Yeah, I tell this almost every year and yeah, it gets mushy and yeah, probably to you, Dear Reader, it gets old. The truth is, however, I never tire of telling it and if you don’t like my mushy stuff, this would be a good time to check out. If you don’t mind or are reading it for the first time, then read on! A bit of warning, though, it will be long.
The BCPF and I got up on July 31, 2011, and were driven to Charlotte to get on a plane. It was our first plane trip together and it was the first time that we were going to go to my favorite destination in the world, Walt Disney World. It was to be the first time that I had been there in six years and we were going to celebrate the fact that I, after many years since my last collegiate foray, had finished my degree. My gift to myself was this trip and I was taking my best girl with me.
Whilst I know it is a fashion faux-pas, when I travel to WDW, I wear a fanny pack. I like having my stuff with me and I don’t want it falling out while I’m being jostled about on rides. This day was a bit different, though. Yes, I had the fanny pack but it was the contents of the pack that was different. I put it on the x-ray belt and hoped that the scanning officer didn’t alert anyone to the pack’s contents. It passed inspection, we moved on, got on the plane, and headed to the “most Magical place on earth.”
We got on the shuttle and were whisked away to Wilderness Lodge, our “home away from home.” After getting in the room, the first thing I like to do when I get to WDW is to go to Magic Kingdom and have lunch in the form of a hot dog at Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA. Being as Wilderness Lodge is on Bay Lake, the same body of water that surrounds Magic Kingdom, we took a boat over and made it through security with no alerts to my fanny pack’s contents. We had to wait as it was before 11 am and Casey’s Corner wasn’t yet open. We had our dog and conversed about the Ibis that populate the courtyard.
We then moved to Swiss Family Robinson’s Treehouse and had no wait. We walked through that with no resistance, no people rushing or pushing past us. We moved on the Jungle Cruise and unless you’re the first person, first thing in the morning, there’s no way to miss a crowded line here. But, it was minimal. We got on the ride and were given prime seats (toward the front of the boat in the middle so you see everything with little craning of the neck). I held her hand and we enjoyed the boat ride through Asia and Africa and under Switzer Falls (named after someone named “Falls”). From there it was Pirates of the Carribean. The line was minimal and we were seated at the front of the boat.
One thing to note is that it was July 31 and we were in Central Florida. But, it was only in the mid-80s. Not too hot at all, which was surprising, but definitely welcome. We walked our way around to Haunted Mansion and had virtually no line. Since The BCPF and I are history folks, we had to do the Hall of Presidents, especially since we’re both fans of Obama and his presentation had just been added to the script. All of this, you have to realize, was seventh heaven to me. I was getting to be a tour guide of the place I love with the woman I love.
It’s a rite of passage for anyone going to Magic Kingdom, or WDW at all, to have to ride It’s a Small World. Yes, that song is annoying as all get out, but you have to ride it. Again, short line (which never happens) and we were put in the front row. By this time it was almost 3 pm and it was time to make our move to Epcot, as we had rezzies for dinner at Tutto Italia Ristorante at 5:40 pm and sometimes that trip can be time-consuming. But, getting to the Monorail was no problem, getting on the Monorail was no problem and the trip to Epcot was easy-peasy-George-and-Weezy!
We wandered through the gates and since The BCPF had no bag, no purse, no anything, I sent her through the “No Bags” line as I got my fanny pack checked (plus I didn’t need her to know its contents and didn’t want to take a chance). The first ride you encounter from the Monorail is Spaceship Earth. No wait and no halting in the middle of the ride, which anyone who’s ridden that ride can attest, that is rare. We moved on to the World Showcase since that’s where the Italy Pavilion is and you choose the left path or right path. Italy is in the left middle but certainly in the middle so we took the left path. That brought us to Mexico Pavilion first and we rode the boat ride, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros and were given the front row of the ride, with no other riders on the boat with us.
Next was Norway and the Maelstrom boat ride (RIP, it’s now Frozen Ever After – BOO!!!!!!!) and yes, minimal line and, again, front row. Next, China and their Circle-Vision 360 film, Reflections of China. That took a little bit of time and it was about 5:15 pm. I knew we had no time to do anything else, so we decided we’d be early for our rezzie. We traveled two countries in about five minutes (we were booking it) and got to the restaurant to find that our reservation was 5:25, not 5:40. We were five whole minutes early, whew! The meal was pretty good. We finished and it was about 6:30.
What I’ve failed to mention up to this point is that my entire adult life I’ve gone to WDW and have seen people on boats on the World Showcase Lagoon watching Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show. Again, this was my celebratory trip and I wanted to do that, so I booked it. But, that happens at 8 pm each night. We had time to kill and I wanted to see “O Canada!” a Circle-Vision 360 film that had recently been upgraded and since it was one of my favorite attractions, I had to see how it had changed. It was good and I was pleased. We had timed it right and had no wait to get in, other than hearing the spiel from the cast member that should be heard. After the film and some wandering about, we went to the Yacht Club, just outside of Epcot to get on our boat!
