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I proposed to Ivy on a ski trip during spring break. It was Friday, March 18th, 2005. I had the ring commissioned back in late January, and had received it mid-way through February, so I had several weeks to sweat bullets over whether or not (A) she was going to say yes, and (B) if she was going to like the ring.
I started out my Spring Break with my mom and my sister, skiing up in Winter Park. They left for Austin on Wednesday, and I picked Ivy up at the airport several hours after. I knew as soon as I got the ring that I wanted to propose to her while we were up on the mountain, in some secluded area with no onlookers. Since it was Spring Break at Winter Park, one of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts, this was not going to be an easy task. So, I spent Thursday trying to subtly evaluate Ivy’s skiing skills, while simultaneously doing location scouting to pick a place that was in an area Ivy was comfortable skiing in, and that was pretty to boot.
I should also mention that for that entire week I was in Colorado, I had the ring sitting in the inside zipper pocket of my parka, so the ring was on my person at all times. As a result, I found myself checking to make sure it was still there, constantly.
But, I digress. By the end of Thursday, I had a good feel for Ivy’s skiing ability, but not the slightest idea on where I was going to propose. That night, I took her out to a fairly nice dinner, and barely slept at all. I knew that the next day had to be it, since we were flying back home on Saturday. The next morning we woke up to 12″ of fresh powder on the ground, and light snow showers predicted all day. Perfect.
We spent the morning skiing down a few trails, but none of them seemed like the right one. We broke for lunch, and after we had eaten, Ivy told me that she was probably only good for one more run. So, at that point, I did what any man worth his salt would do. I opened the trail map, and thought to myself, ‘This is it. It has to be on this next run… Which trail?!? Dear God, am I really doing this? Dear God I am doing this! Which trail? Do I still have the ring? How am I going to make sure there’s nobody around?? Is the camera charged?’ What I said was, “How about Lonesome Whistle? It’s a nice, long, pretty Green run, not too steep, and pretty wide open.” Ivy said, “Okay!” So, off we went.
On the lift up, the thought occurred to me, ‘…How am I going to get her to stop!?’ The next thing I knew, we were off down the trail, and then I realized, that if I got in front of her, she’d likely stop when I did. It would also make it less difficult to subtly scout for people, and the right spot. We were about a quarter of the ways down when that little voice inside my head that had been gently whispering at me to propose to her now was now screaming at me. And, conveniently enough, I was almost to a spot that I took one look at and said, “That’s the one.”
So, I started to pull off to the side of the trail when I realized something else I hadn’t thought of. How was I going to get her out of her skis? After I had pulled off to the side of the trail, I took off my skis, to make it easier to kneel, and Ivy pulled up next to me. “Why did you pull off?” she asked. Before I could think of how to answer that without letting the cat out of the bag, she asked, “Do you want to take pictures or something?” At that point, the voice inside my head was shouting, “Brilliant!” What I said was, “Yes! I just realized we don’t have any of us on the mountain.” Ivy then got out of her skis, and asked for the camera. She took my picture, and then I took hers.
I put the camera back in the pocket, and I palmed the ring as I took my hand back out. I said, “I just wanted to tell you that this has been an absolute blast, and I’d like to do this together with you for years to come. So, to that end….” at this point, in one fluid motion, I dropped to a knee, produced and opened the ring box, and asked, “Will you marry me?” At which point, it started snowing on the deserted run. Ivy extended a shaking left hand to me, and I slid the ring onto it. I got up, and she kissed me, not quite aware that she hadn’t actually said yes yet.
After we kissed, I looked a question at her, and she started laughing and said, “Yes! Yes, I will marry you! ….We need a picture!” At that point, almost as on cue, people started skiing by again, and Ivy was displaying her ring proudly, shouting, “He proposed!!” Eventually, we flagged down a rather nice Irish gentleman, who kindly took a picture of us.
The picture taken, and the ring given, we put our skis on again. I had a bit of trouble with that, due to the fact that my entire body was vibrating with excitement. We skied down a little ways, and I sensed that Ivy wasn’t with me anymore. I turned around and saw my new fiancé face down in the snow, and I thought to myself, “Dear God, I just killed my fiancé!”
I made my way back up the mountain and helped her out, and we skied the rest of the way down, to a relaxing hot tub soak, dinner, and many happy phone calls. It was a fantastic trip, a fantastic trip indeed.
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