Becka-Lynn and I are officially engaged!!!! And I pulled off one helluva surprise for her that threw her for a loop!!! Here's the report, (and what led up to it.)
Back in the end of September, she gave me the news that she is one month pregnant, totally throwing me for a loop and I decided to get her back, sorta speak. So I started putting the plan in the works. I was going to propose and do it in the most romantic way. First I had to choose a ring, and I also had to choose the place to do it. For a while now, I've been wanting to take her to Catalina Island off the coast here of California. It was COMPLETELY romantic. It's only an hour away via Catalina Express. But more on that a lil later.
So within a week of starting the plan, I looked online and found the perfect ring, and it was the first one I saw, off the first site I looked at, which was Zales. I went to get it on my day off, when I got paid. Now, I was planning on surprising her, so I couldn't let her in on it. And I had to find out her ring size, so I talked to one of her close friends at work by the name of Dorothy. She didn't know it off the bat, but she involved the receptionist who struck up a conversation with Becka about rings and had her try one on. And that's when Becka let on about her ring size, without even a clue!!!! Dorothy got back to me, but rings only come in one size and have to be resized. I took care of that later that night, with Becka in the same shopping center and she didn't even know it!!!!
So I got the ring, so phase 1 was complete. Next I had to plan and book the trip, It took some research for the hotels on the island and narrowed it down. Now it was this phase that Becka knew about and helped narrow down some choices. I narrowed it down to the Hotel Vista Del Mar, The Snug Harbor (which is owned by the same company as the Del Mar,) and the Seaport Inn. I couldn't make up my mind very well between the Del Mar and the Snug Harbor, but we were both looking at packages & features, but went with the Del Mar because of the price of the package and we weren't disappointed!!!
Well, I got the trip booked in mid-October and everything was set. We went there November 1st & 2nd. We left early wednesday morning and arrived at the downtown Long Beach port for Catalina Express. We had a 10 am departure and had to be there an hour early. The weather was decent, was slightly foggy and somewhat overcast or hazy for most of the voyage out to sea. There was a bit of a breeze so it was slightly choppy going out, but nothing worse than a roller coaster, but it was windy and kinda cold. As we got closer to the island, the sun came out and the haze went away. We got there a lil after 11. We saw a huge Royal Caribbean cruise sitting away from the island, which was normal. The island was like being in Greece or just the Mediteranean. It definitly does have that feel to it.
Becka was thinking it was more spread out, though it is a large island, but in Avalon Harbor which was where we were staying, everything was very close. Our hotel was in 5 minute walking distance from the dock. We were able to check in immediately. And no, when it came to the room and the hotel, WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED!!!! Believe me, this place is in my opinion, the best hotel on the island and it is going to get rave reviews from me on yahoo when I am done with this. It was on the third floor, (with no elevator) which isn't bad. The hotel is above a steakhouse, which is above some shops. Not a bad location. But as soon as you get to the top of the stairs to the "lobby", you get the gorgeous view of the harbor. On both sides, there were the Ocean View suites which we saw on Thursday and they were gorgeous with double jacuzzi's. The rest of the rooms were down a skylit hallway. Ours was the first on the right next to the front desk. As you can see from the pictures, it was GORGEOUS!!! To the left, a little seating area. To the right, a small table and a mini bar. Straight ahead, a huge AND VERY COMFORTABLE, king size bed. Facing that, a large tv & dvd player, and a gas fireplace. Mirror closets with iron & board, and two robes. No, we didn't take them, they were 70 bucks each. There was a lil desk nook, and then there was the bathroom. With wrap around sink & mirror, a lil skylight above, and a jacuzzi tub and of course the toilet. There was a lil problem with the shower head, but no biggie. And again, as you can see, we got some good pictures. There was a continental breakfast served the following morning, but they also had cookies and milk during the evening which you could smell throughout the day. We went down the back stairs to the back of the hotel and outside to walk around the town.
We walked around a bit after getting some ideas for our free tour. We looked around at the different shops and restaurants. Now, I had the ring on me, but wasn't ready to propose yet, waiting for the right moment and wanting to do it right on the beach. By the way, speaking of the beach, everything was right on it!!!! The beach was right across the walkway from our hotel. Everything definitly had a European feel to it. Which was one reason why they filmed a few episodes of Growing Pains here, when the crew couldn't film in Europe because of world affairs that was going on there. We walked down to what is called "The Casino" which really isn't a casino, but a very large and beautiful movie theater and the world's largest ballroom. This place was the place to be in the 30's and 40's. We walked from our hotel down to the Casino in back. Now around this time, I had the ring box on me with the ring inside, tied to my ankle because of how I was planning on proposing, which I'll get to later. We decided to do a combo tour, which would be a glass bottom boat tour and a scenic tour of Avalon. We ended up doing the boat tour Wednesday, and the scenic tour on Thursday.
