Stephanie and Michael

How We Met: Michael and I originally met when we were in high school. Despite attending different high schools, we had mutual friends and found ourselves in the same car going to a friend’s party. During this car ride, Michael tried to give me his business card, but I politely declined, thinking who has a business card when they are sixteen!

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Several years later while living in my sorority house at the University of Florida, Michael and I reconnected while he was visiting a friend, Katie, who was also living in the house. Whenever he came to visit Katie, he would stop in my room to chat, and at the end of the fall semester, I agreed to go to coffee with him.  The rest is history.

How He Asked: After six and a half years, six college degrees (between the two of us), and two dogs, it is safe to say I was antsy for a proposal. While I thought he was procrastinating, he was actually planning the perfect surprise. In fact, his planning started when I found out I needed to go to California for a conference. In addition to the conference, I was also trying to morph my California visit into a romantic trip for Michael and I to see family, drive up the coast, and spend a few days in Napa. I thought this was the perfect opportunity for the trip, but Michael was hesitant because we had already planned several trips for the year. After much pleading, Michael agreed to meet me in California following my conference.  The plan was for Michael to meet me in San Diego and drive up to Los Angeles, where we would spend a few days before traveling up the coast. At this point, he decided he was going to propose during the trip but was unsure how.

According to Michael, he consulted with the majority of our friends to plan the perfect proposal.  While planning our activities in California, Michael told me that he found a deal on TravelZoo for a helicopter ride around LA to see landmarks and celebrity houses, but the flight needed to be right after we arrived from San Diego and we would need to go directly to the helipad and then to dinner. I agreed that wouldn’t be a problem. Unbeknownst to me, Michael had chosen this night to be the night he would propose.

Of course, not everything can go according to plan. The night before Michael was supposed to fly to San Diego he found out that his flight was canceled, and he needed to fly into LAX. In addition to the flight change, I had food poisoning and was unsure if I would be able to drive to LA on my own based on my nauseous status. The next day I was feeling strong enough to make the drive but was exhausted when I arrived in LA.  Michael loaded me up with chicken noodle soup, and after a short nap, I felt well enough for the helicopter ride and had a small appetite for dinner. This was a relief to Michael who thought I was going to back out of the helicopter ride and ruin his surprise.

Michael was nervous about making it the airport on time and was rushing me since I tend to run late, so I quickly got dressed for the helicopter ride and for dinner. We ended up getting to the airport earlier than our scheduled appointment but the helicopter was ready. After some safety instructions from the pilot, we had our headsets on and were in the air. The weather was perfect and the views were incredible. Our pilot was an excellent tour guide and pointed out some famous landmarks and provided us with aerial views of some celebrity homes.

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After flying up the coast for several minutes, the pilot asked if we wanted to land so we could get an even better views. She said she had extra time since our flight was her last flight of the day.  I was really excited by this because I didn’t think typical helicopter tours stopped in the middle of Malibu for scenic views.

When it was safe to exit the helicopter, Michael and I took in the amazing view of the ocean and the mountains. After several moments, Michael began to get sentimental. I am not sure exactly what he said but before I knew it he was on one knee. Before he could ask me to marry him, I exclaimed “You’re Proposing!” He laughed and said “I guess that’s a Yes!” I was totally surprised and in shock. We enjoyed the view with champagne while the sun was setting.  After returning to the airport  Michael told me several people on the east coast were waiting up for my call, I called family and friends while we made our way to dinner. While at dinner Michael told me all the tricks he pulled to make the surprise happen. I continue to be in awe of my romantic and amazing fiancé!

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Helicopters: Orbic Air