I’m Engaged!

Last week, the day I have been waiting for, for a very long time, finally arrived. My partner and I got engaged!

Our story starts almost 2 decades ago, in high school, where we officially met, became fast friends, and soon started dating. High school sweethearts are far and few between, and it’s something I’ve always held closely in my heart. I’m lucky to have some friends who went on the same journey as us too.

How did it go down?

I always knew he wanted to surprise me with a mystery trip, to keep me on my toes and guessing. On a Thursday night, I was presented with instructions to pack a bag, given some rough ideas on temperatures at our final destination, and nothing else. Friday we headed to the airport, and almost didn’t make our flight due to weird system errors with our check-in, but thankfully we made our flight. Our first flight was just a transfer, but it was a long layover in Denver, so it gave me plenty of time to wonder what kind of adventure I was about to embark on.

Our final flight took us to Ontario, California. Who knew there was an Ontario in California, not me! It’s also quite confusing with California and Canada each abbreviated to CA. But I digress. Our final destination was not Ontario, but about an hour and a half drive away in Rancho Mirage, just outside of Palm Springs. We’ve never been to either location, so it was a new adventure and place to explore.

On day one of my surprise trip, we visited a beautiful place called Indian Canyons. If you’re ever in the area, I 100% recommend you go. There’s a number of hikes you can take, but my favorite is at the end of the road, where you hike down the canyon into a Palm tree oasis. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It was a magical spot, but very windy when we were there. When we got back to the hotel for the day, our faces and necks were coated in dust. Our face cloth was no longer white when we were done with it.

The next day was the big day. As fans of the National Park Service, we like to visit parks with our official Parks Passport, a little blue book you can stamp at each location, commemorating the date and location of your visit. Our plan was to drive out to Joshua Tree National Park during the day for hiking and checking out the visitor center for our stamp.

After hiking for miles through various sections of the park, which is beautiful and seemingly out of this world with some of the landscapes, we decided to end our adventure for the day in the Jumbo Rocks section. This section of the park has massive light brown boulders that I can picture being scattered on Mars. It’s gorgeous and fun to see the different shapes and sizes created over time by the wind in the valley. We decided to do some off trail exploring and climbing of the Jumbo Rocks, which is when I spotted a cool rock that had a little cave like cutout, so we decided to get a closer look. It was at this special spot that Brian got down on one knee and asked me a question I’ve been anxiously awaiting. It was a special moment, just the two of us, and it was one we’ll never forget.

I can’t wait to get started with planning! Life is a bit busy right now so I probably won’t get into the weeds until mid April due to work travel and a personal vacation, but I’m sure it’s going to be quite the ride. I feel guilty not using the next few weeks left of this month to get a good grasp of things, but planning an international work trip and vacation across the world is probably more than enough stress for me at the moment.

I’m not sure where to start, so if you have any tips, good templates, planners, etc, let me know! I can’t wait to bing you on this next journey with me!

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