I have one more blog post to write about for my Memorial Day wknd in Utah with Tony but I must write about seeing him in Utah this last weekend because! something very big and exciting happened. It being this:
Yes Yes Yes. On Sunday ...well, let me back up a bit. Saturday morning I still had no idea what Tony had planned for us to do for the weekend. So we started out going to the members only REI sale and scoring some good deals. Got Jamba Juice for breakfast, went back to Tony's where he worked on his truck and motorcycle a bit and then we went up toTimpanogos Cave which is about 45 min or so from where he lives in SLC. You have to get tickets for the tour to the cave so we got ours (which weren't til 3:50pm) and we went to get some food. Around 2 or so we were ready to hike but technically we werent supposed to start hiking up til 2. We started anyways though because I hike really slow sometimes. Hehe. We make it to the top of the very steep mountain with lots of switchbacks. I took some neat pics along the way. I will write about the cave more in detail in another blog post.
We got back to SLC around 5 and Tony said we were going to the Hot Air Balloon Festival "Eyes To The Sky" in Salina (about 2-1/2 hrs away) and we were going to camp out! So we packed our stuff up into his truck, stopped at Walmart for some food and headed out. Unfortunately we missed the balloon glow :( we got there a bit too late and I guess it didnt last very long! So we drove to a nearby campsite , set things up and got up really early on Sunday for the balloon launch. Tony kept saying, " We dont want to miss it we dont want to miss it!" so I had a huge yawn face on at 5am when the alarms on our phones went off. Drove back into Salina and couldnt find the launch. We finally found a hot air balloon trailer driving and followed it to just the right spot. Phew!
Slowly people started gathering and the crowd got bigger & Tony & I were standing by a group and they said "So, you want to go up today?" and Tony said "Yes!" and I was like :-O really?!?! Bc I thought we were just going to watch the balloons, not actually RIDE in one. So by that point I pretty much knew he was going to propose but I still wasnt getting my hopes up just in case. Finally the balloon we were going to ride in was ready to go and I even braved the port-a-potties so I didnt have an accident by being so excited. LOL!
We got into the balloon with the pilot and his wife and up up up and away we went! I was soo excited! The ride was super smooth and quiet minus the hot air being blown into the balloon above us to keep us in the air. There were about 12 or so other balloons out floating with us. It was SO beautiful and down below dogs were barking at us and horses were running around wondering what was in the sky above them. We even saw a deer running across an open field and jump a fence.
As we went over a lake a couple balloons skimmed the water with their baskets and one of the balloons actually dunked their WHOLE basket into the lake. We stood there watching them and holding our breathes, not sure if they would recover and be able to pull themselves out of the water. The guy only had 1 burner on his basket! Most balloons have two I guess. Luckily they recovered and made it out of the water. A scary moment for sure though!
So we were floating along making small talk with our pilot. Did you know that brand new hot air balloons can cost up to $40,000 !? Crazy expensive! I kept looking out over every direction from our little basket and Tony kept moving me to diff parts of the balloon. I think I was making it hard for him to ask a certain question? Finally when we were looking for a place to land I just stood still and then he tapped me on the arm. I looked around and didnt see him so I looked down and he was kneeling on one knee in the tiny space the four of us had to stand. He had the ring in its box held out towards me and said, "Stacie Skinner, will you marry me?" and I was like "Omygosh yes I will marry you!" Okay, I dont know if those were the exact words but I do know I said yes and I hugged him and we kissed and the pilot and his wife clapped and cheered. So exciting. I couldnt believe it actually happened. Tony put the ring on my finger once we landed so that it didnt drop from the basket accidentally.
The landing was actually a lot better than I had hoped so that was a relief. The people following our balloon got to us in about 5 min once they figured out how to get to exactly where we were. We helped roll/fold up the balloon and stuff it into its huge sack. Back in Salina we had a little initiation ceremony since it was our first balloon ride. For the ceremony they filled up 2 hot air balloon cups with sparkling cider and told us a story about how this initiation came to be. We had to drink from the cup, filled about half way, using only our mouths to pick it up. Tony totally beat me! As we were drinking they poured / sprinkled water over us. Ahh good times. Then they brought out food - chips and dip and salsa and fruit and cheese and crackers and we hung out and talked and I met a lady from Phoenix and got her card. She has a hot air balloon and has been flying for about 30 years and wants to put a crew together so she can fly more often and I am like heck yes! Sadly she wont be flying til October since it is too hot right now but I hope to be able to help her out in the future.
SO yes, finally Tony & I are engaged. Happy day. We haven't decided on a date yet but are thinking either this fall or in the spring. Most likely leaning towards the spring (esp me) since I have elections jobs here in Arizona in August and September, then comes conference in Oct., holidays in November and December and trying to move myself and all my stuff to Utah is going to take some planning . Tony wants me to come at least a month before the wedding and there is no way I'm ready to move to Utah and leave Arizona in August for a September wedding (example) so I am thinking to move to Utah sometime in January and then we'll get married in April in Sacramento. In reality it will prob be March at least. I hope hope hope the weather will cooperate!