Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Proposal by the Sea

We’re nearing summer vacation time, so let me take you on a little trip today.

ahh, just soak up the sun – isn’t it beautiful?

It was Friday, June 29, and Brendan and I were ready for a little vacation. Having just started my postdoctoral fellowship in the spring, I didn’t have much vacation time saved up yet, so we just took a short weekend trip, leaving work a few hours early and heading up to our favorite spot in Maine for the weekend.

Backing up a bit: The first time I ever knew I loved Brendan was when we were in Maine. After we’d been dating for only a few years (some of that long-distance), he took me up on a surprise day trip to the Maine coast. He showed me all of his favorite spots to relax. At the end of the whirlwind day, he told me that those spots were his favorites because he’d grown up going there in the summer with his family. I felt like I finally had a window to his soul, and I absolutely fell in love. Over the years, we have gone back there for longer and longer each year, and every trip has been one to remember.

Anyway, back to the vacation! We had just escaped work for the weekend, and we stopped at the beach for a while. We had been dating for over 8 years at that point, and I had a feeling that this might finally be the weekend he would propose. I sat there on the beach, trying to relax with my mind racing through all of the possibilities. I also tried not to worry that it might not be the time, after all – we’d had a few false alarms in the past (that I’m sure he doesn’t even know about!) and I didn’t want to be disappointed if this turned out to be just another beautiful weekend together rather than the weekend.

After our beach detour, we stopped by the hotel to check in. I definitely noticed that Brendan was acting a little….off. He pushed me to get ready quickly so we could squeeze in all we needed to do – and this is a man who is never in a hurry! I took my time getting ready anyway, since I wanted to make sure that I looked nice. After some discussion of where we wanted to go before dinner, we were off in the car to one of our favorite places, Perkins Cove.

Perkins Cove, a beautiful little fishing village

Now, it should be noted that this is absolutely not where I thought Brendan would propose. We had spent a lot of time walking along a jetty up the beach a bit, and he knew that it was my absolute favorite place to be with him. Of course he would pick there, right? Wrong. Brendan claims he picked Perkins Cove because it was the only place we could go that would be on the way to dinner, and he didn’t want to miss our reservations. Whatever the reason, it worked out perfectly, because the sunset there was absolutely gorgeous.

As we stood on the bridge, looking at the sunset, Brendan mentioned that not only was it my half birthday, as I’d said earlier that day, it also would have been his grandparents’ anniversary. Looking back, it definitely should have occurred to me what was coming, but honestly, I didn’t even have a thought of the proposal at the time. We walked around a bit and crossed the bridge, as we usually do. We found a bench that wasn’t occupied and sat down, looking at the water.

of course, this was taken the next day – it didn’t even occur to me to take a picture of the place we got engaged that night, I was so excited!

Brendan held my hand, and we looked out at the water for a bit, just enjoying the quiet. But all of a sudden, I felt something slip onto my finger.  It was then that I realized exactly what was happening – this was it!

Brendan said, “Is there anything you’d still like to do in life?”

And I, with tears in my eyes, said, “Marry you?”

Brendan said, “Is that something you’d like?”

And of course, I said yes!

We spent that night at dinner just soaking everything up and enjoying each other. I remember thinking that the moon that night was the most beautiful I’d ever seen, and never wanting that night to end.

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of all of our favorite Maine activities. We ate at our favorite restaurants, walked along the beach, and generally just had the time of our lives.

Of course, the proposal story is nothing flashy – no big gestures, just the two of us on the bench at sunset. But it’s very us, and it was perfect.  I left Maine after that weekend so excited to plan the wedding and so ready to start our life together.

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