By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
The mountains are filled with love these days, as proposals are made and weddings are planned.
A true love story played out recently at Deep Creek when, on a hike with a guide, Alexander Alvarado got down on one knee and proposed marriage to his longtime girlfriend, Katrina Serna, as the guide snapped photos at the pre-chosen scenic location. Alex held tightly onto the ring to be sure it didn’t fall into a hot pool of water before he slid it onto Katrina’s finger after her “Absolutely yes!” answer.
Alex had told his family that he was going to propose and wanted to surprise her while doing something they both love to do together, which includes hiking. The families were anxiously awaiting back at the house in Lake Arrowhead, hoping Katrina gave a positive response after all of Alex’s planning to make the proposal perfect.
He had discussed his intentions with all the family members and had gotten their blessings, including her children, Maya, 10, who had inspected and approved of the engagement ring, and Romeo, 18, who both were excited at the prospect of being a real family together.
“I felt I was ready to start the next chapter in our lives and I knew I wanted to spend it with Katrina,” said Alex.
It was Pam Dayan, Katrina’s stepmother who suggested hiking to the hot springs as the perfect proposal location, so Alex found a hiking guide to make it happen.
For over a year, Katrina has been going through a battle against cancer and still is receiving some immunotherapy. In fact, the Friday before the proposal, she had an infusion in the morning before they came to the mountains to stay in her uncle’s North Bay timeshare condo to celebrate one year since her last surgery and being declared cancer free. The trip was a celebration of living and enjoying being together, while looking forward to their future.
“She has a pure heart and we fought this battle together,” said Alex who added, “I want her to be more than a girlfriend. I wanted her to be at my side forever.”
“He stood at my side through all of my treatments and surgery, attending every one of them, so of course I love him, and I do want to spend my life with him,” said Katrina. “I just thought we were going on a hike to a beautiful location my mother and aunt remembered loving hiking to as young adults, and I was just excited getting to explore that place for an afternoon. The proposal was a complete surprise to me.”
After swimming in the hot waters for a short while, Katrina held onto the ring tightly, as they still had a 45-minute hike home while they discussed their future plans together. Alex also enjoys mountain biking at Snow Valley and other mountain activities and, since they live near the beach in Los Alamitos with their kids, dog and birds, being in the out of doors is a favorite activity of the couple.
Katrina said she spent every summer in Lake Arrowhead while growing up, so they love it on the mountain. Katrina’s stepmother, Pam Dayan, and family live on Point Hamiltair. Lisa Dayan is her aunt and her uncle lives in Running Springs.
They plan to have Katrina’s stepfather, Aaron Creighton, who has been in her life since she was 7 years old, officiate at the wedding ceremony. Creighton is the publisher and owner of The Alpine Mountaineer.
The wedding is currently being scheduled for September or October 2024, although the location has not been determined. They are so excited to have some time to schedule a fairy tale wedding to follow this amazing proposal.
Alex Alvarado is a partner with his brother as general contractors in Johnico Construction, Inc. which has enabled him to be at Katrina’s side through her treatments and will give them the freedom and finances to have a fantastic future together.