Hello garden! Now that the big day is over and I’m back in action, I intend to share ALL the juicy details of our wedding planning experience with you. I can’t think of a better place to start than the beginning of the whole process — our engagement night! The date was Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2008. Periwinkle Dude and I enjoyed a delicious early dinner at Wallse Restaurant, and then he suggested we go out for a little after-dinner fun, which I agreed to on the condition that he choose the location. So, he brainstormed and then we hopped in a cab and Dude directed us to an “undisclosed location”. I really had no idea where we were headed, and was very surprised to end up at none other than… drum roll please… the Empire State Building!
Having been born, raised, schooled and employed in New York, I’ve had many a chance to visit the famous skyscraper yet somehow never managed to. And of all the dates Periwinkle Dude and I shared in the 3 years of our courtship, he’d never mentioned a desire to visit this particular place. So, I was a little confused as to what we were doing there, on Valentine’s Day of all nights??? But, I figured I’d go with the flow for the fun of it, because I thought it was sweet that he put in the effort to surprise me and I thought it might be romantic. Boy was I right!!!!
We walked into the lobby and got on line, where Periwinkle Dude pulled out “express elevator” tickets. That’s when I realized this wasn’t as spur-of-the-moment as he’d made it out to seem. What a trickster! We headed straight up to the 86th floor, where the night skies were clear and the views were stunning. Here is a picture we took from the top:
We walked around on the terrace of the Observatory and took in the views for a while, which were breathtaking. While I was busy trying to identify the buildings 86 stories below, Dude was busy being nervous. He was worried that the freezing cold and windy air would chase me inside before he could accomplish what he set out to do. Oh, how my Dude knows me so well. 😉
Out of the blue, he announced that he had to “tie his shoe”. That’s when he got down on one knee and began to propose. I was so surprised!!! So surprised and taken off guard in fact that for some reason I knelt down beside him! Regrettably, I was so shocked that I don’t remember much of what transpired, but apparently it took me a few minutes to actually realize what was happening and poor Dude had to ask me to marry him 3 times before I could finally get the “YES!” out, but eventually I pulled myself together and accepted Periwinkle Dude’s incredible proposal! I felt like the luckiest girl in the world, and Dude felt relieved. My new fiance was very prepared. Not only did the Wallse napkin he swiped from the dinner table come in handy to dry my happiness tears, but he also came prepared with my camera to document the night!
Periwinkle Dude flagged someone down to take our picture and told the woman we just got engaged. She congratulated us and told us she was hoping she would see a couple get engaged tonight; and we said we were glad to unknowingly grant her wish. She took our picture and then asked to see the ring, so of course I stuck my hand out proudly. “Hoooooly Shhhhhhh…(use your imagination)…!”, she exclaimed. Still shocked from the actual proposal, it didn’t much phase us that night but now when we think back we laugh that our first congratulations included a curse-word from a stranger! 😉 Expletives aside, she captured our newly-engaged-glow pretty well in the pic!
We left the Empire State Building and decided to go out for a celebratory glass of champagne. We walked down 5th Avenue and stopped in to Eleven Madison Park. Dude announced to the bartender at the restaurant that we were freshly engaged, so he treated us to some petit fors!
After our congratulatory goodies, we headed back home and ended the night by taking pictures of the Empire State Building from the roof of our apartment building before the lights went off for the night. The lights were pink for Valentine’s Day… very romantic!! Here’s one of the less blurry shots we managed to capture before the clock struck midnight:
Even though the Empire State Building is one of the most visited skyscrapers and tourist destinations in the world, we feel a very personal connection to it. When I want to cheer myself up, I just look for the familiar sillhouette and I immediately think of the special night Periwinkle Dude and I shared there.
Did anyone else get engaged at the Empire State Building, or at a similar tourist attraction? What about on Valentine’s Day or another holiday?