Newly engaged couple Ingrid Robinson and Alex Petalas. (Picture by Krystal Hoyte.)
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Barbados was the perfect place to do it! Newly engaged couple Alex Petalas and Ingrid Robinson have a deep and special love for Barbados. So when Alex was deciding on how to propose to his girlfriend of one year, Barbados was at the top of the list.
And he didn’t just do it on the island, he proposed in quite a spectacular fashion. He got down on one knee and popped the question in front of hundreds on top the Aura Grand Kadooment Band truck during the Republic Bank Grand Kadooment parade last Monday.
For Alex it was amazing, and for Ingrid it was exciting and nothing she ever dreamt of.
“I decided to do the proposal on this trip because I didn’t think it would be expected in the way it occurred. After being together for a year I think we are ready to take the next step, and we are both very excited for the next step,” Alex explained.
Ingrid added: “It took me by surprise. I had a feeling it was going to happen soon and on this trip, so I had carefully curated quite a few outfits and the last thing I thought was that he was going to propose to me when I was in feathers and a bikini. But it was lovely.”
But why is Barbados so special to the well-travelled couple? The both agree that it was the people.
During a relaxing and intimate interview at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion Hotel in St James, where the couple stayed, they spoke glowingly of Barbados and stressed that there really was no other place in the world they would have wanted to celebrate their engagement.
“The people are great. The kindness and the happiness they have is unlike any other. I’ve travelled all across the world and to many islands in the Caribbean, and the Bajan people are above and beyond the most welcoming people around. There’s nowhere else I would have wanted to propose to Ingrid.
It was a life-changing event and I wanted to share that with the people of Barbados,” Alex said.
And for Ingrid, who was on her first trip to the island, she agreed that the people were tremendous.
“I’ve travelled a lot and I’ve never met people that are more emotionally generous and happy than the ones here. It’s a beautiful country. The weather and the ocean are spectacular but the people are really special. The food is spectacular too,” she said with a chuckle.
And just as they knew that Barbados was the perfect place for their engagement to happen, they knew quickly, upon meeting each other, that they were meant to be together.
Alex, 44, a commercial real estate agent and Ingrid, 35, who is in pharmaceutical sales, met a year ago in San Francisco where they both reside.
“He kept looking back at me, and I don’t know how to flirt, so I just kept smiling at him. My first impression of him is that he’s a very serious but very deep person. He’s very caring and you could tell that he had a lot of emotional depth and is a very smart person,” she said with a shy smile.
“We knew pretty quickly that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. They say that you’ll just know when you find the one, and I always thought it was kind of a trite thing to say, but I really just knew.”
Staring lovingly at his fiancée, as she spoke, Alex said he fell in love with her smile and knew he couldn’t do life without her.
“She’s very intelligent, very smart, well-travelled and someone whom I’d love to have by my side for the rest of my life,” he said.
The couple are now heavy in planning mode for their wedding and are even considering returning to the island for the big occasion.
“I’m so excited. I’m already picking out stationery. I’ve been planning my wedding since I was five, so plans are definitely in place. We may even come back to get married here or to have our bachelorette party here next year. We love it here and can’t wait to be back,” Ingrid said.
At the same time, Alex said he was thankful to all who assisted him in making the proposal possible.
“It was an amazing time here. It was an amazing celebration. The planning process for this proposal was extensive, confidential and took a lot of people and resources to make it happen the way it did on one of the most celebratory days in Barbados. Shacolby from the property was my right-hand guy. He was amazing. And I will be forever grateful,” Alex said. (DB)