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Jessica P.

One chilly Pennsylvania day, my boyfriend Matthew told me he had a grand idea for a weekend getaway. As somewhat-new state employees, we take advantage of our three-day weekends to the fullest of our ability! His idea was a surprise, but I'm not good with surprises. Not that I don't like them, but I enjoy solving a good mystery once in awhile. I couldn't help but to ask a few questions until he finally gave in and gave me a vague story about my surprise getaway. His parents had a timeshare that they had just recently bought. I had never experienced the timeshare lifestyle, so I was up for anything. He told me that with this specific time share, we could only choose from a few places, and he chose a place up north. Up north? I wasn't too fond of vacationing someplace colder and snowier than my current Pennsylvania winter wonderland. I'm a pretty laidback person, but I was hoping for some fun in the sun! I was finally relaxed and after a few compromises, I said I would go.

We left and started getting closer to our location. I guessed that we were going to Vermont, so I started to get my "To do" list in order. First, I wanted to go to the Magic Hat Brewery, and second, I really wanted to go to Ben and Jerry's. To me, food and beer are always worth a tour for the goodies at the end! Just in time for the tour, we pulled into the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington, Vermont. We took a growler (a big gallon jug) of beer with us. Then, we went off to our final location. Approaching the destination, we finally arrived in Stowe, Vermont. It was beautiful. I kept thinking, "Does he want to go skiing? Oh my goodness, I don't know how to ski! There are pros out there!" When we got to the lodge, our room was not quite ready, so we headed to a resort for a few beverages. When we returned to our room, my mind quickly switched to thinking, "This can't be a timeshare. Isn't a timeshare more like a hotel, not a country cabin lodge?" Our room was a suite. It had everything from a fireplace to fuzzy bathrobes and an outdoor hot tub. I was excited to get into the hot tub, but he had other plans.

We got all dolled up for a nice dinner and stomped through the snow into our car. Off we went to dinner. Matthew, who is usually pretty calm, was acting a little dumfounded. I passed it off to the long day of driving. We aren't big spenders, so I was surprised when he said we were going to dinner at The Stowehoff Inn and that dinner was included in our package. We finally arrived at the beautiful restaurant. The lights that decorated the inn looked like sparkling stars in the distance. The building itself was all wooden with the most intriguing wooden designs in the entrance way. Focusing on the beauty of the building, I didn't take notice until we got closer that there was a horse and carriage sitting out front. I was walking towards the building when Matthew gently pulled me towards the sleigh. The gentleman greeted us and bundled us up with a wooly blanket. I was flabbergasted because everything was so elegant and charming.

I was super excited, and then I felt a tingle in my stomach. I started thinking, "Oh my goodness, could this really be it?" I started to get nervous. It was so quiet out in the woods, and the only the sound was of sleigh bells jingling. I felt so silly, but my mind started to churn. I asked the gentleman who was driving the sleigh, "Where do you need to go to see a moose around here?" He responded with, "Well, right now, it is their time to hibernate, so they really aren't out and about. You would be really lucky if you saw one." I was a little sad at that point, knowing that Matthew had originally sparked my vacation interest with the possibility of seeing a moose. Matt looked at me with a smirk, probably because he thought I was so silly for asking the driver questions about a moose.

The temperature dropped, and I think my heart did too as he leaned closer to me and started to kneel down. My eyes started to water and the tears froze in place as they made their way down my cheek. He looked at me and said, "Jessica, I didn't just bring you up here to see a moose. I also brought you up here to ask you to marry me. So Jessica, will you marry me?" I was astonished and speechless for probably the first time in my life. It was incredible! I couldn't believe a man as wonderful as Matthew loved me so much to go through all of that effort for my hand in marriage. I felt like the luckiest girl on earth. The ring sparkled even more than the lights in the distance. I finally was able to stumble out an answer. Of course I finally said yes! The dinner following never tasted so good and the wine was even better! I think we both had silly grins on our faces for the rest of the night in light of the evening. To this day, I still look at the shimmering ring and remember when Matthew took me to Vermont.

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