Today is going to be a special guest post. Rather than being written by your regular, beautiful hostess Jill, I'll be writing it. To help things make a little more sense as to why I'm here instead of her, I have some exciting news to share:
We're engaged! I asked her to marry me on Memorial Day, and she said yes. And, as she's been getting back into blogging, she wanted to share the story with everyone, and came up with the idea of seeing it from my perspective.
The plan was pretty simple. I had already made reservations for dinner that night, with a special note that we wanted to celebrate our recent engagement. Of course, this presented the obvious problem: we weren't yet engaged. So I needed to do it today. I was going to ask her in the morning, shortly after we got back from working out. She always thinks she's too sweaty to even kiss after she's finished a long run, but it's always worth getting a little sweat on my lips in order to kiss her.
I wanted it to be a surprise for her, which is a little harder to accomplish when we are spending so much time so close together in her new one-bedroom apartment. I wanted to catch her while she was looking absolutely gorgeous, even if she didn't normally think it of herself. So asking her after she's spent an hour putting on her make-up and getting her hair done up while in a pretty dress wasn't going to work.
Unfortunately for my simple plan, the day broke with a rain storm moments after we got out of bed. We're talking cats and dogs coming down in sheets. Alright, no big deal. We'll just wait a little bit longer to go to the fitness center to work out so we don't get there sopping wet, and I'll just wait a little longer to pop the question.
It just KEPT raining. Hours of it. Which is normally fine, I can go ahead and spend a day inside with my beloved girlfriend, but the dinner reservations at 5 pm were creeping closer and closer, and I didn't want to need to pull her aside as we were walking out the door and basically shove the ring onto her finger as an afterthought, and I certainly didn't want the people at the restaurant spoiling the surprise by asking about the "recent engagement" we were celebrating. I might've been able to spin that into a "oh yeah, engagement is British for being hired" or some such, but it'd've been a stretch, and awkward, and I'm sure Jill would have seen right through the obvious cover story.
So, maybe we could go even though it was raining a bit? I kept asking her when she wanted to go, even though it was, of course, still raining. She kept picking up that I was antsy for some reason, though didn't have any idea about why, just that I was apparently really really eager to go working out. I think I asked a total of three times over the course of the day, spaced out to try to not draw too much attention and arouse her suspicion, but I was really worried about her figuring things out.
Finally, the rain broke, and we went to work out. It was a strength-training day for both of us. I explored some of the machines and free weights in her fitness center, trying to find how to most closely replicate the workout routine I do at the gym at school. The co-rec there has squat racks, barbell benches, deadlift platforms, and more, which lets me easily do the classic heavy lifts. Jill did a bunch of bodyweight exercises with extra weight from dumbbells to increase the difficulty. I'm not sure what her routine was, specifically; she's always been better about planning what to do at a gym than I am, I usually just walk in and do what seems interesting at the moment until I'm sore and tired.
After we got back, we were figuring out where we needed to go that night for dinner and to the hotel afterwards, and making sure we would have everything we needed for our upcoming celebratory vacation. She had her back turned to me, checking out things on her phone as it charged on the iHome in the kitchen. Perfect. I slipped the ring box out of it's hiding place in my backpack and came up beside her, the ring in my far hand. Of course, now that I was next to her, she was looking at me as we talked, so I asked a question to turn her focus back to the screen of her phone, and then went down on one knee. In my mind, that's the only way to do a proposal.
She was shocked into silence, and her eyes went a little wide. She said later that it felt like so long had passed before she could finally get her voice back to say "of course!". This was followed by plenty of laughing and smiling and hugging and kissing, and tears of joy on her end. She cries pretty easily at things like this, so it was nice to see it happen.
We had dinner plans for 5 pm, since we were planning on having a nice leisurely dinner. We sat down in the mostly empty restaurant, and immediately started having a fantastic time with our server. Turns out, he was recently engaged as well. Small world. We started the meal with an appetizer of bacon-and-cheese-wrapped shrimp, and a walnut and cranberry vinaigrette salad that we split.
At the waiter's recommendation, we opened a bottle of blended white wine, which was incredibly sweet. I had the stuffed salmon with sautéed green beans over mashed potatoes with sausage. It was fantastic, and I had to slow down my pace dramatically to make the meal last a little longer.
She had... some other fantastically delicious dish. I'll admit, she's much better at remembering meals than I am. Fortunately, she's also very good at taking pictures. [From Jill: Cashew crusted tilapia with Jamaican rum butter sauce (holy crap, awesome) and sweet potato couscous with sautéed green beans.]
For dessert, we were gifted two glasses of champagne and a "chocolate box". The box was formed of milk chocolate, and filled with white chocolate mousse and raspberries, blueberries, and bits of strawberries. It, like everything else, was delicious.
After dinner, we took a walk, enjoying the warm night and chance to be downtown where we normally aren't. We ended up drifting several blocks over and finding ourselves by a Cheesecake Factory, so we stopped in for a second dessert to truly celebrate the wonderful occasion, as well as some drinks. I had a Long Island, she had a martini, and we split the Oreo and Kahlua cheesecakes.
A fantastic way to end the night. Of course, we still had to get to our hotel, so after some fancy navigating to get on the highway out into the boondocks, and quite a few missed turns, we were finally on our way there, and arrived near midnight. We checked in without any trouble, but when we got up to our room, we discovered the bed was all disheveled and immediately turned around. If the room was occupied, we didn't want to stick around when whoever was occupying it came out of the bathroom. The ladies at the front desk were very helpful and very apologetic, however, and immediately found another room for us to take. We were upgraded to a suite (awesome) and given two vouchers for free breakfast at the hotel's restaurant (also awesome). Quite the day! And the start of a fantastic forever with my new fiancée.
Jill here, again. So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. We’re engaged and very happy. The wedding won’t be for a while, think three or four years given that Jack needs to finish his PhD, but we figure that just means we have a ton of time to get it perfect. =D