Engagement story: A trip to California to remember

I had an editor once that told me never to bury the lead - so, J and I are engaged! 10411367_10155116288720304_7680980004882738491_n

J has a training in Bakersfield this week, so months ago he invited me to go on to Los Angeles with him the weekend before.

Unfortunately, a couple of days before the trip I got ill. But it was nothing that a little (a lot) of Mucinex D couldn't tackle, so Thursday morning I boarded the plane.

I arrived at LAX just in time for J to pull up in the new Mustang convertible he rented for us for the weekend. We were going to the filming of the Jimmy Kimmel show, so we quickly headed into town to grab something to eat and go wait in line for the show.


We ate at Hard Rock Cafe and were served by a waiter named Elvis who had long painted, pointed black nails.

Back on Hollywood Blvd. we went to find the long line waiting to get into the show. I love this picture of Jarrod.


The show took us into the evening and we were both so exhausted that we skipped the post-show Neo concert and went to the home that we'd rented on Airbnb (Thanks Mary Nevaire for turning us on to Airbnb. We can't stop using it.)

The home is owned by a couple and their love of fine art is apparent. Every wall, including the laundry room and bathrooms, has original art hung on it. Gosh, the house was just beautiful. Both of the guys are in the entertainment/television/movie business so they had really interesting stories to share. One of the guys had a cousin and his friends in town from Denmark, so they were also staying at the house. I think Jarrod's favorite part of the trip may have been talking politics and healthcare with the guests.

Here's a picture of their backyard. Mark described it as "English garden meets drought-proof."


Friday we slept in and enjoyed a vegan breakfast provided by our hosts. We then headed out to the beach and took a small walk, ate at El Coyote and visited a vintage store called It's a Wrap. The store sells castoff clothing items from movie and television sets. I got a jacket from True Blood! We finished out the day with a hike up to the Hollywood sign (after napping in the car post Mexican food in a random rain shower)(Don't tell Jarrod, he "didn't" fall asleep).


Saturday (big day!), Jarrod planned on us driving up the coast on the PCH. We made it through Malibu and suddenly hit a block in the road. Apparently there was a mudslide a few months ago and the highway is shut down. So, we stopped for lunch and were advised to head to Santa Barbara.


The drive was amazing. Because we were circumnavigating the mudslide we drove through beautiful tree-covered mountains, all the time with the top down in the convertible. Sorry for the crappy car window pic:


We made it to Santa Barbara and very quickly had to turn around and head back to Malibu for our 5:30 dinner reservations. I had a hint that something was up because Jarrod usually doesn't make reservations days in advance and we never eat while the sun was still up, but I thought he was just trying to do something special and didn't think much more of it. I was convinced that since he hadn't asked up until this point that he was not going to ask on the trip at all.

Well, the drive back took longer than expected and we were literally racing against the sun.


We got to the restaurant and were disappointed to find out that the table J had requested along the railing was not available. Usually we're go with the flow kind of people, but J asked me several times if the table we were put in was really ok. I thought his persistence was odd, but again, didn't think much of it.

We had drinks and a fine dinner. Our waiter was lovely and attentive. As the dinner was winding down I was certain that nothing was going to happen - we were about to order dessert! So, I got up to go to the bathroom and give myself a pep talk.

On my return, I launched into a conversation with J about the inside of the restaurant and, I'm horrified to admit, the shape of the doors to the restrooms. They were round. It was weird.  J interrupted me and said, in a very serious tone, "I love you."

I was like, "Yea, yea I love you too. But I'm mean those restroom doors..."

And Jarrod started fishing around in his pocket and pulled out the little black box.

I was shocked. And the rest of the evening is guessing because it was a blur. He asked me to marry him. I kissed him. He said, "Is that a 'yes?'" I said, "Yes!"

People were clapping. (I now know that the waiter had gone around and told everyone that J was about to pop the question. Major pressure.) I finally looked around and saw that the waiter had filmed the whole thing on J's phone, including my opinions on the bathroom doors.

The waiter then led in a series of poses to take photographs - again, all a blur.


The next couple of hours passed texting and phoning friends and family. There were some questionable gifs exchanged between Kyle, Jarrod and Layne...

The next morning was a hard goodbye. We said goodbye to our new LA friends and headed to In-and-Out Burger where we ate double cheeseburgers and well-done animal fries.

I'm back home now and still recovering from California-time. I've yet to start blowing up J's phone with wedding ideas, but that's coming soon. He's already busy with all of my home renovation emails.