Coronado Proposal Receives International Attention

Norway is world renowned for its beautiful scenery. Tourists from all over the world travel to the snowy north to see glaciers, northern lights, deep fjords and mystic mountains. To say the least, there is no shortage of beautiful landscape to frame the perfect proposal. Still, Norwegian media is all over a proposal that took place in Coronado.

According to the 2018 Wedding Report, 2,201,772 American couples said yes to each other last year. Many of them created beautiful memories when being proposed to among stunning surroundings. One such couple is San Diego native Catie Tompkins and Steinar Daltveit from Norway. During an Easter vacation, the Norwegian-American couple got engaged in front of the San Diego skyline. More precisely, in Harborview Park on 1st Street in Coronado, where the couple had one of their very first dates. The unique thing about this proposal is that Norwegian media are all over it.

Submitted image.

Thus far Norway’s biggest media house, the government-owned radio and television broadcasting company NRK, told the beautiful story of the Coronado proposal. Furthermore, the local newspaper, Bygdanytt (translated to “The Village News”), has covered the story both online and in print. They even graced their front page recently with a huge image of the proposal in front of the San Diego skyline from Coronado Island.

“This is surreal. One thing is to be unexpectedly proposed to. Another thing is Norway’s biggest media outlet covering the story,” says the recently engaged Catie Tompkins, who was born and raised in the Del Mar area.

Norwegians find American “paparazzi” traditions peculiar

The reason for this proposal being picked up in Norwegian media is their curiosity with the American tradition of having photographers capture the proposal. Or as the Norwegian media put it, hiring paparazzis.

“I have to admit; it is kind of funny. What we Americans think of as perfectly normal, Norwegians see as worthy of a front page and a radio spot on their biggest media outlet. If nothing else, as a proud San Diegan, this is good PR for Coronado Island and America’s Finest City,” says Tompkins, who also adds, “Maybe we’ll see a spike in Norwegian tourists travelling to San Diego this summer?”

The perfect Easter gift

It all started seven years ago when Steinar Daltveit studied abroad in San Diego. He was at Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park when he bumped into Catie Tompkins. As with many romantic love stories, they too fell in love at first glance. After years in a long distance relationship, Catie moved to Norway to teach at an Asker International School, close to Oslo. This Easter Break however, Catie went back home to San Diego to spend time with her family. Little did she know that Steinar took the same flight, just one day later. He had planned to surprise her at their “secret” spot, where they had their first date, at Harborview Park in Coronado. Straight from the airport Steinar rushed to their secret spot and met with the photographer, Greg Cali. Moments later Catie’s mom and Catie drove by Harborview Park (all planned of course). When Catie’s eyes caught Steinar surprisingly standing there, one thing led to another and it didn’t take long until Steinar went down on one knee. And she said YES.

Submitted image. Photo: Greg Cali

“This has been the best and weirdest Easter ever, no doubt. Proposal, articles, front pages and huge radio spots. Who would’ve thought?” asks Tompkins.

Steinar, on the other hand, thinks all the attention is crazy fun. “Family, friends and people I haven’t spoken to in many years have contacted me after reading, seeing or hearing about the story of my American proposal. It is crazy. Funny, but crazy.”


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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: