...The eye beholds the heart's desire. A. E. Housman
April 2, 2011 was one of the best days of my life and I don’t ever want to forget it:
rdm and I had decided to go to D.C. to see the Cherry Blossoms blooming. I wasn’t expecting a proposal because…
1) We had only planned to go to D.C. three days before.
2) rdm has been telling me forever he needs money to buy the ring and he has to have a job first (fyi…he still has two years of school left).
3) I knew rdm didn’t have time to plan anything between rotations—and though he was on spring break, he was spending the time on a trip to the Queen City to hang out with friends, cleaning his room, watching Freakonomics on my couch while his car was in the shop for a day, and spending time with some Med School friends.
4) It was getting a little close to exam time and prepping for summer filled with Bar Exam studying, so my mind was elsewhere.
But I knew that rdm did have a surprise for me but he had said “Don’t expect much.” Well, I’ve heard this before and learned from rdm not to expect much. We arrived on Friday and the desk receptionist spoiled rdm’s surprise by confirming his reservation at the spa. :)
In addition, the receptionist also gave both of us a huge surprise—rdm had requested a room overlooking the Tidal Basin, Cherry Blossoms & the Jefferson Memorial, but apparently they only had one room left with this view and so we got a complimentary upgrade to the second largest room/suite in the whole hotel on the top floor. It had a gorgeous view and was super nice! It is probably only used by corporate bigwigs or heads of states and I’ll just say that rdm and I will probably never be able to afford this room again in our lives.
Shortly after arriving rdm explained the spa package, it was an hour in the steam rooms or heated pool, then a two-hour exfoliation treatment with cherry blossom extracts/oils and a hot stone massage. I was excited, until I found out that rdm would be hanging out by himself for three hours. He had gotten the package just for me. When I asked him why, he said he just wanted to do something special because he felt bad for being away so much this year and he knew it had been a stressful (three) year(s). While he waited he said he might hang out in the steam rooms, or walk around and take some pictures, or just watch television up in the room.
The thought that rdm was plotting away didn’t even cross my mind. I had watched him go into the men’s spa area. And once I got to the actual treatment, I was so relaxed and practically asleep. Little did I know that while I was relaxing away, he was running around the Tidal Basin to find the perfect spot.
When I was done, I headed upstairs to find rdm lounging on the couch, watching television and eating some fruit. I asked him what he did while I was in the spa. His response: sat in the steam room for a little bit, walked around the hotel and gardens, and watched television. I felt horrible, because I had never done anything so nice for him and he was up here all by himself! We then went to dinner at the Hotel Restaurant, they had a live jazz band (one of my favorites!) and the food was delicious.
So the next day, we woke up (correction: I woke up) and it was raining. By the time rdm woke up, it had started to clear up. We had breakfast, packed our bags and checked out of the hotel. The plan was to come home later that day. We parked in Potomac park where the streets were lined with beautiful Cherry Trees with white blossoms. We started the walk toward the Tidal Basin and there were Cherry Blossoms everywhere. It was cold, but the trees were absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. It was all just so magical.
rdm was off in his own world and taking pictures of everything. We walked over the bridge across from the Jefferson, then along the Tidal Basin. We then “stumbled” upon FDR park/monument. rdm specifically said at this monument, “Hmm…I’ve never been here. Have you?”…yeah he had so been there the night before.
We continued through the park and all of the sudden the sky got really dark. We started walking toward the Lincoln Memorial (which was farther than we hoped). As soon as we left FDR park, we got caught in a downpour of rain and hail and rdm had forgotten the umbrellas. We were booking it through a field (and I was wearing heels of course), came upon a street but were unable to cross because of chain linked fences and had to take a longer route. Luckily, rdm was able to hail a taxi and we hopped in soaking wet.
We made our way back to our car, and then decided to just go eat lunch until the rain cleared up. From this point on, rdm was in a really crabby mood. He kept apologizing for not bringing the umbrellas, for planning a crummy a trip and just being angry at the weather man who had promised sunny weather. I didn’t really think it was that big of deal—and I really wasn’t that upset. It wasn’t the first time we got caught in a downpour without umbrellas. He also felt really bad when the lunch place he selected ran out of food after we had waited in line for-ev-er…they did have some food left by the time we got up to order, just not food I had particularly wanted.
After lunch, it was up to me whether we went back to the Jefferson or did something else or just went home. I could tell rdm really wanted to go back to the Jefferson and I thought well maybe he hasn’t been before, so we headed that way. We parked in Potomac park and started the walk to the Jefferson. On the way, we passed a wedding ceremony… rdm immediately said “Don’t look…this was a bad idea, err let’s walk this way.”
When we finally got to the monument, you would of thought there was a bridal expo going on. One bride was having portrait pictures taken, there were at least two bridal parties have pictures taken…I tried to ignore it all. rdm was already in a not-so-good mood and I knew he didn’t want me to get any ideas in my head. When we got inside the monument, rdm went one way and I went the other. I figured he was busy taking pictures…but I wanted pictures from the other side.
After I was done, I saw rdm walking around the back of the monument and then sitting down. I walked over and he was being awfully serious and quite. No one was around. After a minute or two, he stood up and sat me down where he was sitting and he grabbed his camera. I thought “sigh…another picture.”
Then he started talking…he was serious and nervous and his voice was shaking (just like the first time when he told me that he liked me!) and I’m thinking oh my goodness, oh my goodness…is this what I think it is? is this real? is this really happening?
the next thing I know, he is pulling out a box and getting down on one knee…I don’t even know what I said—I just know I was crying so much I was so happy. I said yes! and he put the ring (which was exactly what I had imagined) on my finger.
It was at this moment, I learned all the secrets rdm had been keeping from me to make sure I was surprised when he proposed. Like when I thought he was having dinner with Med School friends the night before our trip, he was actually driving back from the mountains after having dinner with my parents to ask them if he could ask me to marry him. That’s right—he asked my parents! :)
And he had been crummy all day because he had wanted to propose early that morning, but there were too many people and then it started raining. He had been afraid he would have to ride back home that night with the ring still in his jacket pocket!
But it all worked out! It was the perfect weekend, with a perfect proposal, with a perfect ring all from the perfect one I love. :)