Friday, November 18, 2016

The day started out with a 4:45 am wake up call. I love mornings, but let’s be real, 4:45 is a little early. Lee had told me the night before three important facts: 1. you’re not going to work tomorrow (yippee!) 2. I’m going to be at your house at 5:30 tomorrow morning 3. dress in layers

No questions were allowed so I set my alarm, trusting my boyfriend wasn’t going crazy. Coffee, boyfriend, granola bars and milk arrived at 5:30 the next morning and we started a drive north – toward Asheville – in the pitch black of the early morning.

Around 7ish we arrived at Rejuvination Cafe. A classically Asheville cafe in the parking lot of a Food Lion. Lee turned to me and said “you’re going to find out in about 5 minutes anyway, so I’ll tell you now… we’re going in a hot air ballon ride this morning.” Seeing as this was something on my bucket list since I was 16, I was so amazingly excited. But I was also a little suspicious at this point because he followed up by saying “this isn’t your Christmas present”.

We met another couple that was also going on a ride in another balloon, exchanged email addresses to share photos from the experience, and we all rode out the launch site, excitement (for me, nerves for him) were high! After a safety speech and some impressive ballon inflation skills, we climbed into the basket and effortlessly floating up into the sunrise sky.

Because with a hot air ballon you float along with the wind, you never experience any turbulence (or really any movement) like with an airplane. If I would have closed my eyes the entire flight (including take off and landing) it would have felt the entire time like I was just swinging on a porch swing. About an hour and a half into the trip Lee mentioned for me to look over at something on the horizon – unbeknownst to me he was also letting the pilot know he was about to propose and we slowly began to climb up in the sky again.

When I turned around Lee had somehow managed to get down on one knee in the small wicker basket and was *very tightly* grasping a beautiful ring. I honestly don’t really remember what he said – I was just completely overcome with happiness. But I do remember him asking me to spend the rest of my life with him, and me (of course) saying, “YES!”

The pilot then managed to land the hot air ballon in the back of one of the spotters’ pickup trucks. I was crying happy tears, he was grinning from ear to ear. We then took off for brunch at Grove Park Inn  and spent the rest of the day walking through Christmas wonderlands and just spending time as a newly engaged couple. It was the most magical day!

~ Emily ~