Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Engaged!

   The story of my engagement night. :-)
   When we were planning our family trip to Walt Disney World last year, Kara really wanted to eat at a 5-star restaurant. I had told her that it would most likely cost over $100 a plate. I'm not sure if she didn't believe me or what, but once it came time to make our reservations I showed her the menu prices for the one 5-star restaurant in the Orlando area, Victoria & Albert's, which is at the Grand Floridian Resort in Walt Disney World. It cost $125 + $65 for the wine pairing with each course. Kara quickly figured that it would not be in her Disney budget to go to Victoria & Albert's.    A week later I decided to pony up and make reservations for us without telling her. I thought it may be a good time to propose. I had it in my head that I was going to pop the question while I was in Disney when we started planning the vacation, but didn't have the details planned yet. Along the course of the months that followed I nan-chalantly asked Kara what dress she would have worn had we gone to the 5-star restaurant. I noted her response and a week before we left, I stole it from her wardrobe.
   I met with my mom and sister at my mom's house with dress in hand and we put it on a sewing mannequin my mom has. After hugging it and cuddling with it I figured it was pretty close to Kara's dimensions. We picked out jewelry to match the dress, but we were all a little worried that the dress may be a little snug. A few days later my sister and I went to Deb and I bought a backup dress. It looked better than the one she wanted to bring anyway.
   Once we had my suit, my shoes, her dress, some shoes we picked out for her and the jewelry all together we put it all in a garment bag and gave it to my brother to pack in the car before we left. He put it in before he picked Kara up, so she just figured it was his bag.
On Wednesday, January 28th we were at the Animal Kingdom. Right after breakfast my mom wasn't feeling well, so she went back to the hotel, after trading cameras with me, so I would have her really nice camera for 'the big moment'. She went back to the hotel room and laid out all our clothes and jewelry and washed and ironed my shirt. Around three, I told Kara we needed to head back to our resort to see the Villians & Animals show, which I had made up. I told her it was a show with animals that do stunts with people dressed up as Disney villians. Imagine Jafar with trained tigers or something. I told her we needed to leave pretty early, because the parade at the Animal Kingdom would start soon and block our exit. I then said we could take a nap in the hotel room while we waited for the show to start. She sounded very relieved as she was getting pretty tired after being in Disney for 5 days.
   Once I opened the door to our room, Kara saw all our clothes laid out and said, "This isn't our room." I then told her there was no Villians & Animals show and that I was taking her to Victoria & Albert's for her Christmas gift. She was very excited and kind of in shock.
Waiting for  the bus   After we got all gussied up, we took the bus to the Magic Kingdom, and then the monorail to the Grand Floridian Resort, where Victoria & Albert's is. We had a little trouble with the transportation and ended up being ~15 minutes late. We were pretty worried that they wouldn't let us eat, but they never said anything about it. We were both pretty nervous at first, because neither of us had ever eaten at such a nice restaurant.
   The restaurant was much smaller than I had imagined and very dimly lit, probably to be more romantic or whatever. We had a waiter and a waitress helping us the whole time, although I couldn't tell the difference between their jobs. It was really weird having someone take your chair out and push it in for you. They also put our napkins on our laps, which just seemed odd. Our waitress explained what each dish was and where all the different parts of it came from. It was nice, but it got kind of old after a while. For each course we had two or three options. The food was amazing and we took pictures of each of the seven courses we ate.
Both - Course 2 - Buffalo John - Course 3 - ScallionsKara - Course 3 - Tuna Kara - Course 4 - Duck John - Course 5 - Elk Kara - Course 5 - Veal
   We got the wine pairings with each of the courses, which I was very glad for. Kara wasn't drinking fast enough to match each wine with her course, so I ended up downing hers too, which helped calm my nerves. Needless to say, I was getting a little nervous, knowing I was going to propose in just an hour or two. Our waitress also explained in detail each of our wines and where they came from, but I didn't really care. Wine tastes like wine to me.
Kara - Course 6 - Cheese John - Course 6 - GelatoJohn - Course 7 - Bananas Kara - Course 7 - Dessert
Strange Coffee Machine   We decided to get coffee with our dessert, because I had heard the coffee was cool. And it was. When we started our dessert, they brought out this glass contraption with two glass bulbs. The top one was filled with coffee grounds and the bottom one had the water. Underneath the water, our waiter lit an oil candle, which boiled the water and made it go up a tube to the bulb with the coffee grounds. After a while he came back and blew out the candle and the water started getting sucked back down to the lower bulb. It was a pretty neat contraption. When we were done eating our waiter gave Kara a rose and left us with fancy cookies and a breakfast cake for the next morning.
After tax, tip and everything the dinner ended up being $500 for the two of us. I can't really say if it was worth it or not, because I don't go to fancy restaurants often, but I don't regret it. The food was simply amazing. There were all these different tastes to each course which made me excited for the next one. Even though the portions were absolutely tiny, I left stuffed after 7 rounds.
Both of us in the fireplace room at Victoria & Albert's   After dinner our waitress took a few photos of us around the restaurant, which I thought was nice. I then told Kara that there was a beach at the resort and asked if she wanted to go take some pictures at the fancy resort. We walked around snapping pictures left and right and I kept trying to get closer to Cinderella's castle, because I knew there was a dock with the castle behind it, and that is where I was planning on doing the deed. After a while we found the dock and snapped a few more pictures. I then kind of stalled, because I wanted someone to take our picture when I was on one knee.
Killing time taking pictures
Getting ready...   After a few minutes, an older guy started walking down the dock and I ran up to him and asked if he would take our picture. I then told him what was going on and he seemed kind of excited. He took a couple pictures and then I looked at them and I was supposed to put the camera into sport mode here, so when he held the button down it would take a whole bunch of photos, but I was a little nervous and forgot. I then told him the cue "lets try just one more" and went back to Kara.
Proposing...   Now, when I had this all planned out in my head, I had figured that this guy would be really far away from us and have the camera zoomed in and whatnot, but in actuality, he had to be only about 15 feet from us to take a good picture. I started shaking so bad you might of thought I had epilepsy or something. I got down to one knee and whipped out the ring, fearful I was going to drop it into the black water. My eyes started tearing up pretty bad and I presented the ring. I had a big speech planned out, but I could hardly speak I was so overcome with emotion, so I cut it really short. She of course said yes and we held eachother, both crying and tremblying, saying "I love you" to eachother repeatedly.
I then remembered that the guy was still over there holding my mom's camera, so I went and got it from him and thanked him. I was so happy that it all worked out and she was completely surprised. I hadn't told any of my friends I was doing any of this and it felt good to finally have it all out in the open and done.
Notice how there is no one in the TTC?   We both really needed a cigarette again then and were searching for a place to smoke. I texted my whole family (who were eagerly awaiting a response back at the hotel) and told them she said she'd have to think about it, being the sneaky devil that I am. We walked all around the Grand Floridian and didn't see anywhere, so we just kept walking to the Polynesian, which is right next to it and smoked on the path. Between the two resorts is, uncannily, the wedding pavillion. Once we got to the Polynesian we got all turned around in their gardens and whatnot, but finally made it to the monorail platform. About then I decided to text my family back and tell them the truth. From there we decided to go to the transportation and ticket center and get a bus back to our resort. We didn't realize that the TTC closes a couple hours after the Magic Kingdom and that it doesn't have any busses anyway. On the monorail a woman sitting behind us noticed Kara looking at her ring and talking about it. She asked if we were just engaged and she seemed very excited and congratulated us.
On the monorailAt the Polynesian
   We finally tracked down a worker who explained we would have to walk to the Polynesian, and take a bus to Downtown Disney and then another bus to the Coronado Springs. By now Kara's feet were killing her, because her strappy sandals were definately not made for walking in, so she started walking barefoot on our way to the Polynesian. We then walked right on by the bus stop to the valet and another worker pointed us back in the right direction. Luckily we didn't have to wait for the bus too long.
   The ride to Downtown seemed to take forever. Once we got there we hopped on another bus to Coronado which was packed. We had to stand up the whole time. Halfway back, we noticed the lady behind us was the same lady from the monorail. She threatened to tell everyone on the bus and embarass us, but luckily she didn't. We were both dead tired after our journey home.
   Jess was sleeping when we got back so Kara jumped on top of her and told her the news. My dad came in from his room (they had the cool adjoining door) and brought us wine and beer to celebrate. I guess when I texted them the first time they were walking out of the liquor store with the wine. I bet they felt kind of weird. My dad congratulated us and him and my mom welcomed Kara to the family and we went to bed, knowing we will be together forever.

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