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As I sit here writing this, I still can’t believe that this is my life. My story. I’ve imagined what this day was going to be like for a long time, coming up with romantic ideas in my head of what the perfect proposal would look like. And, then I met Tom.
Our love blossomed and grew. And, at some point the “how” it was going to happen became irrelevant. There was this man, who was everything I had ever wanted, and how he was going to propose seemed completely trivial. I knew well before we officially became engaged, that this was the man I wanted to spend my life with, and nothing was more romantic than that. Elaborate flash dance numbers, or megatron proposals at sporting events didn’t hold a candle to that feeling. So, a big romantic proposal story wasn’t necessary.
But then, he went and gave me one of those stories anyways.
Last Christmas, we decided to take a vacation. It was a gift to each other. We have been on quite a few vacations together, but usually they involved traveling to visit family, or, due to his schedule constraints in the Navy, consisted of long weekends away. So, this was going to be just for us. We settled on Alaska in August.
As we planned out our Alaskan adventures, hiking, plane tours, fishing, one thing I kept coming back to was an ATV tour of Mt Denali. I always want a little adventure in my life, and travels, so this looked like the perfect way to get some.
It was amazing.
It was so us.
We landed after midnight in Anchorage, went to, without a doubt, the sketchiest hotel room I have ever stayed in, where I’m surprised, we did not have any encounters with bed bugs. We crashed for a couple hours sleep, before waking up with the sun, and making the road trip up to Denali National Park. Looking back, the whole day was perfect. We listened to a book on tape, because we are serious nerds, had riveting conversation, and took in the scenery of Alaska. In the late morning, we stopped at a gas station where we hobbled together the best picnic lunch we could muster. Cold cuts, cream cheese, and almonds. And headed back on the road until we found the perfect little spot to pull off. We had lunch under the shadow of the mountains, along a creek, amidst the late summer wildflowers.
When we made it to Denali, we checked into our hotel, where we got keys to the sweetest little cabin in the woods. Then, packed up and headed out to our ATV tour.
It was supposed to be 60 and raining that day, all week actually. But, along our drive the sun had decided to come out, and by the late afternoon it was pushing 70. I just thought it was a fluke at the time, but it ended up setting us up for a perfect day.
Along the guided tour through the Alaskan territory, we would dismount every few miles to see some scenic viewpoint, get oriented with the mountains, and some local history. At our last stop, we took some time to explore one of the world’s largest natural rock quarries. As a side note, this was incredibly cool. What looks like just gray rock, was actually huge chunks of jade and granite. The guide informed us, that if we wanted, we could take a small rock home with us as a souvenir.
Tom asked if I wanted to take a rock home. So, of course, I said yes, and started looking on the ground for the perfect rock. At which point he got down on one knee, in the most beautiful setting, with the mountains behind us and the sun shining through the forest, and asked if I wanted to take this rock home. He had in his hand the most perfect, and beautiful ring.
I was shocked. I had no idea it was coming. I forgot to say anything at all and just started kissing him. He whispered in my ear how much he loved me, and gave me his family heirloom ring that belonged to his great grandmother.
Unbeknownst to me, he had coordinated with the guides and other people on the tour to have pictures and video of the entire thing. It was such a special moment.
The rest of the ride I spent with the biggest grin on my face as we sped through the Alaskan territory. We celebrated back at the cabin with cocktails, hanging out in the hot tub, and drying off by a campfire under the stars. Again, very us.
The perfect day, and the perfect setting to start the next chapter of our life together. A life full of adventure.