Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Yup! I have myself my very own lovable fiancé. Wahoo! :)

People keep asking me for all the deets so I thought it was about time I write a little post about the momentous occasion since it was indeed fabulous.

The day's festivities started out groggily at 2:30am. Yes, you read that right. After going to bed around 1am, the sound of my alarm was not a welcome sound. I hurriedly got ready, barely notating the existence of my significant other due to the fog I was in.

At promptly 3am we were dressed and driving down the empty 405. Carmageddon shmarmageddon. At 4:45 we promptly parked in front of the Monte de Oro vineyard in Temecula and tried to rest until our 5:15 call time. At this point nothing was suspicious to me because Sash and I had been planning this balloon trip for a few months and had actually come to Temecula a month and a half earlier only to be sent home with a reschedule due to fog. After the disappointment of that trip, Sasha made it pretty clear that we were going up even if there was a snowstorm in July. Luckily the weather was perfect.

Prior to take-off, we hung around the balloons while they were being pumped up and our photographer for the day took lots of photos (still waiting to receive those, however). While I had been wanting to go up in a hot air balloon for a long time and had even made it part of my "30 before 30" list, when I glanced over at the basket we would be lifted in...not gonna lie...I was a little nervous. At one point I even leaned over and asked Sasha if he was feeling nervous and knowing what I know now, he managed to keep a look of pure calm on his face. He did confide in me later that he was definitely nervous, but for obviously different reasons than I!

Once we loaded into the basket with about 10 other people (yes, they can hold a lot of weight apparently, despite their flimsy appearance), I felt a bit more assured since our balloon operator told us he had been flying for about 30+ years. One of our fellow passengers even happened to be a retired balloon pilot. Score! A back up! ;)

What was most amazing to me was that you honestly don't even feel the balloon leave the ground. It's THAT smooth and slow. You literally ascend as calmly as a smaller balloon lifts into the sky when a child lets go of its string. It's so pleasant and beautiful.

One thing I will note is that the day started off extremely chilly. I mean, it was super early so that makes sense, but it did start to warm up a bit as we went up. Nothing extreme, but my teeth stopped chattering at least. That being said, once we went up I swiftly realized that Sasha and I were going to slowly fry to death. Being the tallest on board we were insanely close to the source of fire that heats up the interior of the balloon in order to change altitudes. It was hot. Like crazy hot. Sash took off his sweater and I rolled up my sleeves and tried to concentrate on the amazing scenery.

Since we were flying over Temecula, the views were really lovely. Vineyards galore. It couldn't have been more peaceful or beautiful.

  See what I mean? Not too shabby. :)

About 20 or so minutes into the flight the balloon operator said that he was going to turn the balloon a bit to give us different views. He did so and this is what we saw: 

Ok, so you might say to yourself - obvious, a proposal! Well, yes. However, let me remind you that there were approximately 20 balloons in the air simultaneously and I didn't want to be presumptuous. Can you imagine? Awkward!

So I...well...sort of pretended not to notice it. Ha! And then I looked and saw that Sasha was bent down in the tiny basket. I had two thoughts at that instant. 1) We were both really, really hot so I thought perhaps he was bending down to get away from the flames. In all fairness, they were right above his head. And 2) That it seemed very precarious to bend down in such a seemingly unstable basket suspended thousands of feet in the air. Let's not make this more dangerous than it has to be!

Obviously, neither was correct and the poor guy had to get up and down about three times before I caught on. It pretty much took stares from the other people and the ring box for me to realize that this whole display was for me. 

Luckily a recently engaged couple snapped a few shots of the whole thing as it happened and was nice enough to email us the pictures. They were crammed next to us when Sasha went down on one knee so I think they were pretty aware, smushed together as we were. 

So, of course I relieved him of his uncomfortable position and said a big, fat YES. And then, well, we went on with our ride. It was all and all completely amazing. :)