Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yes...Sí ...Да...Oui...Ja...Sea....Hai...Na'am..Áno...Nai...

Despite my beer-drinkin', sports watchin', shootin', swearin' attitude, I am (at heart) a smushy romantic.  I believe in happily ever after, I cry at Hallmark commercials and I am a HUGE fan of wedding..........cake.  I get teary-eyed when flowers show up at my office for no reason, I get the warm fuzzies when I come home to dinner on the table or a pre-cleaned home, and my toes still curl when Nick gives me a long, slow, deep soft wet kiss (whether it lasts three days or not).

So when I was presented with a surprise trip out of town last weekend completely planned out by my boyfriend, the romantic in me lept at the thoughtfulness and...well...romantic gesture.  The practical side of me was nothing short of thankful for a getaway out of town - with no expectations of anything other than spending three lovely days away with my thoughtful significant other. 

We awoke early on Saturday and left as the sun rose over Los Angeles

And landed in San Francisco.  A short drive later, we were in the heart of wine country:

We visited a few wineries -

And stopped to shoot a little pre-dinner pool-


(I lost 2 games to 3, but I think the table was tilted...)

Dinner was in downtown Napa - the lovely Ristorante Allegria.  We came to this restaurant back in December for my birthday, and it was so wonderful, Nick though it would be perfect for a return visit.

Did I ever mention that he has spectacular taste in restaurants?

It was just after ordering and a brief step-away from the table when I returned to a gift bag sitting at my plate.

Did I also mention that Nick has fabulous taste in jewelry?

After a fabulous dinner (Portobello Mushroom on Herb Soft Polenta, Crumbled Blue Cheese,
Marinara Sauce & Balsamic Reduction; Rigatoni con Salsiccia -with Oven Roasted Smoked Italian Sausage, Bell Peppers, Caramelized Onions, Parmesan Marinara Cream Sauce; Marinated Grilled Teriyaki Skirt Steak, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, House Made Onion Rings, Seasonal Vegetables and a bottle of 2007 Grgich Hills Merlot), we made our way back towards San Francisco. Driving across the Bay Bridge, with the marine layer rolling in, we decided that we would stop and watch the Bay Bridge light show for a while before calling it an evening. 

This was something we discovered on our last trip to the area back in April.  The Bay Lights is a light sculpture that utilizes the bridge as one gigantic canvas for the display.  It really is a pretty fantastic piece to watch - and it'll be lit for the next 2 years only (so they say right now).  Anyway, we pull up to this little dive bar we found on our last trip and decided to enjoy the view for awhile.  After a few minutes inside, Nick suggests we go out on the patio for a little quiet and fresh air.  As I am enjoying the view and being wrapped up in my happy thoughts of the day, Nick is setting up his MacBook on the table next to me and telling me the story of the upgrades to The Bay Lights display that have been in the news recently.  As he opens to the website for the bridge, I mentally smack myself upside the head; see, you can sponsor a light on the bridge, and after our last visit, I already decided I was going to get one for Nick as a gift to commemorate our trip to Oakland.  But since I wasn't going to do it until Christmas, I laughed that it figures he would know what I was thinking well enough to already have beat me to it.  And as he asked me to scroll down to the next light in the series, I was already prepared for a funny saying, or something cute that I would laugh at and then chastise him for getting inside my brain so well.  What I wasn't prepared for, and what I never in my wildest dreams thought was coming, was this:

So as I jump back, nearly falling off the bench, I look over and Nick is down on bended knee with a small box open and a gorgeous ring sparkling in the lights of the bridge overhead.  The tears start to stream down my face, I manage to squeak out a yes, he puts the ring on my finger and the deal is sealed with a kiss.....or two....or three (it's also possible I temporarily squeezed all of the oxygen out of him, but he bounces back quickly). 

I'm pretty sure I either asked "are you sure about this" or flat out stated "you know you're crazy" several times over the next hour or so after that.  I don't know why it is that we can be so certain of our feelings about the person we're with, but can so easily doubt that they think the same of us. 

The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying various parts of the Bay Area - lunch in downtown Burlingame, the Concannon winery in Livermore, the Winchester Mystery House, dinner in Half Moon Bay, and a Sunday morning ferry ride to Oakland for breakfast and a stroll through the farmer's market...


...before we caught our flight home. 

For those with inquiring minds; no, we haven't picked a date yet; and no, we haven't decided where it will be.  But I think it's safe to say that if our engagement is anything like our last 3 years together, we're definitely in for a lot of big planning and limitless dreams, eventually a slightly more manageable reality, and a lot of laughing, love and maybe even a few more surprises. 

It was a perfect weekend with an absolutely stunning proposal.  Deep down, I think there's a small part of me that wasn't sure if I would ever be ready to be married again, but now that I've been asked, I can't imagine having said anything but "yes" to my now-fiancé 

My fiancé...(insert dreamy smile, sunshine, roses and unicorns here).

What can I say?  He knows just how to make me feel all smushy.