Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

The Best Hike Ever

Last Sunday (Cinco de Mayo) the handsome J and I went on a fantastic hike! I’ve been meaning to tell you guys about it. We had a heat wave of sorts in my northwest corner of Washington and the temps spiked up to a fabulous 80 degrees! The rational reaction to this was of course to pack up the puppy and make our way to beautiful Lake Padden to hike the 6 miles of rarely-peopled back trails.

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J drove us out there and I knew as soon as we pulled into the park grounds that we would be hard-pressed to find a parking spot. The shore of the lake was jammed with swimmers, fishers, and picnickers. I sensed J getting nervous as we reached the end of the huge parking lot without an empty space in sight. I did not sense his sheer joy ahead of time as he found a spot and swerved madly into it moments later. Neither did poor Cobalt who got thrown around in the back seat like a sack of potatoes. Objective one was complete: we were parked.

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But in a moment we were on to our next obstacle. I had neglected to bring Cobalt’s leash with us… J sat in silence behind the steering wheel while I searched wildly for something that resembled a rope and could be tied to Cobalt’s collar. The answer manifested itself as a worn out towel. I started cutting the terry cloth into long strips and J sprang to action with renewed vigor and a plan to braid a rope from the strips. We tied this pseudo-leash to Cobalt and were off to hit the trails in a matter of minutes, leaving the crowds behind us.

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The shade of the trees brought welcome relief from the heat as we gained elevation over the hills. Boughs stretched over our heads and roots reached out to trip up our feet. We chatted excitedly about plans to purchase our future home and dreamed of a particular home that we had seen the day before. I could already imagine myself cooking in that kitchen and entertaining friends in the living room. J could see himself out in the nearby bay in a dinghy bringing up pots of delicious crab and fishing on a quiet Saturday morning.

We were about two miles into the hike,huffing and puffing from the exertion, and sweat trickling down our backs, when J stopped suddenly. He grabbed my arm and at first I thought something was wrong, until he kissed me. Bewildered, I watched him sink to one knee and pull a little gray box out of his pocket. He told me he loved me and asked me if I would marry him. In an instant my voice choked off in my throat and my eyes filled with salty tears. All I could do was nod and watch him slip the engagement ring on my third finger. He came up to kiss me again and hugged me hard. I was going to be his wife.

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The rest of the hike passed in a euphoric blur for me as we walked hand-in-hand. We talked about our future, reminisced over our past. We talked about those first dates with all their timidity, about the moment we knew we loved each other, and the moment we knew we wanted to marry each other. J told me about the 6 weeks that he had snuck away on his days off to work with the jeweler on designing my ring. He told me about the reactions of the few friends he had told beforehand. He told me of the thought and planning he had put into the ring he gave me: the center stone of Alexandrite (my birthstone), the thicker white gold band that would be strong for all the years I wear it, the setting that would forever hold the conflict-free diamonds in place, and the art deco design that gave a nod to my love for all things vintage. The miles flew beneath our feet and before we knew it we were back at the lake.

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We celebrated our engagement that evening with tasty burgers and a glass of champagne before signing the offer on that house that had caught our eye the day before. If all goes well on the inspection and assessment, it’s ours in June.

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We’ve set a wedding date for November 15th, the day before J’s 30th birthday. We already had planned a trip to Las Vegas for his birthday bash. Now we’ll have even more reason to celebrate as we pledge our hearts, dreams, and futures in an intimate, simple, and sweet morning ceremony surrounded by family and close friends. We will honeymoon there for a week so we can catch our first glimpse of the Grand Canyon, hike the trails at Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, and see the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Cheers to the best hike ever!

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22 comments on “The Best Hike Ever

  1. storiesbywilliams
    May 8, 2013

    You too huh? It seems the entire Pacific Northwest has been getting a bit of an early summer. Nice rock, btw! And good luck on the house!

    • Audrey
      May 9, 2013

      The weather’s been glorious lately! And thank you!! We’re so excited about the upcoming wedding and new home. It’s going to be a busy couple of months! 🙂

      • storiesbywilliams
        May 9, 2013

        So we can expect to see even less of you then? Dang!

