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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Surprise Chattanooga Weekend

Friday was a cold day. School was cancelled due to the "snow", which was nowhere in sight. My sweet husband volunteered to ride with me to the School Supply store in Gallatin. While we were in the car, he received a mysterious phone call. I badgered him about it until he finally gave up and spilled his surprise! He was planning a weekend getaway for Valentine's day to Chattanooga. I was so excited: fancy hotel (The Chattanoogan!!!!), nice dinners, and a roadtrip! We both had the day off, so I talked him into leaving immediately and going to Chattanooga right then.

It sounded like a great idea. The snow wasn't supposed to hit until late that night and would be over by Sunday. We ran home, threw all of our things into a suitcase and left. About 25 minutes into the trip, it began to snow. Ben is actually a really safe driver, but traffic was crazy. Our two hour road trip lasted about six hours! We were about two miles from the hotel according to our GPS, and we were at a standstill for an hour (Ben says 20 minutes, but it was an hour).

I couldn't believe how nice the hotel was. He did a great job! I've travelled all over and stayed in some really nice hotels, and this was one of the best. Here is a picture of the lobby.
We had dinner reservations at Sekisui for 7:30. We followed a snow plow through the city which was fun. It felt like we had our own personal chauffeur. When we got there, the lights were off! We saw a man in the back coming to the door. He turned out to be the owner, and he gave us a gift certificate to come back another time because none of his employees showed up that night!

We went back to the hotel and tried their seafood buffet. I'm not a huge seafood fan, but they were having Spain night!!!!!!!! I got to have Paella again, and Madrid stew, swordfish, and lots more delicious stuff!

Here are a few shots of our fabulous hotel room:
This place was so nice. I didn't want to leave!

We had an amazing view of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo at night!

The next day, we got up and started exploring. We explored Chattanooga by foot and bus. We met some very interesting locals along the way! The people of the city were all very friendly. That afternoon, we went back to try Japanese food one more time. We weren't disappointed. It's the best sushi I've ever had. If your are in Chattanooga, I highly recommend it.
We also went out to Nikko's, our "fancy night out" restaurant.

So, in summary, I have the best husband in the entire world. We had a very adventurous and romantic weekend!

Our Story, by my Prince Charming

How We Met

As far as meetings go, the first one was by chance, and the second, divine intervention.

It was January 16th, 2006 and I had just graduated from college. I was very excited about my first day of my third time working at Walt Disney World on the College Program. I arrived very early eager to check in to my apartment at the legendary Vista Way. Being young and single, of course I immediately began checking out the girl situation.

However, I wasn't the only one who was excited and eager to begin a Disney adventure. A young Elizabeth Ashley Long was also there at the Vista Way Pavilion that day, checking out the boy situation, one boy in particular, as it turns out.

Ashley and I would meet for the first time on that day. She was in the registration line right beside me and I made fun of her for forgetting her social security card in her other purse, which as anyone knows, is my way of flirting. We soon parted ways without exchanging any information. I knew she was living in a different apartment complex and fully expected to never see her again.

Thankfully, the story did not end there, because Ashley had miraculously befriended one of my roommates who was also in line, and a few days later she mysteriously appeared in my living room. That night, we went out to dinner together with a group of friends to Market Street Cafe in Celebration, Florida. After dinner we sat out by the lake, basically ignoring everyone around us, engrossed in conversation and marveling at all the things we had in common.

We decided it would be a great idea to go to the parks together and watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot. With the romantic atmosphere of World Showcase and my...I mean her amazing personality, it didn't take long for sparks to fly.

Ashley and I spent an amazing few months together in Orlando before it was time for her to go back to Mississippi. After a tearful goodbye, I knew that there was something special about this girl and I could imagine spending the rest of my life with her.

It wasn't easy maintaining a relationship long distance for such a long time. My wanderlust certainly did not make it any easier for Ashley, But she stuck by me. It's been a long, winding road to get to this point, and right now we couldn't be happier.

How It Happened

A Surprise Proposal

Ashley and I had been dating for the better part of three years. We started discussing the possibility of marriage a long time ago and we had even gone to the mall to look at engagement rings. Needless to say, achieving the element of surprise for a proposal was going to be a rather difficult challenge. I wasn't going to be able to, say, get dressed up and take her out to the nicest place in town, or take blankets and candles to the beach or lake without suspicion being aroused.

Ashley's step father's birthday party was to be on Monday night, April 27th. I had been invited and it seemed like perhaps the perfect opportunity to "pop the question" without Ashley having any idea that it was coming. I approached him and asked if it would be okay if I proposed at his birthday party and if he and Ashley's mother would help. He said, and I quote, "Do it".

Ashley's mom made a big deal about the party we were going to have that night. It was originally meant to be a simple occasion with pizza and Diet Coke. However, she decided it was to be a more formal affair and made everyone dress up, got out the fine china, made a nice meal, and got out the video camera.

After dinner and a wonderful cake made by Ashley's sister, it was time for Ashley's dad to open presents. From the dining room we moved the party into the living room and got comfortable. The family had gotten him a Starbuck's gift card which they had placed into a larger box to kind of throw him off, or so they thought. What Ashley, Dru, and Rachel didn't know was that the box also contained a ring that I had bought a few days earlier. After thanking the family for his gift card, He said "Is that it?", and rifled through the tissue paper.

Upon finding the ring box, he pulled it out and asked what it was. The girls started laughing and saying things like "Oh great!", and "Good job mom!", Thinking she had somehow dropped a block of wood or something into the box. "Did you get this for me Ben?", he asked. "Actually, that is for Ashley", I said as I walked over to take the ring from him.

It was at that point that Dru, Rachel, and Ashley realized what was going on. I walked over to her and asked her to stand up. I told her that one of the few things that I was certain about in my life was that I wanted to spend the rest of it with her. I dropped to one knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes.

Ashley's dad also had brought home her first two bridal magazines.

So it wasn't the most romantic proposal but I was able to surprise her. She tells me that I did a wonderful job and that she thinks the ring is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. I hope she is not just trying to spare my feelings, but I think she really means it.

We are both very excited.

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