Vanessa and Art's Beauty and The Beast Proposal at Disney
How We Met: I first met Art when I was a sophomore in high school and he was a senior and Laguna Hills High School in California. I was the water girl for our football team and he was the starting Defensive Tackle. Normally, when I gave players the water bottles, I turned and went on handing out other players water because I was used to them taking swings of water, rinsing their mouths and spitting water out. What I wasn’t used to was them spitting water out on me…and that is what Art accidentally did. For some reason I didn’t walk away to hand out other water bottles, and needless to say I was disgusted. But he looked so adorable and apologetic as he ran back onto the field (there was a turn over so he had to go back and play) it was easy to forgive him. For the rest of that season, we were distant friends, but I always made him and his other football friends brownies every week after they won a game so we kept in touch as the year went on.
Art’s best friend was in my Math class but after they graduated, we didn’t keep in touch. The next year, I ran into Art’s friend, the same one from my math class, at a football game and he asked if he could borrow my phone to get a hold of Art who was on his way. I let him use my phone and told Art to call me when he got there so I could show him where his friend was sitting. A little while later, Art called and I left the game to meet him in the front of the stadium. I had remembered Art as the large, plump meat head who was a great football player, but the stud that met me in front of the stadium had grown up nicely since the last season I saw him.
I hung out with Art and his friend at the game, and the following week Art called and asked me if I would make him some of my ‘famous’ brownies and bring them to the game. Of course I was more than happy to, and from that point on, the rest is history. During our 9 years together, we have over come so much including me attending USC for pre-med while he attended Cal State Fullerton to get his bachelors in psychology, to me moving to New York City to attend the SUNY College of Optometry and him receiving a second degree in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at Cal State Fullerton. People always told us that long distance relationships don’t last, and they were right. In less than 6 months, that distance is finally going to be gone!
How He Asked: Well, to start off with Art is the master of surprises. Last year (May, 2014) he surprised me for my birthday and flew out to New York for the weekend. This year, I was presenting a research poster in Denver, CO that took place the week before his birthday (May, 2015) so I decided to plan a ‘surprise’ (or so I thought it was) trip out to California to be there for his birthday. After showing up on his door step Sunday evening with a birthday candle in a little ice cream Sundae, Art told me the next day that he had purchases Disneyland tickets for us to go on Wednesday, May 6th, and that he made reservations for Breakfast with the Characters and the Disney Hotel. Being in Optometry school, that Wednesday was the day I was to find out if I passed my national licensing exam so he said this trip was ‘to keep my mind busy while waiting for the results’. I was not suspicious considering we had jokingly made plans to do this if I was in California.
So the next morning we got ready for our breakfast and Art asked me to get dressed ‘cute’ and to do my make up for pictures because for his birthday, which was that Friday May 8th, he wanted to take a bunch of pictures with the characters. I was initially annoyed to have to get so dressed up to go to Disneyland, but was happy he gave me fair warning so I listened and got all dolled up for this birthday breakfast.
Now after breakfast Art had said he wanted to go check out Beast’s Library, which I had never been to before. Beauty and the Beast has always been our ‘theme’, so I was so excited to see it! When we got into California Adventure, we went on a few of the more popular rides before it got too busy and then went over to Beast’s Library. When we got to the Animation Studios, there was a huge line that I thought was for Beast’s Library, but it was actually for the new interactive Frozen exhibit where everyone can take their picture with Elsa. There was no line into the Sorcerer’s workshop, which you had to pass through to get the Beast’s Library. When we entered the interactive workshop, it was completely empty, so what did I do? I started playing with the interactive activities! Art was so patient and tried to convince me to hurry up and go into the library since it was so empty ‘we could get a really great picture’.
I agreed and we began to walk down the ramp to the library. I was taking in all the decor, and when we were about to enter the library I noticed some people already inside. My first instinct was “o darn, there are people in here”, until I finally recognized the people as my mom, dad, his mom, his step dad, my brother and my aunt; and they were all holding a sign. I froze in the door, unable to actually read the sign, but fully aware of what it said. Art literally pulled me into the room, guided me in front of everyone, and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. With out hesitation I said yes (followed by ‘its about damn time’ ;) ). As he put the ring on, the entire room came to light and ‘the spell was broken’ in the library and the magical pixie dust began climbing the walls bringing everything to life. It was perfect! Better yet Art had arranged for his best friend and fiance so catch the entire thing on video!