You don't know how happy it makes me to write the following sentence. I'm engaged! As i'm typing this, I'm watching the light of the fire glisten off my ring and feeling so content and lucky. For anyone who doesn't already know, I met Matt in high school during year 11. We hadn't crossed paths until then, as he did German and I did French so it meant we were always in different classes across all subjects. After sixth-form, he went off to The University of Kent and I stayed in Norfolk at UEA. I would travel down every 2 or 3 weekends for about 4 days and enjoyed exploring the beautiful city of Canterbury with him. After our undergraduates, Matt moved back and completed his masters at UEA whilst I did my PGCE there too. Finally after 6 years of being together we moved in together and rented our first house in Norwich. Now 2 years later, we have bought our very own home and have been together 8 and a half years. I have dreamt of our wedding for so long.
New York has always been a place i've dreamt of going to. For years (literally), I've had the money saved for the trip, but always been a bit of a chicken to actually go, as I hate flying. But in May 2018, Matt suggested we booked a trip to New York in December, so we did! Everything was booked within a day and I was so excited. As the 19th december (flight day) drew closer and closer, I was still house bound and unwell from my CFS, but nothing and I mean NOTHING was stopping me from going to New York.
The day arrived and we landed in New York. As we were touching down in the plane, I looked out and completely welled up. I was so happy to be in the place I'd dreamt of for so long. The first night we walked out to Times Square (where our hotel was) and I just stopped and stared in complete awe. It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. Bright lights and the big city.
20th December 2018 - The Proposal Day
After sleeping like a baby in our king sized hotel bed, it was time to explore the sights! We attempted to get the subway to The Museum of Natural History. Well I don't know if it was just us, but boy is the subway hard to navigate! There are no maps anywhere and nothing seems to make sense. We hopped on the one we thought was right and it kept stopping, but always in the centre lane so we could never get off! We whizzed past our destination and we tried to remain calm! Eventually we managed to leap off and go on the right train to the museum. Coming up the subway stairs onto the street to see Central Park over the road was just magical. The street signs were hanging overhead, yellow cabs were driving past and a yellow school bus was parked up. I felt like it was the epitome of New York right infront of my eyes.
The Museum was brilliant. Matt was particularly in his element surrounded by all the dinosaurs that he was so excited to see. He wheeled me round in a wheelchair and it was like being on my own personal guided tour! Although, it turns out, being pushed in a wheelchair makes me quite motion sick! So we thought it was time for some fresh air. I'd like to point out that Matt is still completely calm and casual.
We stroll over the road to Central Park. I feel like I'm in 'Friends'. Literally every time I saw something, I related it to the sitcom... "I can imagine Rachel and Phoebe jogging through here" etc. It was just as beautiful as i'd imagined. I love the fact that it's a huge expanse of nature in the heart of a bustling city. Through the trees you can see the skyscrapers and I just loved it.
We kept taking regular sitting breaks as I was struggling to walk, but I was so happy to be there. On one stop, Matt told me to find a good bench for a rest. My tired brain just took the nearest bench I saw. That's when he handed me a box and told me he got me an early christmas present. Well, already I was in absolute floods of tears. I opened the box and couldn't see a thing through the pool of water in my eyes, but knew exactly what it was. I told him he had to actually ask me as I was desperate to say the word: YES! Matt is not a man of words, so I wasn't surprised when he just said "do you fancy getting married then?". I was completely overjoyed. Just then it started to tip it down with rain and some litter pickers came forraging around us. I was still a blubbering shaking mess. We decided we better move to a better bench; one where there weren't men picking around our feet as I was struggling to comprehend anything that was going on!
We reached our new destination and it didn't feel real... I didn't feel like I was me and living my life.. I couldn't believe it. I'd waited so long for this day and it just did not feel real. Matt explained that my ring was a Victorian diamond in an art deco 1920s ring band. He wanted to buy antique, because thats our thing. We love antique shopping together. Everything was just perfect. I didnt care that it rained, I didn't care that random men turned up just as he proposed. I was in Central Park and I was engaged to the love of my life. As we went to move on from the bench, we noticed this plaque on it. The words were perfect.
After getting a cab back to the hotel and telling our friends and family, we then spruced ourselves up for the fanciest meal of our lives. We had been given some christmas money so we went to The Four Seasons. By golly gosh was it posh. I think we stuck out like a sore thumb... well I did at least. I dropped things, shoved the last bite of food joyfully in my mouth and almost pulled the whole table cloth off on the way to the restrooms. You'd never believe my name means graceful!
For appetisers I had oyster and caviar. YES. Oyster and caviar! ME. Anna. The food fuss pot. It was actually delicious, though I wasn't keen on the texture. For starters I had smoked salmon. They bought out the whole fish and sliced it in front of me. For main we had roast duck. Again, they bought out a whole duck, stuffed with herbs and carved it in front of our eyes. It was exquisite. By this point we were way too full for desert, but they knew it was our engagement so they bought us a giant cloud of candy floss! I was so happy as candy floss is one of my favourite things. Inside was actual candied violets. Amazing.
After we stuffed ourselves silly, we walked across the road to the Rockefeller tree. As we approached, steam was coming out of the grates in the road and the Home Alone music was playing. I felt like I was in a movie! The christmas tree was just as beautiful as I imagined. The atmosphere was so joyous and the lights were glistening onto the puddled floor so elegantly. I will never forget that sight.
That day was the best day of my life so far. New York will always hold a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to marry my best friend.