own. It started as a vague concept and has now turned into an awesome itinerary lasting 6 days. This post wouldn’t be complete without our budget.

Bea and I are young 20-somethings with entry-level jobs. I work as an addictions counselor and Bea works in the same field on the administrative side. We don’t have a ton of extra money to work with so we had to be crafty with our plan. If you’re traveling anywhere a good rule of thumb is to consider when to buy plane tickets. I did weeks of research on this. What I can say is that buying and traveling on the weekends (Friday-Sunday) is most expensive. We’re choosing to leave on a Thursday and come back on a Tuesday, which seems to be the cheapest option. Secondly, think about the time of year you’re traveling to decide how much in advance to purchase tickets. I kept an eye on prices to Albuquerque for about 2 months and they really didn’t change. If you’re traveling around holidays or spring break, they will definitely change. It’s recommended to buy about six weeks in advance. Each plane ticket for us ended up being $415. We’re saving money by packing light and sharing a suitcase so we only have to check one bag. We also saved $50 on the ticket for a slightly longer layover; definitely worth the money.

Onto accommodations. We have chosen to stay in a smaller Airbnb which is an excellent choice, especially if you’re not picky about amenities. Our Airbnb is $38 a night compared to a motel which would be 1. Not as nice and 2. About $50 a night. I’m total I think everything costs $250 for accommodations.

As for transportation, we’re using the good old-fashioned bus. Albuquerque has a surprisingly efficient and low cost metro. It’s $6 for a three day pass. We will be using Uber here and there for places that aren’t on the bus line and we’ve budgeted about $80 for that. I also get a discount through my work on rental cars and we are going to rent a car for one day to drive up to Santa Fe which will be $27.

We’ve mapped out all of the “attractions” that we want to go to and have allotted about $150 towards that. Most of these include things like museums and the zoo.

As far as food we have only planned to eat at restaurants one time per day and have allotted about $140. For the rest of the meals we are going grocery shopping and making our own food to eat.

This isn’t a luxury trip by any means but we found a way to go where we want within our means! We’ll be posting pictures from our trip once we’re back!

-Dylan