The Proposal Story     



March 16th, 2017 was soon to be put on the map for me when I flew down to Pennsylvania for a surprise visit, a surprise to Zoë that is. Jon on the other hand, Zoë's father, wasn't near as surprised. There was not a chance Zoë had a clue that I would be in town and in fact, didn't expect me for months to come. With the element of surprise to my advantage, I began planning. With a proposal in mind, I stewed and thought of ways to make this moment special for a lifetime for us to remember. From time to time my mind would drift to the thought, of how Zoë would be happy if I accidentally tripped onto one knee mid-walk, and happened to fumble out a ring and slurred the words "will you marry me". Short of the romance and flow, she would nonetheless be overjoyed. 

I on the other hand, had a hard time settling. On the drive to work at 7am March 6th, my mind begin to spin. I refused to do any research to aid me in this pursuit of an original proposal, so I thought and pondered aimlessly. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was making phone calls to various helicopter charts in Pennsylvania. What started out as an initial helicopter ride idea, soon morphed into a custom charter filled with a short flight with Zoë and her Sister Abigail, followed by a private tour over some significant landmarks in our relationship.

The Arrival

A 6am flight from Edmonton to Toronto, Toronto to Harrisburg came to an end at 4pm March 15th when John came to pick me up at the airport. We hit our first pit stop at the local Red Robin's where we promptly debated who would pay for the meal, before even considering what was on the menu. Bottomless fries and juicy burgers led to good conversation, eventually to a dunkin donuts coffee shop and inevitably led to me asking for John's permission for Zoë's hand in marriage. Sigh, that was the hard part, the easy part was trying to sneak into the Sanger's house through the basement door with two feet of fresh snow. Once arrived I quickly dusted my shoes and pants free of snow and made my usual goodnight to Zoë. The only thing different about tonights goodnight call was, there was a little less then two thousand miles separating us as I paced the basement floor below her. Eager to wrap the call up being a little sleep deprived, it so happened that this night Zoë was a little me deprived. Once the heart warming words left my cold lips, I'll have you know John had't come down to start the fire yet at this point, we ended the call with a sweet goodnight. 

The Next Morning

Once my body finally adjusted to the new and exciting time zone of Pennsylvania, I made my way up to surprise Lincoln and Bethany of my unexpected arrival. The planning had begun, I needed to get clues and letters off to different key places to kick off a successful surprise scavenger hunt. Neither of the kids knew what my surprise was about, although Lincoln caught on pretty quick, Bethany was still unaware of what my big surprise visit was all about, until of course my mother in law to be suggested I should break the news, moments before we were leaving out the door. Caught off guard, I tried my best to break the big news, all in while Lincoln was using a roll of tape to mimic a ring around his finger, so naturally I was focused more on Bethany's understanding. Attempting to get on a 9 year old's level, I began explaining to her that I had this goat, and this goat happened to be her sister, and that today was the day I would be asking her to marry me. You probably guessed that the goat analogy didn't smooth things over, at least it didn't slow down the tears coming from Bethany. Frantic for a recovery I began explaining my big plan to surprise her sister.

Once the tears ended and the smile creeped on, we headed out in the family suburban towards our first stop. On the way I thought it would be a great idea to give the ring box to Bethany to hold and look at, I was right. I probably went a little too far by turning around to face Bethany in the seat behind me, while driving, to ask her what she thought I did "good" on the ring, only to be replied to with "I think it would be good if you kept your eyes on the road". Touche. 

We got to our first destination at Zoes work, the Esbenshades greenhouse, where I dropped off the first letter and clue, with a small wrapped package. Little did I know at the time I had just missed seeing Zoe by a matter of seconds, although the receptionists look should have gave it away. Our next stop, Copper Cup coffee shop to drop off another letter and clue. It was at this moment when I realized that the only family member who didn't know about the big surprise taking place, was yours truly, Abigail due to the fact that she was at work with Zoe that day. I realized I had to let her in on the big surprise, so I began to dial. Once I confirmed she was alone and away from Zoe I followed through with a, "Hey Abigail, I have a big surprise to tell you, I'm in town, down the road at Copper Cup." Of course I was told to "shut up", "goodnight" and my word was very much doubted on, but I still continued. "Abigail, that not even the big surprise I was going to tell you, I have a big scavenger hunt planned and it leads to Zoe being up in the air in a helicopter and today I'm going to ask Zoe to marry me". Met with words of disbelief, excitement, and congratulations I just say the her reaction won first place in my heart.

3:30pm came quick and Zoe was on to her first clue after being called up to the front desk as requested. Once she solved the first clue to Copper Cup, they made there way over. As the second clue instructed, they were to open the wrapped package, which was a 80+ piece lego helicopter, and build it within 10 minutes. Once completed Zoe was to ask the Coffee Shop staff members for the next clue, which ended up leading her to the Smoketown airport in PA. Once at the airport she had to try and trade her lego helicopter toy in for a genuine helicopter flight. 





If you can't wait....visit this link to see a sneak peek: