Monday, May 24, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

... I gave this tile by Rob Ryan to the Pal. At the time, it seemed to sum up so many changes in our lives and the excitement of moving forward. It has moved from his house, to our house and (unbeknownst to me) became inspiration for a very sneaky plan.

Last Friday morning, I awoke to a cryptic phone text message from a 'Wise Old Owl' which set me off on hours of treasure hunting. First, I found some balloons with a key attached at my front door and these led me to lots more puzzles in our apartment. Find-a-words and a CD where I had to use the titles and artists to break a code (I love a good puzzle!) had me searching high and low for more clues throughout our apartment (one was even in the freezer!). The last clue told me to pack a bag for somewhere cold - this becomes important later - to leave it in the apartment and to catch the 9:22am ferry into the city.

What greeted me on the walk to the ferry were countless signs, chalk arrows and red helium balloons tied to fence posts from my house all the way down to the wharf - it was like I was in a dream. I kept searching around to see if any friends were hidden around, but it was just me.
I was crying as I took these photos - and people walking up from the ferry kept saying, "Who's Kate? What adventure?!" When I finally got down to the wharf, the outside and inside were covered with pages spelling out quotes from my favourite books. By now, I was really, really crying...
When I got inside the ferry, I received another message from the Wise Old Owl, telling me that there was another clue attached to a helium balloon inside. Inside this clue were more polaroids of city landmarks - places I had to search for further! Here are the photos:
Just as I was beginning to doubt my directional capabilities, I got off the ferry and to my astonishment saw more green signs - they were everywhere!! Happily guided along by my green friends, I wandered through the city, utterly speechless (although still crying at this stage).
The arrows led me to The Vault, a fancy safety deposit box facility where I thought the Pal might meet me... Instead, I used my key which was delivered to my door that morning to open a box to uncover an ipod shuffle loaded with some songs by one of my favourite artists, and a boarding pass to Hobart. Alongside these was the instruction to walk to the InterContinental Hotel and pick up my bag in order to go to the airport!

I walked to the hotel, (wondering how my bag had even got there in the first place!) crying even more, if possible, and asked for my bag, which emerged attached to more helium balloons and another envelope clue. It said to tear up my previous boarding pass, and use another one to fly to Hamilton Island!

By this stage, I was certain that the adventure would end there. But when I arrived at Hamilton Island, I saw a woman holding a green Kate's Adventure sign, and the Pal wasn't in sight! She took me on a bus to a helipad where, no joke, I got on a helicopter, despite the pilot giving me no clues as to our destination. (That's me in the attractive life jacket below in the top left). We left Hamilton Island and flew low over the Whitsundays, pulling in at a tiny beach with huts, and (you can see it in the middle below) a MASSIVE sign in the sand reading 'Adventure' with a huge arrow.

As I got off the helicopter (felt a little like I was in Tropic Thunder for a minute, then remembered I was in a tropical version of Amelie), the lovely staff buzzed around me, grabbed my luggage, gave me another envelope with a clue and told me to keep following the signs. I went down to the beach where I saw a boat come towards me. Just as I thought that this couldn't possibly be real, the captain said, 'Hi Kate!' and told me to get on board.

We zoomed out away from the resort, and even though we were in pristine bushland, large 'Kate's Adventure' signs were roped around rocks and trees all along the way! We pulled into a small beach, and the captain of the boat told me to stand up at the bow as we pulled into the beach.

The Pal was waiting there with champagne on ice, a cheese plate and, on the beach in the middle of nowhere, asked me to marry him.

And I said yes!

One of our dearest friends who was integral to the whole plan stuck this on our door for our arrival home, and planted chocolates and champagne in our apartment, too.

Thank you to everyone who helped in this intricate Amelie-style proposal - it was so incredibly extraordinary - and I am so excited!
-FIN- (or 'beginning'?)

56 comments:

  1. Best. Story. Ever.

    Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh BRILLIANT! I am so so so thrilled for you guys. You have the time of your life coming up and I hope you bask in every second. What a beautiful, romantic proposal! Utterly befitting such a gorgeous couple.

    Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great story. He's obviously a keeper.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh what a great amazing story! I loved reading it. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  5. UNBELIEVABLE! AMAZING!! WOW!!! What a truly wonderful experience. Congratulations to you both. xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ok I am officially hopeless - I knew about the scheme and yet I'm STILL in tears reading your account!!
    Can't wait to hear it all again in person xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. So very beautiful....Enjoy your upcoming adventures together!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh dude, you have just set the bar so high - damn you, you crafty fox!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Truth outstrips fiction every time - your adventure is so precious. Your kids will want to hear it over and over again.

    Congratulations, and thanks for sharing some of your happiness with the world. x

    ReplyDelete
  10. And in a small matter of housekeeping - James, how did you get City of Sydney workers to leave your signs up??

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm in tears too! What an absolutely beautiful story ... Congratulations! the bar is indeed set very very high now!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you so much, everyone!

    Yes, he is a crafty Pal. His mates actually put the signs up early (5am early!) that morning. People kept asking what Kate's Adventure was, and apparently they made up a story about it being a guerilla campaign for Channel V!

    Walking on blissful clouds of air right now :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my goodness Kate that is wonderful!
    Looks like you will be using the sign letters after all. I have squillions of them now so (when you have returned to earth in the very distant future) they're only a phone call away.
    But enough about unromantic future details, yay, yay, yay - am thrilled for you. What a terrific proposal.
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just gorgeous - congratulations. An amazing proposal.

