Iceland Is For Lovers - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland Is For Lovers

Iceland Is For Lovers

Published June 27, 2014

David and Annie

Larissa Kyzer
Photos by
David and Annie

David and Annie

In early February, we here at the Grapevine—a notoriously amorous publication, as our readers well know—received an unexpected message in our inbox:

“My fiancé and I got engaged under the Northern Lights.
She is Canadian and I’m American.
We met in a coffee shop in Seattle about 10 months ago.
Once I knew she was ‘the one’, I wanted to propose to her somewhere special!
We would love to share our story with your readers.

Thank you
David Chang, MD
Annie Yu”

So we asked David and Annie to each answer some questions about themselves and their trip, without showing each other their answers first. Here are their responses, which should even be a surprise to them. Go snuggle, lovers.

DAVID

lovers headshot

Describe yourself in three words:
Passionate
Caring
Fun

Describe Annie in three words:
Thoughtful
Caring
Diligent (pays close attention to details)

Describe the two of you, as a couple, in three words:
Dynamic Duo
Comfortable
In sync with each other

Tell us how you and Annie met—it sounds like you had a pretty whirlwind courtship.
We met at a coffee shop near her house. We walked around together and talked for about 3 months (2-3 times a week) before I held her hand or even kissed her. I know it sounds like I was moving at a snail’s pace, but I wanted to get to know her on the inside and vice versa. Only after a dinner with her co-worker did I get the slight hint that maybe I should hold her hand (or do something), if I was interested in Annie as more than just a friend. That prompted me to start holding her hand on our walks. Talk about being really a slow guy :-).

“I realised that we make a wonderful team. And she is quite funny.”

Tell us about the moment you realised Annie was “the one.”
I feel it was a gradual process. We talked about many different things along a path called Alki Beach which has a view of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound. In addition, she is an amazing cook and I really enjoy eating the meals that she makes. We actually don’t have a TV in the household, so we talk a lot after work, which I feel is key to our relationship. Sharing and communicating.

What made you want to come to Iceland to propose?
I wanted to propose to her somewhere special. I started reading about Iceland and the Northern Lights and decided to propose to her under the NL.

What was something new that you learned about Annie while in Iceland?
I realised that we make a wonderful team. And she is quite funny.

Tell us about your proposal under the Northern Lights.
We booked our initial NL tour through our hotel, and at the appointed time we were in the lobby. But 20 minutes passed, and so the hotel clerk called and was told that when the shuttle stopped by, no one was waiting for it. Oh my!!! I was a bit anxious at this point, to say the least. We took a taxi to BSÍ bus terminal and made it onto a tour bus. Initially, there were only small traces of NL in the distance, so I was debating whether to ask or not. Fortunately, a beautiful stream of NL appeared above us, streaming above the clouds, and I said to myself ‘I better ask now, or the lights may go away quickly.’ Within 30 seconds of her saying “yes,” there were fireworks in the distance that lasted for about 3–4 minutes. Yes, fireworks in the sky. Fannie (our tour guide) stated that it is not common to see fireworks in Iceland, except for New Year’s Eve. The fireworks were definitely a bonus for us and perfectly timed as well.

IMG_4102

What were some of the highlights of your trip? (Other than getting engaged, of course!)
We enjoyed the hotdogs at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur and a benefit concert at Harpa—one of the nights with a men’s choir (I believe they were firemen or policemen). We were lucky enough to try hákarl and ram’s testicles. We had a wonderful dinner at Fish Market and enjoyed museums in Reykjavík, with our favourite being the Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum and Park.  And we enjoyed driving along the southern side of the country to the Glacier Lagoon, which is just an amazing place.

Do you imagine you’ll come back to Iceland some day?
We will definitely be back to Iceland, likely in the summer time, so that we can explore the whole country along the Ring Road.

ANNIElovers headshot_2

Describe yourself in three words:
Confident
Caring
Generous

Describe David in three words:
He is perfect!

Describe the two of you, as a couple, in three words:
Harmony
Laugh
Love

Are you glad that David decided to propose in Iceland? February is not generally when a lot of people want to visit us.
I don’t think he could have come up with a better idea to propose. You are right, February is generally not when lots of people visit Iceland, but here is how we decided: Early last December, we spent a week in Grand Cayman. Before our trip, David suggested that instead of going back to his family in New Jersey for Christmas, that we go to Europe for a week. He’s a Gemini, so I knew he would always want to travel. But going to Europe a week after a 7 day vacation in Cayman was a little too much for me (I guess this is the difference between a Taurus and a Gemini).

We decided to go back to New Jersey and spend a couple of days in New York City (I was later told that proposing to me the day after Christmas in New York City was on David’s agenda). But because I had to catch up with a lot at work, I had to cancel the trip and spend Christmas in Seattle. DAVID WAS NOT HAPPY ABOUT MY LAST MINUTE CANCELLATION!! I didn’t understand why he was so upset (I even thought he was going to break up with me). Eventually, a good conversation helped us overcome the issue. Around New Year’s, the Gemini started talking about our next trip. We both had heard so many good things about Iceland. So when he came up with the idea of trip to Iceland, I couldn’t have said no.

Did you have any inkling that David would be proposing on this trip?
My sixth sense told me he may pop the question on the trip, but I didn’t have my hopes up. I’d love to see our relationship move forward, but having him in my life, even just as a friend, is already a blessing. I couldn’t have asked for more.

What was something new that you learned about David while in Iceland?
While in Iceland, I realised that he was more playful than I knew, and had a great sense of humour. More importantly, I realised what a big heart he had. On our way back from the Glacier Lagoon, we ran into a couple whose car broke down on the Black Beach in Vík. Our original plan was to spend the night in Vík. But after finding out that they had to catch their flight at 6 AM the next morning, David offered them a ride back to Reykjavík.

Tell us about the proposal under the Northern Lights.

I’ll let David tell the story. He does a better job than I do.

What were some of the highlights of your trip?
The food, water, air, culture, mountains, volcanoes, the sand and rock—every single minute in Iceland was a highlight. But if I have to pick one, I have to say it’s your people who made the trip well worth it. I was a flight attendant for 5 years before going to college, so travelling isn’t strange to me. Our trip to Iceland is by far the best trip I’ve ever had.

NORTHERN LIGHT 3

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