Cori and Drew’s Story … 4/18/15 … Califia St., San Clemente State Beach
So, Drew and I decided we would take a night to go watch the sunset at Calafia state beach in San Clemente (about 5 min drive from our house ) as a way to celebrate our engagement and get some time for just the two of us -kid-free woo hoo! Like always though, we are scrambling to gather a few items to bring (champagne, blanket, etc.) and rushing out the door to make it before the sun goes down while trying to say bye to the kids etc. We make it out the door and I even remembered my camera! When we get there I decided to put the self-timer on my camera, lay out the blanket and snap a few pics of us. I notice their is a lot of seaweed obnoxiously photo bombing us and to avoid having to Photoshop it later, I quickly start to brush it away with my hands far from our blanket where we are sitting. I continuously run to and from the camera to try to get a good shot with the self-timer.
As we are taking pictures, I suddenly notice the engagement ring is no longer on my finger!! Drew and I both panicked, retracing our steps frantically everywhere . Here we are, 15 minutes before the sun goes down , crowds of people on the beach, and we are searching for my ring. I start thinking hard , “Did I have it on before we left the house? Did it fall off in the sand? Did it fall off when I took off my sandals in the sand? “ etc. I start hearing my mother-in-laws nagging voice in my head “you should have worn it on your middle finger until you got it re-sized!” The ring was loose and too big and we hadn’t had a chance to get it resized yet.
Anyways, we searched the car, the camera bag , go back to the house , retraced all steps in the sand- NOTHING.
At this point its pitch black outside and we are freezing our butts off losing all hope that we will find it , the tide is starting to roll in and any sign of society has vanished, ha. Drew and I are both wearing helmets with lights on our heads , we rush to Big 5 to purchase a $140 metal detector , go back and pace back n forth with this little machine we have no idea how to use. Still- NOTHING
OKAY- Well, the look on Drews face- I mean seriously -I lost the ring – I also knew this was practically the same chances of finding a needle in a haystack. It is starting to set in and we are sitting in an empty beach parking lot losing hope, thinking we are just going to have to accept this as a loss .
I start to Google on my phone and discover that their are literally professional ring finders, I mean what? TheRingfinders.com , yes! I start to think “What are the chances they will even find it though? And how much are they going to charge, practically the price of the ring I bet . . “ It’s worth a shot though , I think to myself. I give a call to the one we found in our area, this sweet man is willing to drive 1.5 hours to us from his ‘Riverside Metal Detecting Contest.’ Ha. Yes, apparently there is such thing.
He arrives, this sweet man, with his $3,000 metal detecting equipment. Drew is looking at me like “ c’mon really? You think this guy is going to find it? “ All odds are against us at this point because its past beach curfew, hitting 11pm, the tide is rolling in strong and we are pooped. An officer comes and tells us we will need to leave shortly but that he can give us a little bit of time to look , he chuckles “Good luck!” while walking away.
Moments later, I hear his detector, my heart sinks, “Oh just tinfoil” he says . Still no luck. Suddenly, out of nowhere- he starts skimming an area and HE FINDS MY RING!!!! I swear- I never in a million years -thought it was possible AND if we had waited till morning to go back again and look- it would have washed away with the tide !
I am so beyond grateful! I jumped up and hugged him with tears down my face asking him over and over “HOW DID YOU FIND IT?!! I CANT BELIEVE YOU FOUND IT! OH. MY .GOSH!”
So I say to him , “OK- we now owe you big time! What do you charge for something like this?“ (Yes, you would think we would have asked him before but I guess it didn’t cross our minds because 1. We were frantic and desperate for any help 2. We couldn’t put a price on something this sentimental to us -not just materialistic)
He replies, “Well, I work on a reward system. You pay me what you can afford to give and what its worth to you for me to find it. And I give 15% of the proceeds to the children’s hospital”.
I mean seriously? Is this real? Drew and I look at each other – wow this is definitely a pay-it-forward experience.
And yes, we compensated him well for his incredible gift and generosity We are FOREVER grateful . 😉
PS.. I had started my grid in the area they had set up their blanket. I made about 5 passes from the rocks to the water about 30ft. in each direction. Asking Cori questions when she remembered moving the dried seaweed away from the photo background. I changed my grid pattern and made one pass along the top of the waterline where the seaweed was and dug the ring with a piece of tin foil in the scoop.