Proposal done in a flash

Brennan LaBrie
blabrie@ptleader.com
Posted 7/3/19

For Kris Nelson, Wednesday, June 26 was just another day at work. The owner of Sirens Pub, the Old Whiskey Mill, and Alchemy Bistro and Wine Bar in Port Townsend knew it was her anniversary with her boyfriend, Carlos Henriquez-El Bachatu, but he lives in Toronto and she expected they would be apart.

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Proposal done in a flash

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For Kris Nelson, Wednesday, June 26 was just another day at work. The owner of Sirens Pub, the Old Whiskey Mill, and Alchemy Bistro and Wine Bar in Port Townsend knew it was her anniversary with her boyfriend, Carlos Henriquez-El Bachatu, but he lives in Toronto and she expected they would be apart.

So, when two of her best friends came into Sirens Pub and told her to put on a dress and come with them, she was initially confused.

“They just came and said “Hey, you gotta come with us” and I was like ‘No, no, no, you don’t understand, I’m working, I’m cooking. It’s not like you can just walk out of the kitchen. There’s a restaurant of people.”

When they insisted, and her employee told her to go ahead, she figured Carlos was behind this. She imagined they were taking her to get drinks. Before that, though, she insisted on going to brush her hair.

As the group exited Sirens and turned down Water Street towards Nelson’s car, Nelson noticed a throng of people on the corner looking at her and taking pictures.

“I knew something fishy was going on,” she said. “There was a bunch of people staring at me, with cameras and phones, and I didn’t know any of them, and now I’m really super uncomfortable.” As she turned the corner of the Hastings Building, however, a sea of familiar faces came into view. Standing before her in the street was a flash mob of Zumba dancers, over 80 of them, including most of her students from two classes she teaches, as well as friends from as far as Ohio.

“Oh this is like the best anniversary gift ever” was the thought going through her head at the moment, as she explained to her Zumba class two days later, “and I will never ever be able to come up with anything this good in my life.”

All of a sudden the drums started, and she just then noticed the drummer was none other than Henriquez-El Bachatu’s daughter Mya, who was supposedly in Toronto at that moment. Almost before she could process this, he ran up behind her, and, with ribbons in hand, jumped in front of the mob and led them in dance.

Henriquez-El Bachatu is a Zumba instructor himself, and had secretly taught a Zumba dance to Nelson’s students, fellow instructors and friends weeks in advance.

During the group’s dance to “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, Henriquez-El Bachatu ran up to Nelson and dropped on one knee.

“I was stunned. I did not see it coming at all,” Nelson said.

She said yes, the crowd cheered, and after sharing a kiss, Henriquez-El Bachatu returned to leading the dancers. Nelson stood in the same spot, laughing in shock.

Between her various restaurants and Zumba classes, Nelson deals with a lot of people every day, and none of them gave away the surprise. She is not sure how.

“Literally no one on my entire staff said a single word. I can’t believe that no one told me.”

Although she was still a little mortified at the number of people looking at her, Nelson was overjoyed at the surprise.

“I spent a whole day processing what happened,” she said. “It was really just genuinely sweet and amazing and kind.”

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Deborah Hammond

What a wonderful photo and story! Much happiness to both!

| Monday, July 8