    What a way to start your "official"life together!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. So very romantic. Congratulations :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my goodness I am in tears just reading that, such a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing. I am glad that I didn't take the last wonderful man out there and that you have one too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh my God, I am actually crying after reading that! Such a beautiful proposal, when I was reading through it I was thinking "he'd so better propose at the end of this!!!"

    ReplyDelete
  18. *Sniff, sniff* Tissue please, I'm tearing up at this dream proposal! So sweet & romantic! This guy is one is a million! Congratulations!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. oh my god!!! so fantastic - so much thought and planning and dreamy...Congrats U two!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This. Is. Out. Of. Control.

    Well done, Pal! Congrats to the two of you!

    Hugs from K, K & F
    xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is just downright wonderful! congratulations to both of you...x

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have a few tears coming down my face! Fabulous news and surely one of the most delightful proposals in history! I am so, so happy for both of you and can't wait to hear more about it. Love you to bits

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh that is beautiful, enjoy...so sweet.
    Gorgeous place to come..xx

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello Kate,

    I don't know you but I figure from the photos that you must live very near to me - I walk that same way to catch the ferry to work, and I am blown away by your story! My partner and I just got engaged while we were on a trip to Japan - and it is cool to think of a couple living a only few hundred metres away who have another awesome engagement story! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh.My.Goodness. Your story gave me goosebumps and, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this since I don't even know you, but I cried along with you. It was so exciting and so,so moving. And a relief that not only was it your Pal who greeted you at the other end but that he proposed. LOVED IT. Going back to read it again!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Kate, I am so happy that I cannot smiling/having a little teary at my desk. It is an absolutely lovely, delightful and romantic adventure! YAY for Kate and James! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  27. that is so beautiful kate! what a gorgeous and goofy story =) i hope you and the pal continue to enjoy your adventure together, congratulaions!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Omg... I was in tears by the end of this story and I don't even know you guys!!! Congrats- this was the best story ever.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks everyone - I'm so incredibly touched by your comments!!

    Eeeee!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh. My. Gosh. And to top it all off the signs are so beautiful! Congratulations to you both. And many good wishes. I'm kind of jealous, actually, but send good wishes even so.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Kate, so beautiful! You've totally made my day! What an amazing story - you two are gorgeous!!

    xxx Emma

    ReplyDelete
  32. That was, without a doubt, the best story ever. You are both lucky to have found each other. I can't believe the lengths James went to. This makes me feel all warm inside.
    Congratulations to you both.
    This is the feel-good story of the year.
    Hug hug hug!
    Erin
    P.S. It beats winning the Morris dancing competition. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oops, I signed in with my class student blog info.
    It's Erin the Yard Sale Snoop.
    I'm still floating in pretty bubbles.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Truly one of the great romantic love stories you'd want to read....extraordinary Kate. Well done Pal.

    ReplyDelete
  35. oh, Kate! congratulations!!! i am so happy for you both, what an amazing experience he created for you, and what a beautiful beginning for a new life together.

    yay!

    ReplyDelete
  36. that is the most amazing story - brought tears to my eyes!
    Wishing you both a wonderful life together.

    ReplyDelete
  37. HI Kate, I don't know you and you don't know me(?!) but I am a friend of Emma's and I found your blog through feeling fuzzy!...this is amazing, I love it so much!!!
    congratulations!!!
    Yumi

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow! This was wonderful.

    Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  39. OMG! Your man is amazing! He must love you very much, congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  40. What an amazing story - I can't stop crying :D.. best wishes & long love to you & yours

    ReplyDelete
  41. This is the most wonderful story. Had me tearing up, too! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  42. WOW!! That is some serious planning! Awesome job James...really amazing. And congrats to you both! You make a wonderful couple :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. OMG!!!!!!! I'm crying too! You are ONE LUCKY WOMAN! Have a most beautiful adventure always :) Kx

    ReplyDelete
  44. Holy cow!!! There's no WAY you could say 'no' after all that! Amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. This story is one only seen in movies, usually, and it is so extraordinary, and refreshing!, to read it on your blog, because it's real. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on your engagement! :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Are you kidding me? (I know you're not)...This is unbelievable and romantic and wonderful - the way it should be.

    That PAL of yours did good! Congrats to you both!!

    This one goes down in the books. And photo albums. :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. oh my god.. i only just read this post.. how amazing! best proposal story EVER!! congratulations :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Many Congratulatios !!!

    To Romance !

    luv Rob

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm happy to say that I was there to see some of the best parts of this story unfold! Love to both of you and may there be many more adventures to come.

    Tim and Ana

    ReplyDelete
  50. Once again a huge congratulations to you both. We were so excited to be part of it and to see the final bit of the plan come together-and to help write giant letters in the sand :-) James definitely stitched up a few of the guys here- his efforts would take some topping!!! So happy for you both-you're such an amazing and beautiful couple and I know you're going to be so happy in your future together.

    Lou & Nick, Paradise Bay

    ReplyDelete
  51. Wow! That's one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. What a wonderful thoughtful couple you must be ;-) Every good wish for a fantastic (married!) partnership ahead. Best wishes Clare

    ReplyDelete
  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I don't know how I missed this one! Completely amazing! I have tears in my eyes too now.

    Next stop vegas?

    x x x

    ReplyDelete
  54. My husband couldn't organise himself out of a paper bag - I'm so impressed, you lucky girl :D

    ReplyDelete
  55. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. I like Romance ! Congratulation!

    ReplyDelete