My husband secretly loves it when I tell this story about how he proposed. It's because he went to so much trouble. Well, I was thinking, what better way to tell the story than on my blog.
As most of you probably know, February 14 is Valentine's day. Each year my husband Richard and I take turns to organise something to celebrate. We have been doing this for many years, well before we were married. In 1998, it was his turn.
So out to dinner at a flash restaurant, enjoying some great food, wine and sparkling conversation.
However, before this, I was informed we were firstly making a stop. It had been decided that we would be enjoying the Melbourne institution that is Luna Park. For those who do not know, Luna Park is an amusement park that's a St Kilda Icon, located on the foreshore. It's the sort of place where you probably would have spent at least one children's birthday.
Richard propelled towards the 'Big Dipper' rollercoaster. I hate rollercoasters with a vengeance. I could think of nothing worse. However, yet again I was told everything would be ok, so I just went with the flow. It was funny how small the train was. The seats were just these tiny wooden slats almost. Everything really is so much bigger when you're a kid.
So, the ride begins. Up, up we go. And up some more. I'm not the best with heights. There I was, hanging on for dear life. Trying to control my breathing. Trying to relax. We got to the very top, and the ride stops. I begin to hear people saying, "what's happening." "Why have we stopped?" Then Richard stands up and is literally tottering over me. "What are you doing?" I hissed at him. "Sit down." How embarrassing!
"I have something to ask you." He tells me. "Will you marry me?" And there before my eyes, is a stunning diamond ring.
Now apparently I said something to the effect of "are you serious?" in answer. At this point, I would like to defend myself by saying this was my way of getting a brief reprieve, allowing myself to catch my breath, so to speak. And apparently, he even had to prompt me by asking, "well???" This just goes to show how much in a daze I was by it all. The answer of course was "yes!" But then, the ride began.
There I was. Hanging on for dear life. Clutching the handrail, knuckles white, ring on my finger. Have you ever tried admiring an engagement ring whilst trying to hold on to something for fear of falling off? It was exhilarating, stomach churning, and yes, even I have to admit, fun.
After Luna Park, we began to walk in the direction of the flash restaurant for our dinner. We walked for about five minutes, but unfortunately we had turned the wrong way. We should have gone right instead of left when we had left the amusement park. After walking for another few minutes, I began saying things like, "maybe we should ask someone." This was always answered with, "it'll be right." After another few minutes, Richard suddenly stopped and said, "I'll just go over and ask him." I looked about me. I couldn't see anyone to ask. Then I watched with horror as Richard strode over to ask a Limo. driver. "You can't ask him!" I squeaked after him in vain. Richard said a few words to the driver and then turned to me and said, "Come on, the Limo. will take us". Simulataneously my jaw and the penny dropped.
I would like to interrupt at this juncture, to advise my readers that through the course of this night my thinking was not of the brightest. I'm sure that all of you who first read the word 'Limo'. knew what was to come. Again, my only defence was that I was in a daze!
The Limousine meandered through the streets of Melbourne for about an hour. My memory of this ride is of my own voice babbling away and us drinking champagne. Eventually we were driven down St Kilda road. Out of habit, I began to look for a restaurant I always admire, saying "I want to go there one day". This, I am happy to say, was the only thing during the evening that I guessed correctly. Richard had indeed made a booking at a beautiful Colonial type building, a restaurant called The Willows.
After dinner, we strolled through a warm summer night to the car. Richard had parked on the street that his Aunt and Uncle lived on, as it was close to the amusement park and he obviously knew about the Limo. I think I was literally walking on clouds! On and on I went, I was going to go home and tell my mum, my dad, my grandparents, my brother, indeed everyone needed to be told! I was going to ring everyone and wake them up and shout out my good news.
After a time, we came upon a hotel. Richard told me that he had to go in to visit the mens, of all things! So, in we went, and yes, you guessed it. He had made plans for us to stay the night. It was a perfect end to a perfect evening. The only thing was, I had to contain myself, and let everyone know my good news the next day. :)