My boyfriend had been planning a getaway in celebration of our eight year anniversary in October 2008. Before we left for the surprise destination, he had me put on a blindfold. The joke of our relationship is that he has a difficult time surprising me, so I decided to be a good sport and wear the blindfold to prevent myself from figuring out where we were going. Two hours later, he removed it from my face, and I saw that we were at an Embassy Suites Hotel. He asked me to guess where we were, and my first guess was Temecula. He responded in shock that I would guess the location right off the bat. However, he knows how much I love being in wine country, especially after our Valentine's Day lunch at Falkner Winery earlier in the year.
We had a pretty restless sleep our first night. Eventually, the alarm went off, and we prepared to leave before 6 am. Josh had told me to dress warmly and bring tennis shoes along with my wedges. On the way to Wilson Creek Winery, Josh realized he brought the wrong directions with him, so he told me to keep my eyes peeled for the winery since it was dark outside. We pulled into the parking lot, and Josh revealed that he had arranged for us to take a ride in a private hot air balloon! I was so excited!
We signed the waiver form and had to wait an hour to get on the balloon. It felt like a few hours went by because I kept on saying how badly I wanted them to hurry up and set up the balloon! Three other couples were in the parking lot waiting for their turns to go on the balloon as well. We watched as the employees blew up the balloon and lit fire into the balloon to help it rise. It was finally time to get into the basket!
One couple we met in the parking lot took our picture in the balloon with our pilot. One of the pilot's trainees hopped in to join us for the ride, and before we knew it we were up, up and away! The ride was nothing short of AMAZING! The weather was perfect, and the view was spectacular. We watched a flock of birds fly over the vineyards. Little cottontail rabbits were hopping in the rows. Josh and I were busy taking pictures, and I leaned over the side to get a picture of him looking at the view. Little did I know, there was a F350 truck chasing our balloon on the dirt road below us. I was looking at some of the pictures we had just taken when Josh suddenly pointed down and said, "Look!"
I looked over the edge of the basket, and a few hundred feet below I saw the three couples waiving. As I looked closer, I noticed a sign they were holding up that said, "BECCA, WILL YOU MARRY ME?" I shouted, "OH...MY...GOSH!" in complete shock and turned to look at Josh down on one knee. Before he could even say anything, I said "YES!" multiple times and started to cry.
I then kissed my now-fiancé as I continued to cry tears of joy. It was the best proposal in the world! When we landed, all the people who had helped make the proposal wonderful came up and congratulated us. Many of them had taken pictures, and one couple even got my reaction to the proposal on video camera! They said I shouted so loudly in response to seeing the sign that they heard me from all the way down below where they were standing! As the rest of the people loaded into the balloon and ascended into the air for their balloon ride, Josh presented me with two dozen red roses.
One of the workers of the company that had driven everyone in the truck to help with the proposal took a few pictures of Josh and me holding up the "BECCA, WILL YOU MARRY ME?" sign with the hot air balloon ascending in the background. I couldn't have been happier! When the group was done with their rides, we all gathered at Wilson Creek winery for a small breakfast and glasses of their famous Almond Champagne. Before everyone left to go their separate ways, I requested a group picture so I could remember everyone who was part of this special day for Josh and me. After we took a few pictures, I thanked everyone for making the proposal special, and we said our goodbyes as they promised to send their pictures and videos. Josh and I then went wine tasting at Wilson Creek Winery. I am still shocked that Josh was able to surprise me with such a thoughtful and romantic proposal. It feels like a movie to me when I play it back in my head. After eight years together, we have a wonderful engagement story that I'm sure we will continue to tell for the rest of our lives. My friends and family know how long I've been wanting to get engaged, and I can tell you now that it was definitely worth the wait!