Once upon a time someone took me on a scavenger hunt. My adventure had rhyming riddles, secret hidden boxes, a message in a bottle, quiet walks through the woods, freshly made ice cream, meteor showers and a very extraordinary gift at the end. I traveled far and wide searching for each clue. And each clue had a meaning, a specific meaning, and an importance to my life. I learned patience, used my intuition, and enjoyed every single minute of it.
Turns out a certain someone worked really hard for several months to make sure it would be my perfect scavenger hunt. And turns out he was right; it was perfect.
The last time Alex and I were up at our family cottage on Lake Michigan, we were just dating. That was two years ago, this month. That trip was the start of something very, very special. So special, in fact, that it’s still one of my favorite memories.
A typical sunset at the lake. We went for our evening walk and he kept telling me to look for messages in bottles. I was getting annoyed with it. I didn’t care about finding stupid washed up trash.
The first of several ridiculous faces found in this blog post. Like my sunburn? If I knew Alex was going to start a week-long proposal that night, I would’ve lathered the sunscreen. The wine bottle used for my “message in a bottle” is from one of our favorite vineyards in Virginia. There’s the ring box. Empty. Filled with a silly little note. And our special piece of driftwood- from our first trip to Lake Michigan together. (One of those crazy couple things that nobody else will understand).
Yes, it says “tushi”. I think he’s talking about my behind. So we’re all clear on that one. And off to sushi we went….
That’s Tsunami, our favorite sushi joint in Annapolis. Cheers to that. (Told ya you’d see some ridiculous faces).
There aren’t really any pictures from this stop on the hunt. Rams Head is our favorite happy hour spot in Annapolis. My best friend, Ariel, worked there and was supposed to give it to me with my food. But- glitch in the plan- Ariel was on her family vacation that same week.
Then we drove all the way down to JMU in the Blue Ridge mountains… where we met and went to school. My JMU clue was in an ice cream cone that said “Klines” (the local amazing ice cream joint in our college’s town) with a purple and gold box inside. We had Klines ice cream at our wedding. It’s that good.
Disgustingly cute yet necessary picture in front of Wilson Hall while on the quad.
Meander Inn Bed and Breakfast clue. Delivered at breakfast, in that little bed (do you see it, there center bottom of the picture?).
Remember that wine bottle from clue #1? Welp, here we are at Delfosse Vineyard for a clue. See that little box covered in wine corks? He’s a creative man, that Alex. Mmmm…. wine and cheese.
Can you see it? At the summit of our hike up Humpback Rocks, at the edge there? That’s another clue in that green box.
Pointing to our point on the Appalachian Trail.
That’s just our dinner view of Afton Mountain. We came back here 14 months later to get married under that view.
Another day, another clue. Crabtree Falls- where he took me hiking on our very first date. It’s where we had our “Garden State” moment (you know, the big, tell all kiss). It’s where we return year after year to visit our beginnings. This was where my scavenger hunt would end.
We packed a picnic for our hike. And ate on a rock with that amazing view.
I find out later that my dad’s advice was “Now, you’re both going to be nervous, so make sure the ring doesn’t fall in the waterfall.” Look at me, knocking that engagement ring out like it’s my job to lose it. What you don’t see is Alex behind the camera going “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”
More weird faces. I know, I should stick to smiling.
Then, the knee went down and I got a diamond.
We took our first fiance picture together….
and ate our picnic on a rock.
*Filed under Married Life and Wanderlust Life*