Here’s the big-ass story of my weekend and how I proposed to Laura. The important part is just that I proposed to her on Monday, May 31st, and that she said yes. We still have an open relationship, and no, we haven’t yet set a date. If you don’t really care about all the nitty-gritty details of our trip to Orlando, don’t bother reading the narrative below.
So… almost everything went as planned. I had bought Laura several gifts to shower her with over the weekend (butter her up so she’d say yes!) and had them hidden (wrapped) in the bottom of my bag. I also had three plastic and exceptionally gaudy rings, I knew which one I was probably going to use, but didn’t quite decide until the last minute. Laura says she didn’t know it was going to happen, but she seemed more surprised when she found all these presents I hid in various parts of the room than when I finally proposed. Anyway, I’ll start at the beginning…
We arrived at our hotel on Saturday around 2 PM, and wandered around Downtown Disney until five-thirty-ish when we saw Cirque’s La Nouba. Everything about it was amazing, and I think I need to pick up the soundtrack. Most Cirque Du Soleil soundtracks are great music, but also seem to be the kind of thing I would listen to only rarely. This one was especially listenable, I felt.
Unfortunately, (and this would become a recurring theme for the weekend) I was so tired from lack of sleep that I found my eyes closing during some of the slower parts. Of course it was so good that I would be awake again almost immediately, captivated by some other aspect of the performance. I could write another whole entry about the show, so I’m just going to say that I think I liked the bikes the best.
After La Nouba, we wandered back to the hotel and went swimming before we turned in for the night. I let Laura find the first of my hidden presents under her pillow.
Sunday we got up amazingly early, and got to Universal Islands of Adventure just before the gates opened up at 9:00. This meant we got to ride almost everything without waiting for more than ten or fifteen minutes at each ride. Around noon the lines really started to get bad, and the only rides we really hadn’t ridden yet were the two water-rides in the Cartoon area. We had an amazing lunch at this restaurant called Mythos. If you’re ever in the park, and need to eat, I highly recommend it. By far the best meal we ate all weekend.
Around nine they were ushering us out of the park, and we’d had a chance to see everything we’d wanted to see, which included the Dueling Dragon ride three times. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to see the Spiderman ride again as I’d wanted to all day. It had easily been my second favorite ride in the park.
Over all, Islands of Adventure was really great. Most of the rides had cool stuff to look at while you waited in line, and each of the “Island” areas offered a different type of ambience that extended even into the stores. Laura and I especially liked the look of Seuss Landing, even though they really didn’t have that much for us “grown ups” to do in terms of rides. You can see some pictures of our new stuffed Lorax over at the moblog.
That night we stayed in Universal’s “Citywalk”, and had some decent food while watching live flamenco music. Our feet were too tired to go into any clubs, so we took a taxi back to the hotel around eleven thirty and turned in for the night.
Monday came around, and it was the day I’d planned to propose. I’d told Laura a couple of times I wanted to go someplace nice for dinner that night, and was planning to do it there. By the time we left the hotel, she’d “found” and opened all her presents, and I slyly (I thought) revealed that I only had one more left for her to open later that night.
Here’s a weird thing: we’d gotten up early again, to an alarm, and we both sort of rolled around in bed not wanting to get up. But then Laura said something that startled me wide-awake in an instant. She said she’d had a dream about how I was planning this whole trip just to get married. Only she thought it had taken place in Las Vegas, and not Orlando. I jokingly asked her if it was in the Elvis chapel and left it at that. Later that night she said she didn’t even remember the dream or telling me about it.
We made it to Disney’s MGM studios shortly after they’d opened. Unfortunately, the park was already crowded. MGM had its good points, (the Tower of Terror being the highlight), but overall it was pretty disappointing in comparison to Islands of Adventure. The lines were decidedly longer, and everything seemed more crowded and less “themed” outside the rides.
We ate lunch at this science fiction restaurant that looked like a drive-in on the inside. All the tables were shaped like cars, and everyone faced this giant movie screen that showed a reel of sci-fi b-movie trailers and short animated sci-fi bits. They had a cool atmosphere, but the food, service and expensive prices all left a lot to be desired.
We’d decided on this place in Downtown Disney for dinner, but they were only open until 11:00, and we wanted to see MGM’s closing light and water show that didn’t start till 9:00. It was cutting it tight, and on the bus back toward Downtown Disney at around 10:30 Laura could tell I was getting really frustrated that we might not make it in time. I think she got a little mad at me that I wanted it to be a really nice restaurant, and this was the first time we’d had any sort of disagreement the whole trip.
I don’t know if you can imagine my dismay. Basically, I’d left the proposing till the last night we had in town, and suddenly the place I’d planned to do it was slipping out from under my fingers. To make matters infinitely worse, Laura was upset with me for being upset about not making it to the restaurant, which meant I obviously couldn’t propose until we were both in a better mood.
We would have had to walk really far to get to where we’d planned to eat earlier, and I was about ready to commit ritual suicide, so I basically threw up my hands and we decided to just eat at the first place that looked decent. I mentally planned to just do it the next day at lunch, or not at all.
We ended up at a really nice Italian place. After we were seated, I finally calmed down a bit. The food was excellent and by the end of the meal we were both in a much better mood.
Laura wanted to just go back to the hotel room and crash, but I decided I really just couldn’t wait until the next day to propose, and it was such a nice night that started to wonder why I’d wanted to do it over dinner in the first place. I convinced Laura to walk with me down by the pool by telling her I wanted to give her the last present.
Of course when we finally sat down in a secluded corner of the pool area I said that to get the present she had to say yes to my question… and the question was would she marry me? I remember that I got down on one knee, but the rest of it, including what she said immediately after is a weird blank spot in my memory. She insists she said yes, but I can’t remember at all, and I don’t know why. I know that we got to talking about the ring I used, (it was actually one I had bought for irish-girl a couple of years ago on some random impulse… the store didn’t have any like it, and the only ones they did have were stupid colors like green and orange), I told her that story, and said I had a couple of others for her to pick from. I think she liked one of the others that lit up better than it, as she wore it that night and part of the next day (until I bought her a mickey-mouse shaped faux-diamond one in Downtown Disney.)
I think that’s it for now. I haven’t been very productive working from home today. (I decided to work from home to spend time with our poor neglected cats.) There are of course about a billion other details from the trip that I’m not going into right now. And maybe someday I’ll write the “why I decided to get married even though it makes me look like a hypocrite because I hate the institution of marriage” entry. This afternoon when I talked to my sister she told me mom had always said she’d be the first one to get married. (She’s the youngest of three, but I think that says something about how much I’ve always hated the idea of marriage.)
Anyway, I love Laura, and trust her at least as much as I’ve trusted anyone in my entire life. I think we’re very good for one another, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. She’s told me she wants the same, but she’d also told me she wanted to have some kind of commitment ceremony. So I guess that’s why.
Now we get to plan the how, when and where…