We paid for that and went back upstairs for a little bit. We went back downstairs to the beach for a little bit before heading to the dock for the glass bottom boat. I reached down to my ankle to feel for the ring box, and it was gone!!! So I immediately went into panic mode and figuring how I was going to find it, IF I was going to find it. I told Becka to wait downstairs while I went back to the room. I checked at the desk in case it fell out somewhere within the halls of the hotel and someone turned it in. But no one did. I went into the room, and FORTUNATELY, found it in the floor of the bathroom. I stashed it in my pocket and headed downstairs. Telling Becka I thought I left my keys upstairs when she wanted an explanation. We went on the GBB tour to see some of the local fish, which turned out to be more choppy than the boat ride over. But we got some good pictures and some video. After the ride, we went back up to the room for a bit to relax, watched some tv. And I took this time to exchange our return time back to Long Beach for an earlier time. Originally set to leave at 7:30, and exchanged for 3:45.
Now here's the best part. After relaxing in the hotel for the rest of the afternoon, we came down to go find something to eat. This was after 4pm, and the sun had gone down behind the island. Throughout most of the day, the beach and walkways outside the hotels and shops was busy with foot traffic. When we came down around 4, it was almost empty and quiet. I walked across the street to stand out on the beach. Becka didn't like the way the sand felt on her feet, but I got her out to stand next to me for a bit. Now here was the trick. When the guy get's down on one knee to propose, ITS A DEAD GIVEAWAY as to what's coming next. And I wanted to catch her off guard and believe me, I did! I bent down to act like I was going to tie my shoe. Of course, Becka wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and was looking out torwards the water. I reached into the pocket and pulled out the box, opened it, and got her attention. Asking "Honey, will you marry me?" After a couple "Oh my gods & holy craps, she said yes. And after a few embraces, I started to explain to her the whole thing. She was knocked for a loop, and first called Dorothy to ream her for being a part of one of the best surprised of her life!!! Then a call to mom, then dad. After a couple of phone calls, we went to eat. We ate at the Cantina and that had one of the best grilled steak sandwiches I've ever had. We walked around for a bit after dinner then went back upstairs to our room, and got our cookies. And basically put an end to a wonderful and magical evening. But after a while, I couldn't sleep and went for a lil walk before coming back upstairs to sit at the balcony outside the lobby. Because at night, it was very nice and peaceful and quiet. Becka came out and joined me for a lil bit and then we turned in for the night.
The next morning, we woke up separately, because she couldn't sleep and she went to sit out on the balcony and talk to her mom. I got up and took a quick bath and prepped for our 9 am breakfast that had a blueberry bread, some cereal, yogurt, milk and some orange juice. We then checked out, left our bags there, and walked around for a bit before catching the 11:30 scenic tour. We ended up getting the tour bus driver who was the only person who knew or remembered about the Growing Pains filming because he was in it. We had a nice 40 minute tour and got some nice pictures. After that, we walked around more of the shops before going back up to the hotel to get our bags and sit on the balcony. At about 2, we decided to head back down to towards the dock where our boat would pick us up. The boat arrived about 3:30 and by then, there was a huge line to get on. We were one of the firsts on, and picked a place on the back of the boat. Which later turned out to be a mistake. Because heading back, we were going against the wind, and it was worse than the morning coming over. And it was cold!!! A lot of the people there ended up moving inside. We got another seat inside about halfway back and arrived a lil after 5pm. A lovely end to a wonderful two days.
To anyone that reads this, I HIGHLY recommend this island to anyone. You have to see it to believe it, and you can tell just by the pictures. There was no McDonalds or any other famous fast food on the island. The only two things closest to the mainland was a small Vons and a US Bank, which was the only bank on the island. The hotel was EXCELLENT!!!! The staff was very friendly and very courteous. They let us view the ocean view rooms the next morning after we checked out. I would definitly go there again. And I recommend this place to any Califonia couples who need a few days to get away for some romance.
As I probably stated earlier, Becka will post the pictures, or a link to them anyways a lil later on so do check back for them. And if you could, hon, try to find a way to post the few minute videos we took as well.
This is Phoenix, end of report!