I do not mean to brag… or maybe I do just a little bit, but to say my 2022 started off well would be the understatement of the year. After all, it is not everyday one leaves for their second anniversary baecation in Diani as a girlfriend and comes back to Nairobi as a fiancée.
boyfriend fiancé (🤯🤩) and I went to Diani last year for our first anniversary baecation after which we agreed to always take a trip (preferably to the beach as it is our favourite place on earth) for all our anniversaries going forward.
We started planning for our second anniversary baecation in December 2021, which was rather late as we quickly found out. But at the time we thought we were just fine as that was also when we started planning for our first anniversary baecation in 2020 and everything worked out just fine. What we failed to realise was that the uncharacteristically low hotel rates and flight ticket prices we received in December 2020 were only because the hospitality and aviation industries were hit hard by the measures put in place by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic. So it was a shock to us in December 2021 when we were making our 2022 booking and everything was sooo much more expensive compared to the same time in 2020. One day we were really struggling with getting affordable tickets for flights and I suggested to my fiancé:
Me: If flights become cheaper from the 5th, why don’t we celebrate our anniversary in Nairobi on 4th and then go down to Diani on 5th. We can do dinner at a sexy restaurant or maybe even a staycation…
Him: No! Absolutely not! Out of the question!
My fiancé is usually very agreeable so I found it a bit uncharacteristic how he did not consider my proposal (I had to 😉) for even one second, but I chalked it up to him wanting to go on vacation so bad as he only took about four days off last year. Kumbe it was because mans was planning to propose on the 4th and wanted it to be in Diani because the beach is our favourite place on earth. On December 23rd, coincidentally the exact day I buried my mum four years ago in 2017, the Universe came through for us and I managed to get our departure tickets at a cheaper rate than what the travel agent had initially secured for us. As macabre as this may sound, to me that was a sign my mum wanted us to enjoy the fuck out of our second anniversary baecation, though I had no idea what exactly was waiting in store for me.
For our first anniversary baecation we did the standard 5 days, 4 nights all-inclusive package, but this time around, due to a long, complicated story involving off-peak rates in most hotels commencing on 5th and flight ticket prices being more expensive over the weekend, we opted for a 4 days, 3 nights all-inclusive package instead. We jetted down to Diani on 3rd and stayed at an Airbnb for one night before shifting to Neptune Village Beach Resort & Spa for our stay from 4th to 7th. As soon as we settled into our Airbnb we went to Coast Dishes for lunch as it was a walking distance from where were staying and I was dying to try their biriani. After lunch we bought some booze and water for the Airbnb before heading back to shower and stepping out for the evening. First stop was Nomad Beach Bar and Restaurant for a sundowner cocktail before heading to Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant for dinner. The latter was particularly exciting for me as it had been on my radar since I first heard about it in 2013 and it did not disappoint because look at my food!!!
I had the Vasco Da Gama Seafood Platter and it was worth all my coins. It is usually prepared for two people but they halved it for me as my man was not down to eat a seafood platter following a terrible experience he had with seafood in 2017.
After dinner we went back to the Airbnb to chill as we had to be up by 5:30 a.m. to catch the sunrise on 4th. For our first anniversary baecation my fiancé came up with the brilliant idea to watch the sun rise on the morning of our anniversary and it is a tradition we hope to follow for the rest of our lives.
For this year’s sunrise my fiancé set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. so we could have anniversary morning sex before heading to the beach. Despite the super early start we had an incredible time at the beach, more so because we decided to make it a boozy sunrise.
Fast forward to our first afternoon at Neptune Village Beach Resort & Spa. We were chilling at the pool bar when my fiancé said to me:
Him: Remember when I told you I have a surprise for you today and that I’ll tell you in good time?
Me: Yesss!! I’m guessing you’re ready to tell me now…
Him: Yup. Remember how last year you weren’t happy with the anniversary pics that were taken at dinner…
Me: Ugh! Don’t even remind me! The way I looked so bomb aki!
Him: Well because of that, I got someone to take photos of us today for our anniversary.
Me: Oh wow! Really??!!
Him: Yup. He’s a photographer from Baobab. He’s the one who took the took pics of the fam and I when we were there last year for my dad’s 60th birthday. I hallad at him and asked if he can take pics of us today and he agreed. He’ll be here around 6:15 so just make sure you’re ready to go by then.
Me: Aaaaaw!! Thank you mon bebé.
At this point my fiancé went to get something to eat from the snack bar and disappeared for a relatively long time, but I did not think too much about it as I was thoroughly enjoying the all-inclusive cocktails. He eventually came back to the pool bar and told me he was going to take some pictures of the resort on his camera and that when I am ready to go to the room (since he had the key) I just let him know and he will meet me there. I also did not think too much about that because by then I was enjoying not just the cocktails but a ham and cheese sandwich as well. Once I was done I called him up as agreed and met him at the room to shower and get ready for the photoshoot and subsequent anniversary evening.
Me: So where are we taking these photos?
Him: I’m not too sure where… but it should be somewhere closer to the anchor bar.
