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ENGAGEMENT STORY

9/19/2009

After visiting my parents to ask permission, Joe arranged a hiking/scrambling trip for the two of us.  EARLY that morning, Joe and I drove upstate to Mohonk.  We started our 3.5 mile hike (7 miles round trip) at around 10am, and by 11 am we found a really beautiful spot.  It was a bare rock cliff that overlooks a valley of trees and was quite picturesque.  I thought it was so beautiful that I suggested setting up our picnic for an early lunch.  Unbeknownst to me, Joe planned to pop the question during our picnic, but did not want it to happen so early in the trip.  So he claimed that he was not hungry and we hiked on.

Eager and ready to start the hike =)

Eager and ready to start the hike =)

Picturesque, but not the right proposal location!

Picturesque, but not the right proposal location!

Unfortunately, we ended up hiking for hours and never came across a spot quite as beautiful as the first one.  I was starving and tired, and Joe was getting really discouraged.  He kept saying, “we should turn back, if we don’t reach the end soon, we should turn back.”  But even though I was tired, I insisted upon reaching the end.  According to the map, there was supposed to be a waterfall at the end of the trail, and I had to see it.

I love nature, I took lots of random pics of cute mushrooms.  This has nothing to do with the engagement but I had to post it anyway, haha.

I love nature, I took lots of random pics of cute mushrooms. This has nothing to do with the engagement but trust me, it was a major part of the day. haha

We got to do some challenging scrambling

We got to do some challenging scrambling

Finally we reached the end of the trail, and there was NO waterfall.  Crap.  I was super disappointed, and Joe worried to himself that the proposal might not happen that day.  Luckily, a man passed by who looked like an experienced hiker.  We asked him where the waterfall was and he pointed us off trail, across a street, and through a parking lot.  Who knew??  Relieved, thankful, and starving, we set up our picnic on a rock at the top of the waterfall.  But just as Joe was preparing to make his proposal, a crowd of people arrived at the waterfall, ruining our private moment.

This is the waterfall as seen from the bottom. We picniced on the top.

This is the waterfall as seen from the bottom. We picniced on the top.

After we finished eating, we walked down to the bottom of the waterfall only to find and even larger crowd of people.  Apparently this is a popular spot!  At this point, Joe was getting a little panicked and was wondering what he should do.  While I was happily taking pictures of the beautiful waterfall, I saw him run off without me, up a bunch of big rocks to a plateau located to the side of and a little behind the waterfall.  It was actually the perfect secluded spot.  It was hidden behind trees and required climbing to reach, so we had that whole spot to ourselves.  Joe motioned for me to follow, so I did.

Our secluded spot

Our secluded spot

Follow me!

Follow me!

The view of the waterfall from our secluded spot

The view of the waterfall from our secluded spot

Once I reached the top, Joe kind of positioned me so that I was looking at the waterfall behind him.  “I love you,” he told me, so I very casually replied with “I love you” back.  Then he declared, “NO…I LOVE you” and got down on one knee.  At that moment, I knew exactly what was happening and immediately started to cry.  Joe told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and I was so overwhelmed with emotion that all I could think to do was kneel down with him and hug him.  As I hugged and kissed and told him “YES,” he stopped me. “WAIT!” he said, “I haven’t even asked you to marry me yet!”  OOPS!  I composed myself, although still crying, and let him do his thing.

Joe then pulled the ring out of his pocket, telling me that it is not what I wanted, but that he did his best.  Little did I know, it was a fake!  Merely a $15 cubic zirconia!  I could tell it was not what I wanted…and I found it strange that it was in a Tacori box and didn’t look anything like a Tacori, but I was so overjoyed that I was marrying him that I didn’t care and I told him I loved it.  Joe had been looking for a reaction out of me and was disappointed that I didn’t give him the reaction he wanted, so he kept asking me “are you sure? are you sure you like it?”

Joe kneeling with the fake ring.

Joe kneeling with the fake ring.

Eventually he gave up and revealed to me that it was a fake, and that he had another ring to show me.  It was exactly what I wanted, and even more beautiful in person.  I think at this point I also realized how cheap and ugly the first one was in comparison.  Haha.  But it was so hilarious that while still crying, I had to take a picture of the fake.  Finally, Joe was able to finish his proposal while warning me that I would have to live with his jokes for the rest of my life.  And without hesitation, I said yes…again.

Glowing after he put the ring on my finger

Glowing after he put the ring on my finger

And we really got to enjoy the moment because we were in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception, with a 3.5 mile hike back to the car.  We were tired and exhausted, and our feet hurt, but it didn’t matter because it really was the most overwhelmingly joyful moment of my life so far.  And Joe kept telling me that he’ll never forget the look on my face when he first kneeled.  Neither of us will ever forget that special day.

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