      • Audrey
        May 9, 2013

        At least for the next 2 months…. Sorry! Blame the sunshine and the upcoming move and wedding. But I’ll be back and driving you crazy again with all my comments in no time! 😉 I miss seeing all that you’ve been up to with your writing projects.

      • storiesbywilliams
        May 9, 2013

        Yeah, me too! But by the time it’s over, I will have Whiskey Delta and Pappa Zulu all edited and released. And I can send you some autographed copies… Just saying 😉

  2. whatimeant2say
    May 8, 2013

    Can you hear me screaming?!!!!! I am jumping up and down, which makes it a bit difficult to type! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!! Perfect proposal, perfect ring, perfect couple!!!!

    • Audrey
      May 9, 2013

      Oh my gosh, your comment made my day!! 😀

      Thank you, thank you!! We couldn’t be more happy! He really made the day so perfect. I’m still staring at my left hand all the time because I can’t quite believe it!! The whole feels a bit like a dream. So excited!!!

      • whatimeant2say
        May 9, 2013

        I have been impressed by him ever since you started mentioning him in your blog, and this post confirms all of my intuition! He chose an exquisite ring, a fabulous setting (for the proposal and the ring), and a wonderful girl!

      • Audrey
        May 9, 2013

        If we can be as happy as you and the Cap’n I’ll count myself luck in love. 🙂 He really is an incredible guy, and perfect for me! Thank you, T. Love ya bunches!

      • whatimeant2say
        May 9, 2013

        Right back at ya 🙂

  3. betunada
    May 8, 2013

    wow! it is absolutely impossible to beat a day and experiences like that! (seriously, i am overwhelmed!)
    ( thanx for telling us about it, sez rawzzko, grinning ear2ear )
    and some of those photos, especially that ubur SKREENSAVOR 2nd one, of the sunlite off the waves? great!

    • Audrey
      May 9, 2013

      Oh I know! I was thinking J will be hard-pressed to ever plan a better hiking date for us. 🙂 I’ve had a perma-grin since Sunday!

      That lake is gorgeous! Everytime I’m out there I have to snap more photos. Thank you!

  4. Vanessa
    May 9, 2013

    I HAVE NO REACTION TO THIS THAT ISN’T ALL CAPSLOCKED! YAAAAAAAAY!!!! Audrey, I am so, SO excited and happy for you both! What a beautiful engagement story (and day! Holy smokes, could it have been any more gorgeous?) And the house – EEP! There is just so much good news to celebrate! You deserve all the happiness that this wonderful world has to offer, truly! I look so forward to hearing more about your new digs and plans for the big day. 🙂

    p.s. that is the most amazing ad-hoc leash EVER. I think it looks awesome! x

  5. captainariel
    May 9, 2013

    I’m very excited for you :). I love hearing about you being so happy! You’re the best, Audrey. You deserve the World and it sounds like J treats you right :). Hope to see you both again in the near future. Love and Miss you ❤

    • Audrey
      May 9, 2013

      Aw, thank you so much, Sweetness! You know you’re always welcome to visit and we’ll definitely be seeing you in August – can’t wait!! Love and miss ya!

  6. Denise Hisey
    May 9, 2013

    Awww, that’s so sweet! Congrats!
    Our son-in-law proposed to our daughter on a hike, too! That’s true Pacific Northwest romance 😉

    • Audrey
      May 9, 2013

      It must be something about this Washington air…. 😉

  7. omg! I have been really behind on blogging and blog reading… so imagine my surprise when I wanted to see what you were up to lately and I read THIS!! Congratulations Audrey!! What a wonderful, sweet and romantic proposal… I wish you the best!!

    • Audrey
      May 9, 2013

      It’s a lot all at once, that’s for sure! My head is still spinning (in a good way, of course) from all the excitement. Thank you so much! We are so so happy and it’s been such a joy to be showed with love from family and friends. 🙂

  8. Curly Carly
    May 11, 2013

    Yay!!! Congratulations Audrey!

  9. back pain right above hips
    August 26, 2013

    There is certainly a lot to learn about this
    topic. I really like all of the points you’ve made.

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