Was November 23, 2012.
The day started out normal enough. We were in California to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with Ryan’s family. We had plans to go to wine country (Calistoga) the Friday after Thanksgiving to spend time together just the two of us.
I remember when Ryan first planned the trip. Ryan often has these grand plans. I usually just tell him that if he really wants to do something he should plan it. He rarely ever does. I am starting to rethink that idea. The only other time he took me up on it was when he planned ziplining through the mountains outside Las Vegas. It was a ton of fun, but someone (that would be me) is afraid of heights. This time he decided to plan a trip to wine country.
Anyway, we were supposed to leave fairly early to get to Calistoga on time to start the bike tour. But Ryan was taking an unusual amount of time getting ready in the morning.
He started out the day looking at guitars. My response was, “I guess I am not getting anything shiny anytime soon if you are buying a guitar.” He responded with “I want you to remember what kind of sass you are being right now.” I thought to myself “I am not sure why he wants me to remember this day, I am equally a sass every other day of the week.” 🙂 I should have known right then and there that something was up.
I should have known even earlier actually. When we left for the trip (a super early 5 am flight – ugh), Ryan was pretty flustered. First he forgot his laptop at security. Then he asked me (the girl) to be his boyfriend. I said no of course. You see, we have this tradition. Because Ryan never officially asked me to be his girlfriend, he tends to ask me every day (or nearly every day) to be his girlfriend. A tradition that has now been replaced with him asking me to marry him every day (well not actually every day – in fact, he asks me quite less frequently than when we were just dating, apparently he thinks he has everything locked down now – I will have to dissuade him of that notion, a girl needs to be wooed).
Anyway, he spent the rest of the morning unpacking and repacking his bag, changing his biking outfit, and shaving (I mean who shaves to go on a bike ride). When he finally came out, he was wearing black running pants, shorts, and a red biking shirt. I retorted, “I was unaware I was biking with spiderman today.” Everyone else told him he was going to overheat, so he went and changed. When I finally thought we were ready to go, he said he needed to shave, so we waited. Mind you all I did was throw my hair in a ponytail that morning.
When we finally got on the road, we were running about an hour late. I read my book through most of the ride (even though I spend 85% of my work day reading, I still love reading – a love that has been rekindled thanks to my anniversary present – a Nook – thanks Ryan!!!). Anyway, part way through he tells me to look around. I say, “Yes honey, I saw the trees, they are beautiful.” I start reading again. He tells me to look up again. I say, “Yes honey, I saw the trees they are beautiful, just like the ones ten minutes ago.” Rinse and repeat, until he says, but I want you to remember this. Again, I should have been clued in at this point. Ryan wants you all to know that the leaves were changing colors (which we didn’t expect) and it was beautiful and that there were palm trees. My honey is quite the romantic.
Finally we get to Calistoga to start the bike tour. After the first vineyard, Ryan wanted to go down this road to take a picture. I hate having my picture taken, so I pitched a fit, and we headed to the second vineyard. I mean, who wants to have their picture taken when they haven’t done their hair and they have no make-up on. At the second vineyard, we had such a great time meeting new friends and enjoying the vineyard that we stayed way too long and we running behind. Ryan started to get a little flustered again about making it to the third vineyard. When we left I told him that we wouldn’t have time to go to the picture spot. Ryan agreed, but secretly planned to take advantage of my lack of directional ability and bike to the picture spot instead of the third vineyard and hope I didn’t catch on. It was a fairly good plan, as I am very impaired in this department, but in a moment of unique directional clarity I figured out his plan. So I told him, “If I am going to bike down this stupid road, there better be something shiny for me at the end of it.”
Well, we never made it to the end, but we did stop under a beautiful tree on a quiet road surrounded by vineyards and mountains (again, my honey is quite the romantic). Ryan immediately got off his bike. I refused. Instead, I decided to exact my revenge. If Ryan wanted pictures, he could have them, so I took pictures of him walking around. Little did I know what I was taking pictures of was him pacing nervously because he was about to PROPOSE! I finally got off my bike, but didn’t take my helmet off (when I told my mom that part of the story, she thought I said I threw my helmet at him, so the family lore is that Ryan proposed and I responded by throwing my helmet at him – plausible I suppose).
Ryan nervously paced over and got down on one knee. I screamed “WHAT ARE YOU DOING???” He remained calm (key to being in a relationship with me apparently is the ability to remain calm in the face of everything crazy that is me). He then said, “Nearly every day for the last three years, I have asked you to be my girlfriend. I think this time we should make it more official. Will you marry me for the rest of our lives?”
I am not entirely sure how I exactly responded, but I believe that it went something like this: I knelt down and kissed him, took the ring, jumped up and down, did some sort of happy dance, screamed, and hugged him. He then said, well is that a yes. I said, “I took the ring, of course it is a yes!!!”
I then called my mom of course, who knew this was coming. I am still amazed she kept the secret – apparently my dad threatened to take her credit cards away and put her on a budget. And my dad knew, but that was it. Well, not exactly it, apparently half the city of Calistoga knew because “picture spot” had been code for “proposal spot.
On the bike ride back I decided we needed to hold hands while biking. Not sure why I decided this. We made it about five feet before I realized I am already a horrible biker and need both hands and full attention to stay upright. It didn’t help that I had started to cry at this point because he was telling me how he asked my dad for permission. You will be happy to know that I returned both hands to the bike, and we made it back in one piece.
The next day, I made Ryan spend the day driving around taking pictures at all the places we were the day before because, for some reason or another – surely not me – we didn’t take a lot of pictures the day before. 🙂
Most people who have heard the story tell me, you did not deserve a ring that day. I respond that no, I did not, I was a giant pain the ass. But maybe that is why Ryan and I work. We are both human. So we don’t necessarily deserve each others love at any given moment, but we love each other nonetheless – pain in the ass moments and all.