Although Ashley isn’t technically an only child, she certainly was raised like one and learned to rely on friends to learn that stuff about sharing. With enough structured activities to overwhelm any kid, Ashley’s parents constantly shuttled to and fro and encouraged her interest in a variety of areas.


In direct contrast to Ashley’s upbringing, Troy was raised one of four siblings. Troy grew up deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with almost a 45 minute drive to school in the morning. Friends were easy to come by, but visiting them was a task. Troy grew up in an environment that encouraged a close relationship with his brother and sisters.


Troy and Ashley’s first date was…a disaster. Troy invited Ashley to the beach on a hot July afternoon and Ashley swooned the second he mentioned that she should bring her dogs along. In the rush to get out the door (“What do I wear? How is my hair? Should I stop and get self-tanner for these blindingly white legs?”) Ashley failed to remember that her mother had switched cars with her. So Ashley and the two dogs piled into the little Chrysler Sebring and headed to pick up Troy and head over the hill.


The afternoon at the beach was great. The conversation flowed smoothly and the few gaps that did appear were surprisingly un-awkward. As they started heading up the hill on the way home, Troy looked at the gauge on the dash and noted that the car was overheating. Ashley pulled over on the shoulder of Highway 17, Troy popped the hood and the case was not good. Melted hoses and no coolant…it was later discovered that Ashley had blown the head gasket resulting in more than $1000 in repairs to her mother’s car. As Ashley freaked out on the side of the road, Troy kept his cool and tried to tell Ashley that it was going to be fine. The tow truck driver towed the car with the two hysterical dogs in it down to Los Gatos where Ashley's father met them.


Dad picks up two twenty-somethings on their first date.He drove Troy home and Ashley and Troy had an awkward goodbye (you would too if your father was watching) and Ashley left, positive that a first date like that would scare him away for good. But Ashley didn’t know Troy yet, because if she did, she would have known that Troy doesn’t scare easily. That night they set up a do-over.


Later, after recapping the ridiculous story to friends, somebody said, “With a first date like that…you have to end up together.”



Over the next three years, Ashley and Troy had many adventures together; Road trips, camping, construction, dirt bike riding, snowboarding, rock climbing (unintentionally), dog training (unsuccessfully) and many others filled the time as Ashley and Troy grew closer, became best friends and fell in love.



On May 13, 2009 Troy intended to propose. It would have been lovely, a sunset hike in the Los Altos Foothills. Unfortunately, Ashley came down with strep throat and was, for lack of a better descriptor, being a whiney brat. Troy’s frustration at Ashley’s unwillingness to go on a hike with a fever and sore throat, made Ashley only more whiney.


With Ashley’s recent absences on a trip to NYC, then Washington D.C. and now delay due to a virus, Troy had a rock burning a hole in his pocket. So when Ashley stayed home for her final day of quarantine before boarding a plane to Phoenix for Ashley’s nephew’s high school graduation, Troy improvised. He somehow convinced Ashley that fresh air would make her feel better and loaded the two pups into the truck and headed for the beach (that same beach) for lunch.


Romping on the shore and laying in the sun certainly helped Ashley’s spirits, but they had a plane to catch, so Ashley pressed to head home. Troy stalled. Troy walked the dogs to the end of the beach while Ashley picked up shells. When Ashley reached the end of the beach she was watching the dogs freaking out over some seaweed until she turned and found Troy on his knees in the sand.


The rest…mostly a blur for Ashley. There were tears and hugs and kisses, and definitely a “yes,” somewhere in there and during the commotion the dogs managed to tangle all four of them in the leashes.


Ashley and Troy look forward to entering the next chapter of their lives with friends and family. They thank you for your love and support.