Thursday, July 24, 2014


Of course, the most exciting part of our trip to Busch Gardens was that Ben proposed to Noelle!

They are officially engaged!

Having only been proposed to, never having been the one doing the proposing, it was quite an adventure to see it all unfold behind the scenes, as it were.

When Kerry proposed to me, I had absolutely no clue that it was in the works so I was unaware of all the build-up and the ring search and the planning that goes into this one pivotal moment.

Ben had contacted us a couple of months earlier to let us know he wanted to go ahead and propose.  They had already been dating three years and had planned to wait one more year to get engaged, but Noelle's father had indicated that he would approve of them getting engaged sooner and Ben needed no further urging.

He was looking at rings on line, and sent me pictures of what sort of ring he was looking for.  I urged him to wait until he could see the rings in person.  Things look a lot larger on line and can be very disappointing in reality.

When Ben's semester ended and he was home, I took him ring shopping.  We were in one store when he spotted THE ring.  We left so he would have time to think about it.  I offered to take him to other stores to see if he saw anything else he liked but he said he was absolutely sure that was THE one and we went back to the first store and he purchased it.

He and Noelle are working together at a Christian camp for kids and his plan was to propose at camp.  When they were sparking on each other in Hawaii, they had a special bench that they would sit on while they talked.  Ben's plan was to scout out a bench at the camp and propose to Noelle there.

However, as part of our Big Fat Trip, we planned to go to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg for a day.  We found out just a couple of days beforehand that Noelle would only be an hour away, so we made arrangements for her to join us.  It was the first time they had seen each other in a few months, being at colleges in different states as they are.

Well now, Ben didn't want to leave the ring in his suitcase or in the car for fear of it getting stolen so he was carrying it around in the side pocket of his shorts for three days.  Once he realized he was going to see Noelle for a whole day before he left for camp, that ring just started burning a hole in his pocket.  He told us the night before that he was going to propose at Busch Gardens.  He just needed to find a bench and he wanted it to be in a spot where a lot of people wouldn't be staring at them.

Well, a bench in a theme park with not a lot of people nearby on a Saturday is pretty hard to come by.

All day long as we walked around and rode rides, I would see beautiful gardens with flowers all around and I would say, "Oh look, isn't that a beautiful area right over there."

But of course there were lots of people around.  

Ben and Noelle decided to go off by themselves for a couple of hours and we expected at any moment to get a text saying that they were engaged but.....nope.  We finally got a text asking where we wanted to meet up.  I warned Kerry and the girls, "Do NOT look at her hand when we see them!  We don't want to give it away by all of us looking to see if there is a ring."

I looked anyway.  There was no ring.

Finally, dinner time was drawing near and the sun was getting ready to set.  When Noelle had stepped away for a moment I told Ben, "You are losing the light - she's not even going to know what you are doing.  Everyone is tired and ready to go.  If you want to wait for camp, that's fine, but we can't stay much longer."

We were getting on the SkyCab to head over to the other side of the park and have dinner.  As we were waiting in line, Ben pointed at the SkyCab, pointed at his ring finger, and then pointed at Noelle while she was looking in a different direction.  I nodded and told everyone I thought we should go in groups of two in the SkyCab.

Kerry and I were in the one right before Noelle and Ben.

I managed to take this one shot with Kerry's phone but the light was behind them and we couldn't see what was happening so we didn't know if Ben was seizing the moment or not.

Then we managed to snap this photo as their SkyCab came in.

We were all standing there grinning like maniacs when Noelle held up her left hand to show us she had a ring on it!!!!

We girls, of course, screamed and squealed and hugged everyone.

Noelle told us, "I'm really overwhelmed. I'm having a LOT of feelings right now!'' 

We asked them what he had said and Noelle said, "He said.......I don't know what he said! What did you say?" Then Ben said, "I said.......I don't know what I said! Did you say yes? You're wearing the ring so I think you said yes!" They were laughing and they were so flustered, it took them a few minutes to even remember how it had all happened.

They were so cute.  They would stand with their heads together looking at the ring and just smiling.

We went to dinner afterward and Noelle got a baked potato with her meal and she commented that the bacon bits were real instead of imitation. A little later Ben asked her, "So, was it a good day, Noelle?" And she said, "Well, the bacon bits were real, so......yes!" 

Congratulations to Ben and Noelle!

Let the next adventure begin!!

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