Monday, October 21, 2002

Ok, so the 'cat' is finally officially out of the bag. I am engaged to Ivan. (Photographic Exhibit D -- Proof of Ivan) I've wanted to post some of the details of my engagement on here, but have held off until those who "need to know" know before putting it here.

Ivan consistently amazes me with his thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit. This was evident during the little trip we took when he asked me to marry him. Briefly and with some supporting photos, I'll give you the low-down on the special things he did for me. First, you need to understand that he's not from Minnesota, so getting these surprises done in Minnesota along the North Shore was no simple feat. Here we go...

I was to pick him up at the airport and we were to head immediately up towards Duluth to stop off, have dinner and then continue on toward the BlueFin Bay resort in Tofte, MN. We started this leg of the journey a bit later than we had planned. Our reservations were for 8pm at Grandma's. Ivan voiced his concerns to me that we were going to be late to get to the restaurant. I said something like, "Hey, it's a Wednesday, it's Grandma's (not that fancy) and it's Duluth...They'll hold the reservation." Still he seemed a bit nervous about getting there on time. Something was up!

When we arrived in downtown Duluth on Canal, he started to suggest streets to turn on. "I know where Grandma's is," I proclaimed. He then said that he wanted to show me a store that he had heard about. Ok, cool, but what about the reservation? hehhe. Anyway, we park a little ways away from Grandma's and we walked along and then he said he wanted to go into the gallery. I figured he was just "being nice" about wanting to look at art with me, ya know? Well, we're looking around at the works and then he stops and says, "Aren't these beautiful?" I say yes. He then stops moving...a sneaky way to get me to see all of the "works". There in the corner on an easel was a black and white photo that he had taken of me when I was in Utah. Too sweet! Photographic Exhibit A

Then on to dinner at Grandma's. We were seated at a table with a huge bouquet of flowers. Of course I didn't notice those at first because I was too busy worrying about the booth being too small for us to sit opposite of each other. We sat on the same side and *then* I noticed the bouquet. We opened our menus. Inside my menu was a lovely poem that he had written. Apparently the woman from the restaurant who helped him with this surprise printed out the poem and laminated it. Too sweet on his and her part!

After dinner, I figured there couldn't possibly be any more surprises along the drive to BlueFin Bay. Ha!

It was getting late. Ivan was driving the leg from Duluth to Tofte and I had snoozed off and on along the way. When we arrived in Tofte he said, "I think we should go get some gas." To which I replied, "I can see the resort. It's right over there." I said as I pointed at the Bluefin sign. He pulls into the gas station directly across the street from the Blue Fin Bay resort. It's closed. On their marquee, however, I saw through bleary eyes, "Catherine, I adore you. Love, Ivan" Awwww...too sweet! :-) >Photographic Exhibit B

We checked into our suite at the BlueFin resort, and there, I found another gorgeous bouquet there. Sweet yet again!! Photographic Exhibit C -- Display of both referenced bouquets.

All this and still no proposal. :-) We had a great time going up to Grand Marais and around the North Shore the following day. We planned eat at the Bluefin Restaurant that night out on the deck overlooking a lightly rippling Lake Superior. The weather was perfect for an evening dinner...even that far north! Oh and what a gorgeous view! We ate dinner, talked and then...and then...the waitress brought dessert. We didn't order dessert. I figured it must be part of their service. You know, as many places provide bread at the beginning, maybe this place provided dessert at the end? Nah. In the whipped cream of the brownie sundae, sat a beautiful diamond ring. Ivan then asked the age old question..."Do you want me to lick that off?" hehehe. Actually he didn't say that, but instead, he asked me to marry him. I said yes. The end...or should I say, the beginning. :-)