Ryan Scott wanted to make sure the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of proposing to his girlfriend was perfect by taking advantage of an opportunity that only comes a few times a year -- the opening of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Pier to the public.
Scott knew for several months that he wanted to propose to long-time girlfriend, Brooke Mocock, on or near her birthday, July 8, and that he wanted it to be a unique, romantic experience. After discovering in the San Diego Reader that Birch Aquarium at Scripps was hosting a Full Moon Pier Walk on July 8, he knew he had found his special location.
He and Mocock both share a love of moonsets, they are passionate about marine biology, and their first date was at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Scott also liked that the Scripps Pier isn’t a typical cliché San Diego landmark.
“I wanted a special location where we could drive by someday with our kids and say, ‘That’s where daddy proposed,’” Scott said.
The couple’s evening started with an oceanfront sunset dinner in La Jolla followed by a walk down the pier guided by aquarium naturalists who led the group through fun nighttime science experiments. As the night wound down and the group started heading back, Scott and Mocock snuck behind one of the buildings at the end of the pier, Scott got down on one knee, and proposed.
“It took her a few seconds to catch on that I was serious, but, with dinoflagellate kits in hand, she finally teared up, nodded, and said yes,” he said.
Scott hadn’t picked out an official engagement ring for the proposal, he used an Irish Cladagh ring that he had given Mocock two years earlier on her birthday. He had somehow persuaded her to give him the ring despite her rarely taking it off her right hand. Needless to say, she was surprised to see the ring again when Scott placed on her left hand. The pair is designing their real wedding rings with a jeweler.
Scott and Mocock both grew up in San Diego and met through a mutual friend in August 2006. They now live together in Coronado and are both teachers. Scott teaches English at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, Calif., and Mocock is a Special Education teacher at Coronado High School.
The couple is still in the early planning stages of their wedding, but the Martin Johnson House on the Scripps campus and Birch Aquarium at Scripps are both prospective locations for the big day.