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The Proposal Story

Here is our engagement story from Libby's point of view with Ernie's comments sprinkled in for effect:

Since I was visiting San Diego twice, we decided to split up the weekends and each plan one. I had planned the first weekend and Ernie planned the second. The only catch was that Ernie told me he was keeping everything in his weekend a surprise. 

So, it may be an understatement to say I was excited to get our weekend started…. I had been living in suspense for too long! 

When I landed in San Diego on Friday, Ernie surprised me at the terminal waiting inside with a gorgeous red rose.  [Ernie: She managed to ride the escalator three flights staring at her feet without noticing me at the bottom].  

After the airport we didn't have far to go to get a quick lunch at C-Level, where had a wonderful meal and an amazing dessert.

Then we headed off to the San Diego Air Show, which was incredible. 

From vintage planes to ultra-modern F-22’s the Air Show had it all.  We walked around and had a blast checking out all the aircrafts on the ground, being careful not to walk into anything while looking up at the

various flight shows. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon after being cramped up on a plane for almost 8 hours! 
After a quick stop at the hotel, we went to dinner at an amazing sushi restaurant (one of my favorite foods!). Afterwards we had the rooftop hotel pool all to ourselves and went for a quick swim before bed.

The next morning, I was brimming with excitement to see what the day had in store for us. We got up early, got dressed [Ernie: I told her to wear a bathing suit and shorts which clearly got her head spinning about what was in store but due to careful planning she never anticipated the next step]  In the car we played a guessing game of possible choices.  I guessed snorkeling, swimming with seals, and surf lessons.  Oddly enough at the Air Show on Friday there was a jet-ski display, to which Ernie commented “You really want to do that huh? Well, maybe someday, it is very expensive”, I thought nothing of it at the time. 

As we were getting closer to our destination, I was reading all of the signs to gather clues. Finally – one popped out at me, “ We ARE going jet-skiing!!” I shouted. Laughing, Ernie admitted that yes… we were scheduled for a 9:00am jet-ski tour of La Jolla.  I have always wanted to go on a jet-ski, so I was pumped. 

We were sharing a jet-ski and decided that Ernie would drive first, and I would switch later. Our group headed out and the 5mph getting out of the harbor was filled with views of seals sunning on the docks and floating lazily on their backs – already this. Was. Awesome. Before we knew it we were out on open water going 30mph jumping waves (catching air, ahh!) and having a blast. We went all the way out  to the breathtaking views of La Jolla. 

Our group stopped for a few minutes to play, and I decided to drive. Steering a jet-ski is harder than it looks, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Within a few minutes, I gunned the jet-ski to maximum power and took off at 45mph screaming with excitement. [Ernie: I couldn't believe she went to full power, all I could do was hang on and hope she didn't let go!]  It was by far the best adventure we had yet… check jet-skiing off the bucket list!

After changing into dry clothes and wiping the salt from our faces we headed to the grocery store and gathered ingredients for a picnic lunch on the beach! We had an amazingly delicious lunch at a picnic table overlooking the beach, and then went down to the tide pools to explore! After a while went gathered up all our treasures and got back in the car. 

Ernie then took me to Cabrillo National Monument—where there were absolutely no proper adjectives to describe the view. By then it was about time to head back and get ready for dinner.

[Ernie: What she didn't realize her first trip out was that the dresses I bought her were for tonight.]  Once we were dressed our first stop was Altitude rooftop bar, which only added to the long list of breath taking views we had seenthroughout the day. 

On Friday while we were driving around I had noticed a yacht called the Inspiration Hornblower and made a joke to Ernie about the name. So Ernie  suggested we go check out the ship before dinner. Off we went, but when we got there the parking was $10 and I told Ernie that it was okay, I didn’t need to see the boat that badly. He said it wasn’t a problem and we would just stop quick. Well, the line for the pre-pay parking machine was about a mile long and again I said it was silly to pay so much and wait in such a line to go see the boat. Ernie insisted that it was not a problem and there was a place down the street we could go for dinner if we wanted so I gave up and went with it. Frankly, I thought it was a little crazy but decided not to argue. 

Finally, we headed over to the dock of the marina where the Inspiration Hornblower was, but there was a huge line of people where a man asked, “Checking in for dinner, sir?” to which Ernie replied, “Yes”. I was flabbergasted! I bombarded him with questions: “Did you plan this all along?” “Are you sure you didn’t book this when we were getting ready for dinner?” “Are we really going on a dinner cruise?”. Yes, he had it planned way in advance…little did I know. 

A quick professional picture on the way on the ship, and then we were handed glasses of champagne and shown to our sweetheart table in a secluded corner, complete with collectable Inspiration Hornblower champagne glasses, chocolates, a bottle of champagne, and ballons! I was blown away. How romantic! 

Almost immediately, we were served artichoke and spinach dip appetizer which he pre-ordered for us because that is what we shared on our first date. I was utterly in heaven. Once we got going, he asked me if I wanted to go up to the top deck to check it out. [Ernie: I had a long speech planned in my head, it was at this point that I panicked and forgot the whole thing]  

Once in a secluded corner of the top deck he asked me if I knew that the engagement ring of Mema’s that my Mom sometimes wore was not Mema’s original engagement diamond. My mind went numb and I’m pretty sure I shook my head no…why? He knew because when he spoke to my parents letting them know he was going to ask me to marry him my Mom had told him. He then got down on one knee, told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and asked me to marry him! Through my tears I said “YES!”!!! 

He had custom designed the ring, which has three stones… one is Mema’s original engagement diamond. The stone has a slight yellow tint, as that is all Papa could afford at the time but is the perfect way to see that she is with me all the time.

Ernie then told me to get my phone because my family knew and was awake waiting for my call. I had started to cry hysterically when he proposed and continued to on and off for about the next twenty-five minutes while we called family and friends. 

The rest of the night went by in a whirlwind. We had an amazing dinner (which I took most of home because I was too excited to eat), and a special congratulations chocolate cake from our waitress. The news spread fast and the couple at the table next to us became our fast friends (as they were on their honeymoon) and the DJ announced our engagement to the ship, and we spent the rest of the night dancing to love songs with ear-to-ear smiles.

Once we docked and headed back to the hotel, Ernie had a couple more surprises: there was a dozen roses waiting for me and he had ordered ingredients to make me crepes for breakfast in the kitchenette of our room. Along with the roses was a bottle of wine and a card from the hotel staff, and a card my parents mailed to Ernie with a post-it that said “Please save this for the appropriate moment!”. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day, proposal, or man to spend the rest of my life with!

Oh, and those crepes were great the next morning!

[Ernie: I finally was able to relax, the plan had gone off without a hitch, thanks to everyone's help!]