We get there and the boat house is closed!! What the heck!? It was 7:45 and it was closed. I had many plans that needed to happen and this is not what I needed to happen. The BCPF tried to calm me down. “We can do it another day,” she said. No. No, we couldn’t. There was a number to call for questions and literally as I was about to hit send on my cell, a door pops open from the back of the Yacht Club and (yes this could be in my mind and not what really happened) a line of five boat captains came marching out in single file, each pulling a rolling cooler and singing or chanting something Disney-like. It was surreal.
A fellow that looked and sounded a lot like Uncle Fester from Addams Family came over to us and the other groups that had gathered for their own boat rides and asked: “who’s from North Carolina?” I raised my hand and acknowledged it was us. He introduced himself as “Captain Ron” which I thought was funny. We were having to watch the weather as a storm was rolling around the area. We couldn’t take the boat ride if the storm came through. Luckily, it didn’t and we could get on the boats.
Cap’n Ron drove the boat around Crescent Lake telling us its history and the history of the resorts around it, and then the theme parks that are located on its shores. He paused in a few spots to let us “take it in,” although I knew what he was doing. We worked our way back to the Yacht Club, Beach Club and Boardwalk Inn area and moved our way through the channel into the World Showcase Lagoon. Checking with Control Central we were able to move farther into the lagoon to view the awesome fireworks display.
I sat on the pontoon boat’s seat normally and The BCPF leaned in on me, her feet up in the seat. The fireworks started. I sneakily took the item I’d been hiding from my fanny pack and adjusted it to prepare for the coup de grace that was about to happen. The BCPF said she’d like to sit on the opposite bench. Okay. I had to maneuver the item for her to not see it. After about 2 minutes, Cap’n Ron said that we’d see better from the side we started from. Okay. Maneuver number two. We assumed the positions again. The BCPF leaned back and said, “you know, today has been perfect.” I nodded with a “yep.”
And it had been perfect. A nearly flawless flight. A quick and easy shuttle ride followed by a quick and easy check-in at the resort. The boat ride to Magic Kingdom. The hot dog lunch with the Ibis. The short lines. Every ride with the option gave us front row. The dinner. This boat ride and the fireworks to end all fireworks. As the glittery display came to an end and the announcements started, I said, “you know, today has been perfect. There’s only one thing I can think of that would make it more perfect.” I rose took the item in my hand, dropped to one knee, and exposed the contents of the item I had been hiding for nine months. I asked her, “Will you marry me?” She stared at me blankly and asked, “yeah? Are you serious?”
I looked down at the box and the faintly sparkling stones sitting within it and said, “I got a ring…?” She finally said, “yes!” Whew, I thought I was going to fall over. I thought I had all this figured out. I thought there was no way she’d say no. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. She said yes. Yes. YES! Cap’n Ron announced what had happened. We were
Cap’n Ron announced what had happened. We had been tethered to four other boats in the lagoon and the one right next to us was full of seven women and they wanted to know what she said. I stood and at the top of my lungs yelled, “SHE SAID YES!!!!” People were looking over the rails of that same bridge where I had stood several times and watched the people in these boats observe the fireworks. We were congratulated a lot. We were taken back to Hollywood Studios because it was easier to get to the buses to get back to our resort. Along the way, I told her the few people that actually knew this was coming and the people who didn’t. Some really surprised her. She didn’t get to see the ring, which she calls her “precious” in a very un-Gollem-like voice, until we got on the bus.
Once back at the resort we went to the mercantile to grab some beverages and asked about something to commemorate the engagement. We got badges and wore them around the park the entire week we were there. People congratulated us constantly and cast members of WDW would yell congrats to us from across the promenade if that’s where they saw the badge. I don’t think we paid for any desserts during that week (we realized we needed to keep those badges on the entire time). It was the perfect trip.
It was the perfect trip. The entire week, with the exception of one day, the weather was near perfect. We had fun. We ate well. We loved each other and we loved, and still love, our time together, no matter where we are. We have many anniversaries that we celebrate, which is probably overkilling it, but we’re disgustingly cute and don’t care to show it. This, to me, is the second most important after the wedding anniversary.
To The BCPF, Stephanie, I still love you as I did that day, but the magnitude has grown infinitely exponentially. I fall in love more and more every day. Good. Bad. Indifferent. We always have each other and have a love that I defy anyone else to match. This is our fairy tale and I am not ashamed, afraid, or reluctant to scream it from the mountain tops, roof tops and this danged blog. Happy sixth engagement anniversary my baby. I love you.
Sorry, Dear Reader for the 2200+ word explosion. I did warn you.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Yes!” – The BCPF