Monday, September 19, 2011

Long, long ago in a vacation setting far, far away...

So my DH has had a chance to check out my blog, and has discovered (much to his disappointment), that the story of our engagement is not on here.  It's actually something I've always meant to write about, but what can I say?  Life gets in the way.  So in the interest of marital bliss (or just to stop the whining...I love you, honey!)

So we decide to go on this trip to Maine when in July.  We plan on landing the day before my 25th birthday and staying for about a week or so.  Unbeknownst to me, Alan had already gone to my parents before this and asked for my hand in marriage.  Apparently, my father very calmly responded, "Don't you want the rest of her, too?"  Yeah, that's my he's got this plan.  Which, in my time of knowing him is very unusual.  If it's not a hockey game, Alan's concept of being on time is...well...he's here, isn't he?  Is "punctuality" really that important (hey, you wanted me tell this, didn't you, honey?).  No, seriously, he gets to work on time, but he's not what I'd call "scheduled," or "anal-retentive."  Thank goodness.  It would never work with two of us.

We land in Portland, spend the evening touring Old Port (guess which part of the city was built first!), and have a nice evening.  I guess I should backtrack here and mention quickly that I learned an important lesson: no matter how airsick you think you could be, TWO Dramamines is one too that was after we spent an afternoon where we apparently got to our hotel, checked in, and he bounced off the walls while I slept for four hours...

The next day we're off on our trip to the camp.  Let me explain.  In the South, we call that cute little house on a lake a "cabin."  In Maine it's a Camp.  Don't screw that up.  No, I'm serious - don't screw that up.  You may very well lose your ability to convert oxygen if you do.  It's a CAMP.  We're going up via the coast so we can check out this little fort that was built during the Civil War and reinforced during WWII.  Apparently Maine was convinced that if the Germans were going to attack the U.S., they would start with a real hot-bed of political importance like...Maine.  Yes, that's where I'd head.  Who cares about DC?  Our nation's shipping ports?  Factories and shipyards?  Nope, Maine first!  We had fun, then we're off to our next destination: Two Lights lighthouses.  We get there, but suddenly he informs me we don't have much time, and we really need to get moving...uh...I'm sorry...who are you again?  I rush through checking out the lighthouses (I like lighthouses - get over it), and say I'm ready to leave.  "We've got more time," he says, "You can look around some more." said...uh...OK.  We enjoy our suddenly expansive time at the lighthouses, then we head out.  Now we're suddenly BEHIND schedule.  The entire day.  Dr. Mr. Hyde.  But finally, we're getting up to the camp when we reach the "Height of Land."

The "Height of Land" is an overlook off either hwy 17 or hwy 27 that his family really loves.  You get to see Rangely Lake spread all below you, surrounded by trees and mountains.  It's really lovely.  We get there, and he's now acting REALLY weird.  He's alternating between giddiness and complete silence.  Really.  Who is this guy?  We get there at sunset, too, which is going to be SO lovely.  We step up the railing, look below, and see...clouds...lots and lots and LOTS of clouds.  No lake.  No trees.  No mountains, just clouds.  Apparently we were up ABOVE a low-hanging bank of clouds that came in (no, we're up that high - it ain't fog.)  He's going, "But it's sunset.  We're here at SUNSET!  I got us here at SUNSET!  What the *&^%?!?!?!?!?!"  I'm worried.  I've never seen my normally sweet-tempered boyfriend lose it.  I'm not sure what to do.  "Yes, dear, but they are the nicest clouds of any clouds anywhere?"  No...not good...

So we get back in the car, and we head to Rangely, which is the little town right next to the even tinier town in which the CAMP is located.  A note about small towns: there's only one place routinely open after 6pm - the bar.  So here we are on my birthday, I'm traveling with a world-class weirdo, and we're headed for the bar.  For my birthday.  'Cause I'm such a raging drinker.  We get there and I have something that approximates meat?  I don't know.  But now he's in high spirits again.  He's eating and telling me to relax and take my time.  Oh yes, this is just where I want to relax and take my time...we head on from there to the tinier town where the CAMP is located called Oquossoc.  It has a restaurant, a convenience store, more CAMPS, a local farmers market, a kayak rental, and an antique-kitschy type store.  Did you sneeze?  Sorry, you missed it.  We get to the CAMP in darkness, so I have no idea what this looks like.  To be honest, I just want to go to bed.  I'm kind of cranky.  My birthday has just been weird!  We get inside and he says, "Let's make a fire."  Good idea.  When the sun goes down in Maine it drops 40 degrees instantly.

They have a camp stove in the camp which has a flue you have to open.  I'm a former Girl Scout.  He's the guy who has spent many a summer at the camp.  Surely we can manage a fire, right?  Oh no...some flues open when you push the lever to the right.  Some when you push the lever to the left.  This one?  In the middle.  How did we find out?  We smoke out the ENTIRE CAMP.  Tears are streaming out of my eyes.  I can't breath.  For my birthday, I'm going to hack up a lung.  I turn around...and he's standing there with a box and he says, "I give up.  This just isn't working anymore."  That's when he proposes.  Poor guy.  He had all these plans, and nothing was working out.  I think he was afraid that if he didn't propose right then, I might suddenly take the car and run.

I said yes BEFORE he gave me the ring, but the ring sealed it.  I knew he was the only man for me.  He asked me months before what was the perfect engagement ring.  I said a claddagh, because it symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship.  However, after I told him this, I realized that the stone would be inset, and I really loved the idea of the more traditional ring with the stone on top.  But at the same time, the claddagh was so perfect on so many levels...well, he couldn't find a claddagh with a diamond.  Turns out I was a trend-setter - they are everywhere today.  So he got D Geller to order a white gold claddagh and place a diamond setting on top.  So I had the best of both worlds!  It was EXACTLY what I wanted.

That's pretty much it, although I'll save the story about the day AFTER my birthday for another time.  We cleared out the smoke, his sister came, we called family and friends (turns out we were roaming which was ridiculously expensive, but that's another matter).  The only thing that I could have shot him for is that my mom told him to get a picture right after he proposed.  What does he do?  He grabs the video camera.  So we have this short video of me with EXTREMELY red eyes and messy hair snuffling, him saying, "What do you have?" and me saying, *sniff* *sniff* "I have a-a ri-ing..."  Oh, it's attractive alright.  But I love him so much.

So there you go.  And I will add, that had there NOT been clouds at the "Height of Land," it would have been a wonderful spot for a proposal.  But all in all, not nearly as funny.  I pick on him a lot, but honestly, he's a good guy.  I love him.  But don't tell.  I don't want to ruin it ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment