As a friend so aptly said, Carl went to great heights this past weekend. He asked. I said YES! Oh, and did I forget to mention that this all happened 3,000 feet up in the air in a hot air balloon overlooking the vineyards of Sonoma County? Truly great heights. I don’t feel like I’ve landed yet. After years of catching the random bouquet at a wedding (or running to the restroom to avoid it), and even being voted most eligible bachelorette at my 10-year high school reunion (oh wait.. I was the only single girl there!), many prayers have been answered and the “Hallelujah Chorus” is echoing in my ears.
The funny part of the story (and anxiety-producing for Carl), is that the balloon proposal was supposed to happen on Saturday morning. Carl persevered and went through Plan A, B, C, and D, before the conditions were just right. Here’s how it rolled out… we arrived in Healdsburg on Friday to have a “cycling” weekend through the wine country with our friends, the Hyatts. On Saturday morning, Carl woke me up at 5:00am (ouch) for my first “test” – as he liked to call it. En-route, he got a mysterious call that caused us to turn around and crawl back in bed. (Apparently, the pilot thought there was too much fog for take-off.)
Instead of Plan A, we had a great day of cycling through the vineyards, and having a picnic lunch overlooking the valley. Plan B was soon eliminated when I fell asleep for an afternoon nap and ruined Carl’s hopes of an afternoon stroll. Onto Plan C – the Madrona Manor for an incredible dinner. I must say that the Maitre-D tipped me off when we walked in and he said in his french accent, “We’ve reserved the best table in the house for you. Oh, and would you like some champagne?” I’m used to getting crammed in the corner next to the kitchen and begging for water refills! I figured something was up… but Carl decided to take a gamble and hold out for Plan D. He’ll have to tell you about his experience of eating duck tongue. I’m not joking.
Plan D had us back up the next morning at 5:00am and on the road in thick fog. It did not look good. Fortunately, Carl had a heart-to-heart with the pilot the day before, who guaranteed there would be lift off in the hot air balloon.
We drove an hour east, over a few hills to Hidden Valley where we were able to locate some sunshine (but no salad dressing).We had lift-off, with the 14 other passengers and our trusty pilot. Thirty minutes into the ride, Carl asked if I’d like to take a leap. I said no. Then he asked if I’d like to take a different kind of leap – a leap with him. And then he showed me the ring. There were great cheers from 3,000 feet up with the other passengers who rode along with us… many of whom were celebrating their anniversaries and who also loved being a part of a proposal in the air.
Once we landed, Carl insisted that we had to get back to Sunnyvale by 2:00. Why? He had to do some weeding. I, of course, pressed him on that one. He insisted that he needed to do some yard work. Something was fishy and I figured I better drop the subject since there must be some sort of party with his family in the works.
When we walked into his parents house, my parents were there to surprise me, as well as my godparents (Steve & Margie – I know you love it when I call you that). Carl got me with that one. We had such a great time celebrating together!