Special Occasions

“Well, YEAH!”

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My life is nothing like it was a year ago… so far this year:

  • I became a blogger
  • I started and completed a program to begin my dream career
  • I landed a brand new job and left one that I had been at for over 6 years, and NOW…
  • I’m ENGAGED!

Yeah, you read that correctly. It finally happened the weekend before last, after 8 wonderful years 🙂 Here’s how it happened….

Ever since we got back from the Tennessee trip in June with my family, Mike had been saying that he wanted to go away again. Within the last month or 2 he had been talking about it non stop. One night at the gym last month, he asked where we should go to which I replied, “I’ve always loved Saint Augustine and it’s been a few years since we’ve gone…” “Okay, that sounds good”, he said, “I’ll look at hotels tomorrow on my lunch break. Should we stay at the same one as last time?” I agreed. The hotel last time was a Comfort Inn and it was super close to everything.

A month went by and we left on the morning of Friday, September, 11. It took us about 4 and a half hours to get there (should have been 3 and a half but he needed to stop for gas, I needed to run into Target and we both NEEDED our Starbucks fix– he’s hooked). As he pumped gas, I looked down at the hotel confirmation. It said Best Western. I noticed it wasn’t the same hotel as last time but it was right next to it so I wasn’t going to say anything. When staying in Saint Augustine, location is EVERYTHING. He tapped on the window. “Whatcha doin?” “Ummm, just reading?” I set the paper down as he got back in the car.

He switched on the GPS as we got closer. It was about 2:30 and check in was at 3. I looked up just as I saw a sign that said “Best Western Spanish Quarters” just out the driver side window. “There it is!” I yelled as he drove right by it. “What are you doing? It was RIGHT THERE! Where are you going?…” He crumpled up the “confirmation”. “We won’t be needing this.” ERRR what? As he made a right turn, I realized where he was going. “You better not be going where I think you’re going…” Last time we went to Saint Augustine I had pointed out the hotel I always dreamed of staying at as a kid when I used to go there with my family. The Hilton Bayfront. “NO WAY NO WAY NO WAY,” I thought as he pulled into the Hilton parking lot. “You’re ridiculous… “ I said. He just smiled. I was in disbelief. “I hope you got a really good deal because this place’s prices are CRAZY.” “Don’t worry about that. This is a special trip to celebrate all of your accomplishments this year. I’m proud of you.” It’s funny how after 8 years together, I can still be surprised by him. I felt out of place as he handed the valet his keys. We got our bags out of the car as I noticed a gift bag with tissue paper. “What the heck is in there?!” “You’ll have to wait and see,” he said. We walked in. It was beautiful. “What are 2 people our age doing at a fancy place like this?” I thought to myself. It had an old world, Spanish charm which obviously fit right in with the history of Saint Augustine. We got our room key and went on up. He had been able to choose our room the day prior and chose perfectly! We had a room that sat just above the pool in the front of the hotel with a beautiful view of the water and sailboats. It was awesome. We sat on the porch for a little while and decided that we needed to get something to eat.

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This hotel is literally in the center of the historic district. Kilwin’s ice cream shop was dangerously close. Before we got that though, we’d need real food. We wandered for a while before settling on “Pizza Time” which is ranked the #2 pizza in the US. I got the white pizza (garlic and ricotta) and he got traditional pepperoni. We only got a slice because we knew we’d want to go out later. It was delicious. We shopped for a little bit before deciding to head to the liquor store for a bottle of rum (because PIRATES) 🙂 We got back to the Hilton at about 5 and sat around for a couple hours having a few drinks. For dinner that night, we went to A1A ale works.

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I had a glass of Sangria and Mike ordered a Mai Tai. When it came he was embarrassed because his looked girlier than mine 😛 He had a burger which looked phenomenal and I ordered a blackened chicken salad with jalapeno ranch dressing. I eat a lot of salads and this was by far one of the BEST! After dinner, we FINALLY made it over to Kilwin’s where Mike got a waffle cone with Kilwin’s Mud and I got a waffle cone with a scoop of fudge brownie and a scoop of my personal favorite, mint chocolate chip! We ate it as we walked back to the room. By the time we got back it was almost 10pm and I was exhausted. We crashed early that night.

We got up early the next morning and were heading to breakfast by about 8:00. Mike had read about a place called St. Georgies diner. It was a little over half a mile away so by the time we found it we were starving! It looked just like an old 50’s metallic diner with neon lights. We both ordered french toast, with a side of eggs, bacon and sausage. The french toast was really good. It was actually made on real french bread slices. We visited an awesome replica of a Spanish Galleon (a ship) after breakfast. It was enormous. Very authentic looking.


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We walked around the historic district for a little while as the storms started to build. We got trapped in a store as the lightning began. It was so close. Even though we only had to run 2 blocks, I was too chicken. We waited for a lull in the lightning as the rain let up a bit and made a mad dash for the hotel. When we got back, I took a hot shower because I was freezing and Mike ordered us room service. I was never a huge fan of Cuban sandwiches but it just sounded good and it was! We watched some ID channel, had a couple drinks and waited for the rain to STAHP.

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We had a ghost tour planned for 8:00 that night. We decided that we would do the ghost tour first, do our own pub (sangria) crawl and then have a late dinner. The ghost tour was awesome. I was really glad the rain had stopped. The tour was with Secrets of Saint Augustine. Our tour guide was Dion. I’ve done several ghost tours in Saint Augustine and this was BY FAR the best. Dion was awesome. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the area.

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After the tour, we stopped at the Milltop Tavern. We sat there drinking and talking when I saw a bride in a huge, poofy wedding dress come hopping up the steps. She was followed by her groom and what I assume were his groomsmen. The bride’s friends were already at the bar. We began talking about wedding related things and being a few sangria’s in, I mentioned my secret Pinterest wedding board. Mike freaked out, which should have been my first clue. He said, “What do you mean you have a secret wedding board?! Why is it secret? What’s on it?” Calm down,” I said as I laughed. “I’ll show you if you really want to see it.” He paid the tab and we moved on to the next bar.


This time we went to Sangria’s Wine and Piano bar. Fitting… We sat down and chose to share a pitcher. He asked if he could see my Pinterest wedding board. I grabbed his phone and logged on. “See? It’s just a few dresses, cakes and rings… No big deal…” “These are the rings you like?” he asked. “Yeah, I mean, I just pin pretty things. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I need one of THESE.” He began to ask questions about diamond cuts and rattle off terms like “clarity” and “brilliance” that I didn’t even know (That should have been clue number 2, but, well, I was drunk lol). I had had enough sangria and was ready for food. It was about midnight when we stumbled into a local taco shop. I got a big ole’ chicken burrito to go and we walked back to the hotel. I ate it and passed out.

photo 2 (21)We woke up to a hazy day on Sunday. We went to breakfast at The Bunnery. Delicious, by the way. Our plan was to head over to the beach for a little bit. We both love the Atlantic ocean. It’s so much different from the icky, warm, Gulf of Mexico that we’re used to (jeeze…spoiled much?). I didn’t mind that the weather was a little off, I just wanted to see the ocean. We got to Saint Augustine Beach around 10:15. By that time, it was drizzling. It wasn’t raining hard, but it was raining just enough to soak you if you were out too long. I told Mike that I didn’t mind walking in the rain if we were going to get wet anyway. I mean, it is the beach, afterall. We agreed that we’d wait it out. We sat in the car for about an hour. By 11:30 we decided that we’d go into the beach shop next door and pick up an umbrella. We walked in and it was totally empty. Apparently we were the only people looking to go to the beach on a day like that. The lady said they only sell beach umbrellas, not rain umbrellas. We did end up buying a sand castle building kit because I’m really 7 years old at heart… We went to the publix down the street and got an umbrella, a box of Cheez-its and 2 Diet Dr. Pepper’s. Classy.

We went back to the parking lot on 10th Street. It was a little misty but not raining so much anymore. We walked down to the beach and chose a spot. I sat down in the sand as Mike laid the umbrella down so it acted as a little awning over me. I started building a sand castle because hey, at least the sand was moist. Perfect sandcastle conditions!


Mike helped for a few minutes before going down to the water. I got the feeling that he wasn’t really interested in building a sand castle so I put it to the side and got up to join him. We stood at the shore for a few minutes before he asked me if I wanted to go open my present (the bag with the tissue paper). “Finally!”, I yelled. “I’ve been dying to know what’s in there!” He followed me back to our stuff and had me stand with my eyes closed. He handed me the bag and told me to open it. Inside was a letter that he had written. It talked about Celtic tradition where males would prove their worth to a woman by carving intricate wooden spoons and if the women approved of the job, she would consider him worthy. When I opened the bag there was a carving in the shape of an 8. Now, keep in mind, this trip was supposedly an early 8 year anniversary present aka still not suspecting a thing… I loved it.

