On Friday, August 16th 2013 I woke up at 4:00am and by 4:30am Tom and I were on the road and headed to the airport. I was under the impression that Tom was going away for two weeks for work and that after dropping him off at the airport I would go spend a week visiting family and relaxing by the pool. Tom had even arranged for a friend to watch Murray for the week so that I could really enjoy myself and relax. That should have been my first clue right there! We arrived at the airport at approximately 5:00am and rather than simply dropping Tom off at the door and continuing on my way I accompanied him inside with the intention of joining him for a light breakfast before his flight. However, before we could go for breakfast Tom had to check-in and he led the way towards the West Jet kiosk. Then, without any warning I was greeted by my mother, step-father, younger brother, grandmother and one of my aunts – I’m not entirely sure where they came from. My mother, aunt and grandmother had tears in their eyes and I immediately thought I knew what was happening – obviously, Tom was going to propose. I think I even commented to my mother that her tears were making it obvious. I quickly looked back at Tom expecting him to be on one knee, but he did not seem to be reacting and immediately I convinced myself that he was not proposing. That left one very important question: if Tom was not proposing, why was my family at the airport at 5:00am? I hugged my family and continued to try to make sense of the situation without success. I’m not sure if one of my family members directed my attention back to Tom or if it was the sound of his voice but he began to tell me that he was not going away for work but that he wanted to surprise me and asked if I would come with him. Having failed to absorbed the fact that the trip I thought he was going on did not exist I immediately assumed that I was going to British Colombia with him and that he was still going away for work. He was quick to remind me that the trip I thought he was going on did not exist! As I continued to digest the situation he handed me my passport, which I immediately opened to confirm it was mine – it was! After I held onto my passport for a few seconds Tom continued to tell me that we had to go and get my luggage from the car and then we had to get on our plane. Perhaps by this point it should have been obvious that he was proposing and perhaps at a later hour in the day I would have caught on but I was having a hard enough time absorbing the fact that I was going on a surprise vacation. Besides, Tom had done a very good job convincing me that I had a few more months to wait before he proposed. Realizing that my travel plans were not happening I remember being momentarily crushed and trying to introduce him to aunt who I thought I would be spending the day with. And then it happened – after four years, one month and six days Tom got down on one knee with a ring in his hand and proposed. I was speechless. Absolutely speechless. In fact, all I could do was nod.
As much as I wanted to find a chair, sit down and absorb everything that had happened, time suddenly became a factor and Tom and I had to rush back to the car to fetch my luggage (the entire time I kept laughing, crying and hugging him) and then we had to check-in. Of course, I was quite curious to know where we were going and Tom was vague in his “we’re flying to Miami” response. When I assumed that we were spending a weekend in Miami Tom simply replied, “sure.” Finally, I thought I was “in the loop” but when my mother asked Tom if I knew where I was going, he told her I did not. Fortunately for me, while checking our luggage we were specifically asked if we were going on a cruise and as I started to shake my head ‘no’, Tom confirmed that we were. Once again, I was in complete shock.
Before I knew it I was hugging my family goodbye and going through security. We had approximately ten minutes to clear security and get to our gate before we began boarding. I quickly sent a couple of ‘I’m Engaged’ text messages before shutting off my phone. Of course, once we were on the plane I was full of questions. I wanted to know everything and fortunately, Tom was happy to provide answers.
We spent Friday night in Miami at the Hyatt Regency, the same hotel we stayed at in December prior to our two week Caribbean cruise. Although time was limited, it was wonderful to be back in Miami.
On Saturday morning we embarked on the Carnival Breeze for an 8-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Ports of call for the cruise included Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. While I enjoyed each port, I think my favorite was Grand Turk – Tom and I ended up finding a quiet area on a beach not far from the cruise ship and it was nice to just walk along the beach and swim in the beautiful water.
Fortunately, Tom had enlisted the help of my mother to ensure I was properly packed for the cruise. There were a few additional items I think I would have packed had I known about the cruise, but I got by just fine without them. During the duration of the trip I remember turning to Tom and telling him I really appreciated the ‘alone time’ the trip provided us. Despite being surrounded by other people the trip provided some degree of seclusion – often times it felt like we were the only two people in the world.
I am incredibly thankful. Both the proposal and the trip were absolutely incredible and I still cannot stop smiling. Tom truly exceeded all of my expectations for a proposal.
We landed at approximately 12:05am yesterday (Monday) morning and it has been easy to keep busy ever since. My final semester of my undergrad begins next week and this weekend Tom and I will be spending some time visiting my family. On top of that, I have been doing a lot of writing over the summer and I hope to finish a couple of those projects, as well as start others, and I am eager to get back into blogging. I have opted to start a new blog (this blog), however, old blog posts can be found here. Wedding planning has already begun and I am happy to share my experiences here on my blog. As always, suggestions and requests for future blog posts are welcome!
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