Me: Oooh! Our anchor bar. Nice! How many locations are we shooting at though? I need to know whether to wear my heels now or if I should wear flats and carry the heels for the actual photoshoot…
Him: I guess you can just carry the heels and wear them once we get there.
With that we started heading towards the general area of the photoshoot and it is why in the beginning of the video (more on that later) I am carrying two pairs of shoes i.e. the flats I wore to the location and the heels I planned to wear for the actual photos, yet somehow I remained barefoot for the entirety of the proposal. Lol.
Me: You’re sure you still remember what the photographer looks like? Coz si you met him just once for your dad’s birthday in June, so are you sure you’ll recognise him?
Him: Yah I still remember him.
It was then that the proposal setup came into view but of course at that point I had absolutely no idea it was for me.
Me: Oh wow!! Look at that!! That’s like a nini… a proposal setting. I think someone’s going to be proposed to over there.
Me: Yah!!! Sooo pretty!!! Must be nice!
With time it becomes pretty clear that we are heading towards the gorgeous setup, but believe it or not I still did not think it was for me. Once we get there, my man steps onto the beach but I stay on the resort steps and ask:
Me: Kwani where are we going?
Him: We’re here.
Me: So where’s the photographer?
He points to someone at few feet away.
Me: And you’re sure he’s the one? Actually yah I can see the camera now so it has to be him.
I turn back to my man and notice he has clipped something onto his shirt in those seconds I was assessing the photographer.
Me: And what’s that on your shirt?
Him: A mic.
I take off my sandals and join my man on the beach as I take in the lanterns, the gorgeous red themed décor, the bottle of champagne chilling on the table. I probably sound like a broken record now but I still did not think the setup was for me until I saw this:
At which point my man tells me, “Now do you see what I’m trying to tell you? It’s for you. It’s all for you.”
I remove the letter and my man takes my hand as he leads me to the center of the setup before asking me to read the letter. I do. After I read the letter my man gave the most beautiful, romantic, enchanting, heartfelt speech that neither of us can really remember 😅 To be honest I was not paying attention to the best of my ability because a large part of me was sooo overwhelmed by his grand romantic gesture I lost ALL CHILL. That said, I still did not think it was leading up to a proposal. I simply thought he had gone out of his way for our second anniversary and my mind was blown the fuck out by his grand romantic gesture. My fiancé jokes that I mentally collapsed and that is indeed the best way to describe how unput together I was. It was not until I saw him reach into his back pocket and pull out the ring box that I realised he was seconds away from asking me to marry him.
Him: Valerie Lwile… I honestly never thought I’d ask anyone this. Valerie Lwile, will you marry me?
The second I started to cry my fiancé, still on one knee, also started crying. But as much as we both cried, I was crying sooo hard I could not get a single word out, and the more I tried to tell myself to stop crying and say yes, the more I could not stop crying. I finally got it together after about two full minutes of crying and said YES!!!!
After he put a ring on it I cried some more and then we popped champagne and had a photoshoot with “the photographer from Baobab” and danced and laughed and kissed. At some point, in the midst of all that unbridled happiness, I had a moment of deep sadness when I wondered who to call first with the news. My mum was the person I always called first to share any good news I had, and if she were still alive she would definitely have been my first call. After a little deliberation I decided to call my sister first and when I told my fiancé this he said, “you’re calling someone who already knows.” Which is when he let the cat out of the bag that my sister, hotelier extraordinaire, had helped him plan the whole thing.
We chilled at the gorgeous setup for as long as we possibly could before heading back to the room to find flowers and a bottle of wine with compliments from the hotel. We spent the rest of the evening in a stupefied, loved-up haze full of hugs, kisses, tears and alcohol.
My fiancé posted our engagement video last week on Valentine’s Day on the Intrigant Behavior YouTube channel (please like, share and SUBSCRIBE to his channel and also follow his Instagram and Facebook pages) and I am sharing it here for anyone who has not watched it before I divulge a few details about it as well as other tidbits from the engagement that I only got to know about after the fact:
- While my fiancé and I have always known we are endgame, he made the decision to marry me on May 13, 2021. A cousin of mine was getting married that day and he was to attend the evening party. If you recall there were massive floods in Nairobi around that time and it took my man about four hours to get to the wedding venue. Three times he had to get out of the car in the pouring rain, with water levels varying from ankle to mid-calf level, to help the driver push the car just so he can make his way to me. That day is when he realised the extent of just how much he would do anything for me and made the decision then to ask me to marry him.
- He proposed on our second anniversary meaning it took him eight months between knowing he wanted to marry me and actually asking me, which is why the proposal was the epitome of perfection! It was, unequivocally, the proposal of my dreams and I am soooo blessed to be loved this intentionally.
- On December 9th we traveled to Nakuru for another cousin’s wedding. I was a bridesmaid in that wedding so when the bridal party was at the dress rehearsal, my man and my sister were by themselves at the Airbnb and that is where he asked her for permission to marry me.
- My sister called him on January 3rd as we were waiting to board the plane. I was near his phone and saw it was my sister calling, so when he hang up he told me that she had called about a colleague of hers who was looking for a personal trainer and she recommended him. Kumbe she was calling to ask if my man needed a contact at the resort to help with the proposal setup as Di-day was fast approaching.