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He had spent 2 months carving this thing with nothing more than his hands and a knife. It was AWESOME. Suddenly his obsession with all of the little wood carvings in the shops made sense. He pointed out that along with being an 8, if I turned it to the side I’d see the infinity symbol, as in our love will last forever. Sometimes he’s just too creative. While I was admiring the carving, totally in lalaland, I saw him stoop down out of the corner of my eye. It seemed like time slowed down. I looked over and saw him down on one knee. I was waiting for my mind to catch up so I stood there with what I assume was a pretty dumb look on my face. He held up a little box and asked me to marry him. I paused for a minute, trying to figure out if this was really happening and managed to get the words, “Well, YEAH!” out of my mouth. Not quite as graceful as I imagined myself being in this moment, but at least I didn’t pass out!

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After a few minutes, we sat down in the sand. I couldn’t stop staring at my hand. I had my fist clenched so tight because I was so worried about it falling off. The sun began to peak out, the air dried up and we pulled out the celebratory Cheez-its and Diet Dr. Pepper. LOL. If I had known it was going to be such a special day, I probably would have opted for something fancier like…cheese and grapes instead… We took a walk down the beach, snapped a couple selfies, searched for a shark tooth to no avail and then went to pack up and head back to the hotel. Mike was apologizing that it was such a gloomy day. How dare he not control the weather… It didn’t matter to me. I forgot all about the rain and the gloom. I think it’s a testament to our relationship that no matter how many things don’t go as planned, it always turns out perfect when we’re together. No matter what weather or circumstances are thrown at us, we always have fun. We always make great memories. I know lots of women have this vision of the perfect proposal. Now that I can speak from experience, I’ll tell you this. You can plan all you want, this goes for the guys too. In that moment, it won’t matter if it’s rainy or sunny, freezing or hot, goes smoothly or not so smoothly, in a crowded place or all alone. The only thing that you’ll be able to register is how happy your heart is. I know that Mike had the idea in his head that I might say no. That breaks my heart. He was warned by several people to be prepared for it. While I think it’s great to be prepared for any circumstance, that totally blows my mind. I know that I’ve never been the strongest advocate for marriage. I think it’s great if you wanna do it, I was just never the girl to obsess about it. I guess I had an “I can live without it” view. I know that’s why some people felt I might say no. What I want Mike, and every other person that had their doubts to know is that every single doubt about marriage that I had, went out the window when it became reality. The moment that he said those 4 words there were NO DOUBTS. There was no choice. I knew without a shadow of a doubt what I wanted. I wanted to marry him. I needed to marry him. He’s my best friend. I can’t live without him.

As we drove back to the hotel, I couldn’t stop staring at my hand. The diamond kept catching the sun light. It’s so SHINY! Every few minutes, when I’d make my way out of the trance I was in, I’d just stare at him. The amount of effort that he put into this weekend was ridiculous. He must really like me 😉







We got back to the hotel where I called my parents and grandparents and he called his parents. After talking on the phone for a while, we went to walk around for a little while longer. We stopped in to Kilwin’s for some ice cream. We also picked up some chocolates for later as well as my dark chocolate salted caramel apple!

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We went back to get cleaned up and chill out before dinner. We got dressed up and went to the restaurant right next door to the hotel, Harry’s seafood. We sat outside under the beautiful lights while a band played. It was perfect. I had some incredible shrimp scampi!

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After dinner, we took a 45 minute horse and carriage ride through the quaint brick streets. I love the sound of the horse clip-clopping down the street. It was so much fun and a beautiful night. We went back to the hotel where we ate our Kilwin’s chocolate.

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On Monday morning we packed up and checked out. We got the car and went to park it at the fort so that we could walk to get coffee and breakfast. We got coffee at a little shack and then went back to The Bunnery for food. A cool front had come in Sunday night so the weather was absolutely perfect. It was sunny and like, 70 degrees. We breathed in the fresh air as we walked back to the car. I told Mike it would be okay with me if we stayed another couple of days 😉

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It was the perfect weekend and one that I’ll absolutely NEVER FORGET. I wouldn’t change a thing. This post was a little delayed because I’ve been so busy! I’m loving my new job, I’ve been enjoying time being engaged to my new fiance, and I’ve turned into a crazy obsessed wedding planner which is competing with my blogging time! Like I said, my life has changed so much this year and I’m loving every second of it!

Until next time…


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I'm an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. I worked in a gym setting back in Florida for over 2 years, training one-on-one clients and leading group fitness classes. I absolutely loved it, but once we moved across the country to Colorado, I decided to take the opportunity to pursue a slightly different career! My obsession with exercise and love for writing collided, which is how I became a fitness lifestyle writer.

1 Comment

  1. Mike

    January 10, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I loved reading this post. It may actually be my favorite, but my opinion could also be biased 🙂

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