Starting with a single red rose, a clue and a puzzle piece at her desk at the office we share, she had to find the other nine roses and puzzle pieces at various desks. The puzzle was an invitation:
The work is finished, it is done. Now it’s time to have some fun.
My special gift for you awaits, anticipation it creates.
But content you must be with what I made for thee.
First some dinner is in order. Let’s head out beyond the border.
Mickey will be your guide as we head out for a ride.
Be ready to leave your door, today at half past four.
Regarding what to wear, we will walk out in the air.
So be prepared for the "cold" but be classy I am told.
So is it yes or is it no, how would you like to go?
She had meetings first thing in the morning, but got to her desk early enough to find all except the last puzzle piece. Of course she was a little distracted during the meetings and solved the puzzle by lunchtime.
When I picked her up from her house later that afternoon, she knew that we were going to Walt Disney World since we both have annual passes, but didn’t know which park. Her guess was Epcot, but once I passed that exit and drove into the Magic Kingdom parking lot, she started guessing anew. We walked towards the gates and then kept on going down a side path to the Polynesian Resort. The tiki torches were already burning and the flowers gave off a wonderful fragrance. After a short stroll through the Great Ceremonial House to see the waterfalls and Christmas decor, we continued down the path to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. It was a beautiful evening out and the lights were starting to come on all across the resorts. At that point she assumed we must be having dinner at the Grand Floridian, but we only walked around the lobby looking at the decorations before heading off to the monorail. We had a great view of all the lights reflecting off the water and the beautiful sunset as we traveled around the Seven Seas Lagoon. Finally the monorail returned to the parking lot and we transferred to the monorail going to Epcot, which was where we had our first date. Soon we arrived at the Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion for a romantic dinner. Afterwards we walked along the lagoon and came upon a "Reserved" table that had the eleventh rose and some chocolate mousse waiting. At that point she was suspicious because there had to be an accomplice around someplace.
After enjoying the mousse and playing our traditional little game of seeing who can sneak some on the other’s nose first, we moved on and reached a short pier at the Germany pavilion. There waiting on the short wall was a gift wrapped in silver tissue with the final red rose on top. Inside was a scrapbook I had made sharing memories of our year of dating, including pictures and little mementos like tickets, love notes, and programs. We read through the scrapbook while waiting the last half hour before the nighttime fireworks show and she figured the evening had climaxed. The show starts out with lots of fire, fireworks, and loud music. I had to be very careful and not really hold her hands nor be very close since she would feel my cold hands and pounding heart. She did think it was odd, but hadn’t figured it out yet. After the loud beginning, the show quiets down and is mostly just lights, a jumbo-tron globe and water fountains for a little while. I spun her around so that she was facing me and got down on one knee to ask her to marry me. She just sort of looked at me so I tried again. I discovered later that she had really only heard half of what I said and was waiting for me to finish a long speech. Being in the middle of a fireworks show, I figured that would be pointless and kept it simple. She finally figured out what I was trying to communicate and said yes but asked me if I was really sure. Of course I was! The funniest thing was a lady standing nearby got all excited and asked her kids if they saw what just happened.
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