Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Proposal

Gah! I've been in LA - meeting my new nephew, who's ADORABLE by the way - with NO internet connection!! Sorry for the delay!

Here's the story:

Let me just start by saying that Kyle is so sneaky! A week or so ago he casually mentioned taking a trip to Napa sometime in the near future. We have a friend who works at a winery up there and we’ve been meaning to go forever. “We’ll stay at a bed and breakfast or something and make a whole weekend out of it,” he says to me. Of course, upon hearing this, the MPRS (marriage proposal radar system) in my brain sounded off every available alarm. It was all I could do to keep from jumping up and down and screaming in the restaurant. But I played it cool.

As soon as I got home, I wrote the following email to two of my best girlfriends:

Casually, over dinner tonight, Kyle mentioned that, "gee, wouldn't it be nice to take a trip up to Napa... take a day or two off work, stay at a bed and breakfast, maybe in like 2 weeks or so."

Am I crazy for thinking that this might be "it"?


Love you both!

I also called my mom and told her all about it. “It won’t really be a surprise, because Hello, why else would we be going to Napa? but whatever.”

So there I was, all primed and ready to feign surprise when he popped the question in wine country.

P.s. I was also working 96 hours a week at the time – it was terrible by the way, never try it.

Well, on Wednesday (8/8) night at 11 pm I FINALLY (finally finally FINALLY!!!) finished up with my project at work. GLORY GLORY HALLELUIAH!! I told them I’d be taking Thursday and Friday (and the weekend) off. YAY!

So Kyle decides to take Thursday off too – a.) he’d finally to get to see me and b.) his little bro was in town to look at apartments (he's moving here!!)… how could he not take the day off? We decide to go out for brunch at a place called Sam’s in Tiburon that I’ve been DYING to check out.

I’ll admit – for a moment it occurred to me… hmmm brunch at a restaurant that I’ve been dying to check out – a nice place, overlooking the water – could this be *it*??? But then I remember that his brother would be with us… huh, kinda kills the romance don’tcha think? (p.s. I’ve pretty much wondered “could this be *it*” every single day for like the last 6 months… out to dinner, at the movies, doing laundry, cleaning… anytime Kyle and I’ve been alone I’ve thought to myself – COULD THIS BE IT! I’m a little crazy, by the way.)

So anyway, I get all cute-ed up for breakfast and then Kyle comes to pick me up. I answer the door and there he is wearing grungy tennis shoes, old pants, and a sweatshirt.

"Huh, you’re kinda grubby for brunch, aren’t you? "

"Huh, you’re kinda fancy for hiking, aren’t you?"

"Hiking!?! I thought we were going to breakfast – I’m starving!"

"We are… and then we’re going hiking. Remember?"

"Ummm, no."

"Ummm, yes. I asked you yesterday."

"What? You BARELY mentioned hiking yesterday, I thought it was a fleeting thing. Besides, I thought your brother had to look at apartments today. "

"Yes, that’s why we’re taking two cars."

"We’re taking two cars??!! That’s so annoying. And I don’t have any hiking clothes that aren’t packed away. (Remember I JUST moved.) And we’re already running late."

"Just grab some clothes – it’ll be fine."

So I dig through my boxes and manage to find some hiking attire and then we drive off to breakfast.

For the record, I think Kyle was hoping for a beautiful day. And for the record, mother nature did not appear to be down with that plan. It was SOOOO FOGGY! And windy. And cold. AND Sam’s was closed. Ugh.

So we end up at another restaurant and have a lovely breakfast. And then Kelsey (Kyle’s bro) takes off back to the city to look at apartments and Kyle and I are left in Tiburon.

“Want to walk around a bit?” he asks.

In the freezing-ness? I think. But I answer, “Sure.”

So we walk. And walk. And it’s an adorable little town. And we walk down near the water. And we can see San Francisco. And Angle Island. And there are birds flying over the open water and occasionally one will dive down after a tasty fish. And it’s all really quite beautiful. We walk to a lookout spot that juts out from the shore and stare, across the water, at the beautiful city we both now call home. I have Kyle point out the different buildings and neighborhoods as he wraps his arms around me to keep us both warm. He tells me how beautiful I am and how lucky he is to have me in his life. So picturesque.

