Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Happiest Place on Earth

No, I'm not talking about Disney World, I'm talking about Nashville, Tenn. If you've never visited Grand Ole Opry Hotel, I strongly recommend it. It's stunning, and now it's my favorite because that's where Collin (my new fiance) proposed on Aug. 4, 2006. FYI, it was exactly six months from the first time we kissed.

We had already planned to leave that day to go to Kentucky and visit his family. Nashville is on the way. We left a little late (around 7 p.m.) and I noticed Collin was driving a little fast (around 90 mph). I was uneasy because I was in a wreck not too long ago and I didn't understand his haste in getting to Kentucky. We finally arrived in Nashville around 10 p.m. and we stopped at the hotel. We visited it for the first time about a month prior to that, and we both fell in love with its romantic qualities. I didn't think anything of stopping because we had talked about stopping either on the way up or on the way home from Kentucky, but again, he seemed in a hurry. It crossed my mind at this point that he might propose, but I had been waiting for months for that to happen and I didn't want to get my hopes up, so I kept putting it out of my mind.

We walked up to the indoor river where you can take gondola boat rides (like the ones in Italy). We read the sign and the last boat left at 9:45 p.m. so I didn't think we'd be able to ride, but what I didn't know was that he called ahead and reserved a private boat ride for us. Still, I just told myself he was being romantic and that it didn't mean anything. So we sat on the boat and drank sparkling grape juice and listened to romantic music and looked into eachother's eyes. And then, the cheuffer stopped the boat in front of a large water fountain where a lazer light show was going on.

Collin told me he had gotten to the point where he had to spend every day with me, and then he got down on his knees, and asked me to marry him. When he opened the box with the ring in it, it was so sparkly it looked multi-colored. I think I said yes before he even finished the question. And we kissed for a while. Finally, he asked if I wanted the ring, and he put it on my finger. He thought it would be too small, but it fits perfectly. It's 1 carat round cut on a 14k white gold thin band. I love it!

The second we got off the boat, we walked around the hotel and I started asking how long he's had the ring and other questions. The ring is actually his grandmother's, but they put it on a new band, so it's kind of an heirloom, which makes it even more special.

When we got back to the car at midnight, he had a cookie cake (both of our favorites!) that said "Ashley I love you. Will you marry me?" on it. Also, he had a bunch of stars on the roof of the inside of the car with a big one in the middle that said Ashley Aynes. You see, when we first started dating I told him that when I was 16 I thought up what I thought was the perfect proposal. I thought it'd be cool to take the girl out to go star gazing and point out a star to her, and then show her the proof that he had named a star after her, but instead of her name it would be her first name and his last name, and then he'd propose. I know, 16-year-old thoughts. But he remembered that and named a star after me, kind of, on the ceiling of the car. I thought it was really cute.

I couldn't have imagined a more perfect proposal. I was surprised and it was well-thought-out and planned. He had asked my parent's permission about a week prior, too, which I thought was great! So they knew. My mom said she had a hard time keeping it from me, but I'm glad she did.

I'll post pictures of the ring and of that night in the next few days.


thomasheidisimpson said...

congratulations!!! you had better get a digital camera soon so that i can see everything you are doing while you are plannig your wedding!!!

Caroline said...

That is so cute about the start thing! That Collin is so romantic!

Valoree said...

Can I throw up now? Just kidding! That is the sweetest thing I've ever heard! When I told Richard about the proposal he said well I guess it kinda beats asking you on a cookie cake. (That's how he asked me!) But, I didn't know that part of the story at the time! I'll have to tell him that! So sweet! Congrats!

ventingzebra said...

Yep, I'll try and get one soon, Heidi. And Caroline, I'm sorry your didn't know about my blog, I assumed Heidi knew about it from you. I don't know how she found it. And Val, that's funny about how Richard proposed. I didn't remember that. I'm going to come by your office when I get off at 1 to show you my ring!

Kim said...

Hold on- I've got to wipe my runny nose and tearing eyes so that I can see the keyboard to write... OK, now that is the sweetest proposal EVER!! And I know just how romantic the Opry Hotel is because that is where Chris & I spent our first honeymoon night after we were married in the Nashville temple. Congrats!! Great job Collin!

ventingzebra said...

Oh that's awesome! I absolutely love that hotel and we can't wait until we can stay there. That's so special that y'all stayed there. Was it worth the money? Why did y'all get married in Nashville. I'm sure I knew that, but I can't remember.