Welllllll I'm really late posting about this, but I've had this feeling to write lately and so here we are.
First, I have to apologize for being such a terrible blogger this last year. I don't really have my own computer anymore, which means sharing the desktop but I hate blogger on it. I'd rather sit on the couch with a cup of tea or coffee and crank out a post from comfort rather than sitting upright in a computer chair. I mean, the desktop is lovely for photo editing and digital print making and playing mine craft, but after a while the chair screams at me to get up and my back is stiff and really, the couch is just my best pal when it comes to blogging. Anyway, all of that to say this: I'm blogging from iPad on the couch now so we should be back in business - but only time will tell for sure!
Second, ahe the part we've allllll been waiting for, I took a road trip this summer that probably changed my life.
Nathan and I loaded up the car Thursday after work and after double and triple checking that we had everything, we headed off to Portland - only a 7 hour drive - at like 4:30 in the afternoon. YOLO, amiright?
In Portland we hit up the Voodoo donuts (where this angry homeless man karate chopped the driving cones on the street like it was his job) and I made friends with two impeccably dressed gay business men. Portland, you are definitely weird.
From there we booked it down to Oakland, California. That was the longest stretch our trip and in the future it would have been nice to break that up a little bit - but you live and you learn. Oakland/San Francisco was super fun though and we spent the entire day walking around the city. We saw Fishermans Wharf, charged our phones in a Starbucks in the financial district, ate lunch on the pier, had drinks at an Applebee's restaurant on the third floor of a building (the view!) and got distracted by the street performers causing us to missour ferry back to Oakland.
Leaving San Francisco, we headed down to Monterey. Everyone told us to go see Carmel By The Sea and check out the aquarium at Monterey bay. So once we got to Monterey we decided to check out Carmel first.
Carmel is pretty darn rad, I'll just say it. We parked on the street and just started walking through all the little boutiques. We walked in to a Lush store where all the ladies we super nice and informative. We ended up buying a Dragons Egg bath bomb because obviously. We wandered through some more shops and made our way down towards the sandy white beaches. It was absolutely beautiful at the beach.
We decided we were hungry and walked back into the little town to find a restaurant. Everything was pretty packed but we found this cute little restaurant that had fish tacos and I was sold. So we waited the 20 minutes for a table in the back corner and ordered our food.
The town has public restrooms so not a lot of places have their own bathrooms, we discovered. So Nathan excused himself to go find one near the restaurant. It seemed like he was gone forever and I was starting to wonder what had happened to him when our food was delivered to our table. So I finally shot him a quick text and a few seconds later he showed back up.
When I asked him what took so long he got this silly grin on his face and said, "I'll tell you later." Which should have been my first clue that something was up, but honestly I thought he was just talking about having found some neat little shop that he'd show me when we were done eating.
We finished our meal and walked some more around town before heading back to Monterey, where
we decided to see what the aquarium was all about. After finding a place to park that wasn't a million dollars for two hours, we headed towards the aquarium. You guys! The aquarium was $50 a person to get inside and just, holy buckets. At the beginning of the trip and for two not-so-rich people, we laughed and walked away. There were a bunch of cute little shops all around so we walked through those rifling through souvenirs trying to determine if there was anything we wanted.
Finally we walked into this restaurant for a drink on their veranda. The waiter was incredibly rude - when we told him was just wanted drinks and maybe an appetizer he told us we could just go sit at the bar all haughtily like we were taking up space in his precious section (which was most,y empty by the way). Having worked in the restaurant industry, I thought that was uncalled for. If your section is empty and your table just wants drinks and appetizers you smile and serve them because a smaller tip is better than no tip because of your empty table! Okay, so I'm not bitter at all, right? Right.
Anyway, after we left the restaurant, in a shocking turn of events and something completely unexxpected, we walked around the bay some more. My feet were getting tired and I was ready to go do a little bit of nothing for a while. We headed beck to the car and accidentally stumbled upon our hotel. So we checked in and found our room and tried to decide what to do next. I had brought a nice dress for a fancy night out, but Nathan forgot to pack nice clothes.
I offered to do something less fancy, but he was pretty adamant that tonight would be our fancy dinner night and we would just go pick out some clothes for him. This should have been clue number 2, but again, I was oblivious. If Nathan has a plan, he usually sticks to it (it's the INTJ personality he's got), and so we googled the nearest Ross Dress For Less and picked him out some dress clothes and shoes.
Before we headed back to the hotel, Nathan wanted to walk down the beach one more time. It was a beautiful day and tomorrow we were heading to Santa Barbara, so it was now or never. I begrudgingly agreed, because I like the sandy beaches but my feet were sooooo beyond tired of walking everywhere. Nathan found a place to park and we hiked over the hill to the beach. And you guys, it did not disappoint.
There were a few people down on the beach and Nathan suggested we walk down towards the part where no one had already taken residence. This should have been clue 3, but both of us being introverts it didn't surprise me that he wanted to get away from the people.
We passed a couple making out on a blanket. Nathan made some comment about them and retorted telling Nathan to be nice, they probably just got engaged. We laughed and walked farther down the beach. My feet hurt and I was ready to go back to the hotel, so I stopped walking to take in the gorgeous view. I had just placed my hand over my eyes in a cover from the sunshine to watch the cerulean blue waves splash against the shore when I hear from behind me, "hey, Natalie," so I whirl around and there's Nathan down on one knee!
Before he says anything, I'm thinking this has got to be a joke. I literally just made fun of that couple and I figured this sucker'a gonna be tying his shoe!
But instead he says the sweetest words, "I can't imagine my life without you, will you marry me?" And you guys, it's like I went into some sort of tunnel vision. It was hard for me to get the word out as I nodded and smiled, because I wanted to say "yes" and "it's about damn time!" at the same time.
He placed the most beautiful ring on finger and from there I heard the words he was saying but it was hard for me to actually listen because I JUST SAID YES TO A BOY. YES TO MARRYING A BOY!! We took a few pictures and I tried to get one of my ring with the waves in the background but they all came out blurry.
As we walked back toward the car to head back to our hotel and get ready for our fancy and now celebratory dinner, he told me about how at lunch in Carmel he had actually called my dad. We talked about who to call first and who to text verses who to call and who to tell before we announced on facebook and all those super important details.
He also revealed to me that my ring had actually belonged to his great-grandmother and was a family heirloom. The best part is that we didn't have to get it resized - it fit perfectly. Which to me just means it was meant to be.
We went to the hotel to get ready for our fancy fancy dinner. Nathan picked a good restaurant where they had this dish - a bacon chop (it's a slab of bacon cooked like a steak) and they served it over a pepper jack baked mac n cheese brick and it was probably the best thing I've ever eaten.
And that's the story about how I became the future Mrs. Nathan!