Suddenly it occurs to me… “IS THIS *IT*!?!?!” I close my eyes and prepare myself for the most important question I will ever hear.

And then Kyle says, “So, you wanna get outta here and go hiking?”

If music had been playing, here is where the record would have screeched and the room would have gone silent.

“Huh? Oh, yes, hiking, right, ok, yes, let’s go.”

I decide that Kyle must be trying to fake me out before the Napa trip. Jerk.

So we get in the car and drive through the thick fog towards Mount Tamalpias. A few minutes before we get to the trail head we (miraculously) broke through the gray mist. Suddenly we were at the top of a mountain and the whole world beneath us was all clouds. It was as if we had been given our own secret playground – with warm blue skies and green trees and golden hills and not another soul for miles. It was breathtaking. I take about a zillion pictures, change into my hiking clothes, and then we start our hike.

And we hike and we hike and we hike. And I am SO GLAD to be out of the office, and away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and disarray of my (still) unpacked apartment. I feel totally happy and refreshed. And finally we come out of the woodsy part of the hike and end up in a clearing on the side of a hill. We follow the trail and end up at the very top of the mountain (p.s. yes, I was totally huffing and puffing and sweaty by the time we got to the top – lovely.)

“This better be a loop,” I inform Kyle, “because we’ve been hiking forever and I am not going all the way back the way we came.”

“I think it’s a loop.”

“You think? Are we lost?”

“No! We’re not lost! Will you just enjoy the view, please?”

So we enjoy. And I take a zillion more pictures. And then there’s that awkward pause where I get the “IS THIS **IT**” feeling. And we enjoy the view some more. And by now we are fully rested. And yet we’re still not leaving. And it’s starting to feel like the lookout over the ocean in Tiburon. And I decide that this is another fake out. So I say, “Alright, well, let’s leave then.” Because, darn it, I am not gonna get all excited all over again just to have him not propose.

But he insists that we stay for a bit longer.

And then… THEN!… he says, “Ok, close your eyes.”

And then my stomach hits the floor because I realize that Yes! this IS ***IT***!!!

And I close my eyes, and when I open them again, he’s on one knee, and he’s holding up the most beautiful ring I have ever seen.

He tells me how much he loves me and asks me to run away with him forever. My knees go weak and I take a step back as my eyes fill with tears and my hands cover most of my shocked and thoroughly elated face. I tremble and, to be honest, sort of hyperventilate as he slips the ring on my left hand. A perfect fit.

He then pulls a chilled bottle of champagne and two champagne glasses out of his backpack. We drink to us and I shout at the top of my lungs how in love I am. There wasn’t another soul on the mountain with us, but I’m pretty sure the whole world heard me.

We enjoy the next hour or so (and the rest of the champagne!) in a shady spot on the trail – feeling like the only two people on earth. Then, hand in hand, we make our way down the mountain, back to the real world, back to our cell phones, to inform our friends and family of the awesome news. On the drive home we crank up the radio and dance and sing along to the music in a state pure and total bliss.


Loose ends:
The trip to Napa? A total decoy! But we’ve decided to go up sometime in October to celebrate our engagement.
The walk around Tiburon? Turns out Kyle was trying to kill time to let the fog burn off so we wouldn’t freeze/have no view on our hike.
The ring? Kyle had it for 3 weeks before he gave it to me! My horrid work schedule made it all but impossible to have a simple meal with each other, let alone get engaged! Poor thing had to just patiently wait until I had a day off.
My mom? Knew all along! When we drove to LA for my cousin’s wedding a few weeks ago, Kyle talked to both my mom and my stepdad and got their blessings.
The exact location for the proposal? Kyle had his bother scout out several locations the day before to be sure we ended up at the most picturesque spot.

I’ve literally never been happier.

Above the clouds.

Just before the proposal
Kyles "I'm the King of the World!" pose JUST BEFORE he prosed. He's got the ring in his right hand. Sneaky!

Just after the proposal
Just after the proposal.

Wiping away tears.

Showing off my new bling.

The happy couple.



Happy Courtney.

Happy Kyle.

Lookin all engaged


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