The Anniversary Con

Our Adventure Begins


The Setup

It was our four-year anniversary on July 8, 2013. A Monday. Sohrab had convinced me to take a few days off from work to take a trip down to San Diego to celebrate. We would be staying at a hotel near SeaWorld, spending our days relaxing on the beach. We took Ellie, my MINI, to Gladstone’s in Malibu for lunch to stick with our tradition of dining there every year. 

While at our annual lunch, I’m breaking our date night rule which states that we’re not allowed to be on our phone. Not thinking much about it, I think Allegra just shrugged it off. After that, we were off to take our yearly anniversary photo by the cliff that oversees the ocean.


Another Clue?

Sohrab had a Corona – since I was driving I didn’t give it much thought. We enjoyed our meal, took some pictures as documentation, and went on our way to head south to San Diego.

Or so I thought.

6 Months

One Year

Three Year

Four Year

Five Year

Six Year

Seven Year

Slight of Hand

We took the 10 to the 5 with the windows down – it was a perfect day. As we neared Disneyland, Sohrab switched the music to the UP soundtrack and told me to get off the freeway at Disneyland Dr. We’d make a pit stop, making good use of our Premium annual passes for just a couple hours. We stopped in the first shop on the right on Main Street, where we chose a drawing of a young Carl and Ellie to commission. While we waited, we started to wander as we love to do, spending a casual afternoon in the Happiest Place on Earth.

What Allegra didn’t know at that today was finally coming together after nearly a year of planning!


The Moment Of Truth

Around 10 minutes to 4, Sohrab suggested that we meander over to California Adventure so that we could get it in before we had to leave to drive to SD. We strolled down Buena Vista St. and took a right to head towards the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. As we approached it, Sohrab asked me excitedly if I knew that we could go in and explore even though we wouldn’t be staying there. Since I love finding new places in the parks just as much as he does, I went along, anticipating what might be through the exclusive park entrance.

Behind the turnstiles there lay a world of new nooks and crannies to be discovered. There a spa, there a pool, there a breakfast buffet. It was so grand… hence the name, I suppose. We ascended into the lobby, a huge room with high ceilings and lots of California grandeur. We looked for a spot to sit and enjoy the piano playing in the center of the hall. We settled on a chair just to the pianists’ right. I took a seat and Sohrab disappeared for just a second.

At this point, I’m starting to feel light on my feet, and I’m every so curiously aggressively on my phone. Of course Allegra would later learn that I was deep into coordination mode as I had to make sure everything went off like clockwork at 4:00pm.


When he returned, he held a book – the Adventure Book from UP! – and it was mine to read. As soon as he gave it to me, the music changed… suddenly the theme music from our movie filled my ears and I realized that this was no coincidence. As I flipped through the book, we enjoyed a walk down memory lane, with pictures from the past four years of our life together.

When I flipped to the last page he had written on, I saw 5 big words scratched onto the page in capital letters:


I looked up with tears in my eyes and saw him kneeling there with a ring. He beamed at me, and asked me,

“Would you do me the honor of marrying me?”

I don’t think I even properly said yes. I just cried happy tears. I’d been dreaming of this day all my life, having only filled in the man’s role in my mind in the past four years. Now here he was, enacting my dreams, asking me to be his wife.


When it was clear that I had said yes, the room erupted in applause. Everyone had been anticipating my answer, because apparently they knew that someone would be getting engaged here at 4 pm. Who told them? Our trusty family group, who all came running up to us as soon as we were free to look around. They had been hiding all around the lobby, having tirelessly prepared for this moment under Sohrab’s textual direction (now I knew why he had been looking at his phone all day!).

I saw my sister first. This was the biggest shock, because she was supposed to be up north at college in San Francisco, but here she was, jumping up and down and running towards me at the same time. Apparently my parents had gone to pick her up from the airport that very morning, as soon as Sohrab and I had left to go to lunch at Gladstone’s. Sneaky. I knew that his sister was in town from Michigan; she had arrived just a couple days earlier to spend some time with the family. All I didn’t know was the real reason that she was in California; Sohrab was good at acting surprised to see her!

Soon we were surrounded by our sisters, each of our parents, and our good friend Raychul. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed! He had orchestrated all of this so beautifully, and everyone was so happy. It was the perfect moment.