- I had no idea my fiancé was filming our departure to Diani (how lush was my hair looking at the airport 😍), the scenes at Nomad, Ali Barbour, the boozy sunrise and our arrival at Neptune for the engagement video until I watched the YouTube video after our Valentine’s Day date night.
- At Ali Barbour I was gushing about the ambience, saying it is a really gorgeous setting to get proposed to. My man just gave me a noncommittal “eh heh” because unbeknownst to me he was planning to propose the following day.
- My fiancé inadvertently started a tradition last year during my birthday staycation when he booked us in room 634 as I was turning 34. We are now deliberate with making sure the rooms we stay in are/have numbers that are of sentimental value to us. For our second anniversary baecation at Neptune Village we stayed in room 444 and if you read the post where I revealed our wedding date, you know why four is our number so getting engaged while we stayed in room 444 could not be more perfect if we tried.
Fun fact: that is also why he says “in typical 6:34 fashion now” in the video as he wanted to propose to me at exactly 6:34 p.m.
8. The hotel had initially set us up in a different room and when I requested for the change to room 444, the receptionist let it slip that the room we had been set up in had already been decorated. I had no idea about the proposal at the time and thought he meant renovated as during our first anniversary baecation we booked a stay at Neptune Village but were upgraded to Neptune Paradise as the rooms in Village were being renovated. So I though the receptionist meant that room 444 was not yet renovated. But my man picked up on what he meant about decorations and had a quick word with him on the side lest to prevent any further mishaps.
9. For my cousin’s wedding in December I went with long acrylics for the first time since early 2014 because this bridesmaid was coming correct.
In December my fiancé asked me once or twice if I was getting my nails redone for the coast and I told him that I will be doing them once we get back from Diani, not before. At the time I did not think anything about it, but kumbe mans was sneakily tryna check if my nails would still look fly when he put a ring on it.
10. When my man disappeared after having his snack, he had gone to check on the progress the hotel was making with the proposal setup. He tells me he was very vigilant with keeping an eye on me the entire time because if I happened to look for him and chanced upon the setup before his big reveal it would be game over for him.
11. On that note, he specifically requested for red themed décor because Taylor Swift, aka MY FAVOURITE ARTIST OF ALL TIME, had recently re-released Red (Taylor’s Version). I mean, does my fiancé get it or does he FUCKING GET IT!!??
12. The “photographer from Baobab” was actually my man’s cousin who also does the photography and videography for Intrigant Behavior. My man arranged for him to come down to Diani on 4th to shoot our engagement video and photos before he had to get back to Nairobi that very same day as he had another shoot the following day. When he told me he was going to take some pictures with his camera, he was actually giving his cousin the ‘Bad Gyal Lwile’ letter to hand over to the hotel staff for them to add it to the proposal setup.
13. If you watch the video you notice my man talk about JS quite a bit, and how he wanted to get me “a long lasting memento” that would “keep me smiling every time I look at it.” For those who do not know JS is my mum’s initials. She was born on International Women’s Day hence he got me an engagement ring with an aquamarine gemstone as that is the March birthstone.
14. Right after my fiancé turns to the camera, with tears streaming down his eyes, and says “she said yes” we give each other four kisses and that is how we always peck, every single day of our lives, because four really is our number.
15. After those four kisses I make this majorly ugly crying face (right before my man does his silly dance and makes me laugh) that can only be rivalled by Kim Kardashian’s ugly crying face so can someone please make this a meme already! Lol. For real though 😅
16. He has not expressly told me this, but I believe my man winked at the camera as I read the line from Delicate by Taylor Swift because it is one of the Taylor songs that served as the music background to the magic of us falling in love.
As you can see my man did A SHITLOAD of planning to pull off the most epic proposal, which is why he refers to it as his BEST. HEIST. EVER. Some of you may be wondering if I really had no idea a proposal was imminent until my man removed the ring box and the truth is I absolutely had no idea until that moment. Our wedding date is all the way in 2024 so I assumed he would propose at some point in the second half of this year or early next year, which is exactly why he proposed on our second anniversary. He knew that once the second half of the year checked in I would be on high alert for a proposal and since the EOS ™ (element of surprise) is something he takes great pride in, he chose to propose to me on our second anniversary as I would not see it coming at all. Well played mon bebé. Well played.
A friend of mine had this to say after watching the video and I could not agree with her more:
I am beyond elated now that I am A WHOLE FIANCÉE and my forever with my incredible fiancé is one step closer. As I said in the opening paragraph of FRIENDSHIP & CAMARADERIE:
My boyfriend (now fiancé) and I have a very beautiful love story. Very. I know that declaration is quite biased coming from me but sweardown out of all the love stories in the world, mine and my boyfriend’s is my absolute favourite.
Getting engaged is just one more chapter in our beautiful love story and it is my deepest wish that the book of our love story remains full of the eternal love, devotion, longevity, vitality, universal harmony, courage, openness and communication that are symbolised by my aquamarine engagement ring.