Monday, August 24, 2015

WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!! {the PROPOSAL}

The good stuff.... for those of you just joining us, I had just suggested that we walk down a private beach that we "randomly" happened upon...
You can see John feeling for the ring here
We walked down the beach (not before I had to take off my heels, which apparently threw off the timing). John told me about how he was thinking of our first date and how he remembered I said I wanted to be a dolphin trainer... and how cute he thought I was but couldn't tell me because we had just started dating. We talked about how far we've come- both professionally AND as a couple. Now, I am lucky to say that John tells me this stuff all the time, so I didn't think twice about it. Everything seemed casual and normal, I even pointed to an ugly orange catamaran floating in the marina in the middle of WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE MY PROPOSAL SPEECH.
BUT THEN. His voice got shaky. **ALERT ALERT** That never happens. This is the most confident guy I know. He said something like "I don't know exactly when I fell so completely in love with you but..."

I SWEAR I BLACKED OUT. Everything got hot, I went from completely fine to sobbing and screaming "OHMIGAWD OHMIGAWDDD" between sobs. I can't remember exactly what was said (a phenomenon I remember reading about and swearing that that would NEVER EVERRR happen to me- and that I would remember every precious moment of my proposal if/when that ever happened). But he was on a knee. And I was freaking out. And I just. Couldn't even. Stand.

According to everyone (and my own memory), the time between John getting down on one knee and me collapsing to mine was abouttttttt .02 seconds
He said amazing things. I cried. He said all the things a girl dreams her whole life to hear. I cried more. And then he said the words that I've been wanting to hear for the past 6.75 years...
"Jaquielyn Midori Tango, will you marry me?" 
ALL. THE. TEARS. I said "Yes! Of course!"... but naturally, between the tears, he couldn't hear my answer. He said "Is that a yes?!?" A MILLION TIMES, YES, JOHN.

I finally took a look at the most beautiful ring ever created in the history of the world. And he put it on MY finger. I think I even said something like "You have to put it on me because I just can't function right now"
Then we stood up, I put my head against his chest and could hear how freaking loud and fast his heart was beating. I don't know if I've ever seen this guy nervous
And then there was screaming behind us. I turned around to see some strangers on their balcony cheering and clapping.... And then a familiar face! Amber!! With a camera!! Taking pictures!!!!!! Just like I always wanted
The next couple pics are my genuine reaction...

[Please note that ALL of the pictures in this post were taken by ninja- Level:Expert Photographer extraordinaire, Amber freaking Arnold. I even scoured the bushes for a flash of a camera/photographer for any clue that a proposal was happening. I saw nothing. She was one with the bushes. Not only is she an INCREDIBLE photographer, but she is also my lead at work, responsible for getting me the day off, and a world-class trainer. I'm proud to also be able to call her my friend]

Amber snapped a few more photos, before running off

As she left the scene, I asked John if she had a dinner reservation or why she had to leave so quickly. John said "Oh, we just talked about it and she wanted to give us some time together to talk about stuff... and I told her about our dinner reservation"

Little did I know, that was not the last surprise of the day... Here's a sneak peek at the next blog installment...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!! {the day of the PROPOSAL}

First off...

John and I have had crazy schedules.But for one, brief period, our schedules synced up (for the first time in foreverrr.... cue Frozen) and we had weekends TOGETHER!!!!! To maximize time together, we started having a "dinner schedule" for who makes dinner what nights. Stop laughing, it works for us. However, I ended up picking up most of the dinner duties that week due to impromptu work meetings (lies have been highlighted in yellow for effect), John picking up extra shifts, and other... hrm, shall we say cover-ups? When he came home an hour and a half after his supposed scheduled "end of shift", to a cold dinner, I was a wee bit upset. He promised to make me breakfast the following morning to make up for it. It seemed fair.
"What time do you leave for work"
"6 am"
"What time do you want breakfast  ready?"
"Ok. It'll be on the table"

Breakfast was MY FAVORITE! French toast, with MANGO!! I got ready for work, dressed in a swimsuit since my lead (who would later moonlight as a kick-ass photographer) had said "Yeah, you're probably going to dive tomorrow. Be ready" Since John had work that day as well, he was ALSO in his work clothes. Randomly, John said "Hey. Since we're both up and dressed for work, let's take a picture of us in our work clothes!". Great idea, more for him so we can get some in his spiffy uniform. He had been wanting more "uniform pics" and HE suggested it! Perfect!!
First pic of the day
And then this happened (don't mind my ridiculous jumping)...

The day then continued on with ALL of my favorite things!!!! Rock climbing at my favorite gym...

Then onto SeaWorld to see the Killer Whale show I've been wanting to see pretty much alllll summer...
Lunch at Mama Stella's- my fave
Annnnnddddd then since John got me the day off work from feeding sea lions, naturally we paid $5 so that I could feed sea lions. This is not a joke
How do you say no to that face?!?
I know this is ridiculous but...
I just love sea lions
And then I was le tired. Apparently I threw a wrench in the plan by suggesting a midday nap. But ya know, it was my birthday day so NAP IT IS! John then told me that we were going out to dinner! To a place called "Vessel". It seemed really nice, was highly rated on Yelp! and we also had a reservation! The "Yelpers" had suggested that it was a "nice place to walk around" so John thought maybe we could head over early and check it out? Also, the guy who took his reservation was apparently a big 'ole jerk and stearnly warned John NOT TO BE LATE and that the place was hard to find so DON'T BE LATE. So we really had to get there early (do you see where this is going)?

We got there early, I debated whether or not to bring my purse. John said "Nah, don't bring it. Here, I'll put it in the trunk for you....." As he placed my purse in the trunk, I peeked back and saw that he was texting (**he was actually sending a "5 minute warning" text to everyone waiting). He had mentioned that Robert had been texting him earlier, asking him to play some beloved Hearthstone. I thought nothing of it. As I asked why he thought I shouldn't bring my purse, he shrugged and said "I know you're going to try and pay for dinner so this way, you can't!" Smartest guy I know.

We headed out of the car and wandered around the marina, which was gorgeous (just as the "Yelpers" had recommended) and even had a small private beach beneath Vessel. I got super excited about the beach, turned to John and said "Let's walk along the beach!!"

I had fallen into the most perfect proposal.

To be continued........

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!! {the prelude}

WAH! WAH! WAHHH!!!!!!!!! WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's so crazy and exciting, I wanted to write down every detail (mainly for my own goldfish memory) so I never ever forget how much time, effort, thought, and love went into this incredible proposal.

So we'll go in chronological order, shall we?

John and I had been dating for 6.75 years (very scientific, I know). I hadn't really been feeling the wedding/marriage fever since none of my bestest friends had gotten married, and I haven't been attending weddings like crazy. It was all something in a far off land... UNTIL. Until I spent a month in Washington, with incredible, talented, but extremely YOUNG married people. They were allllll younger than me, with their partners for less time than John and I, and all wayyy more married than I. Jealousy, more than anything took hold. I love John, he loves me... What's left? For a while, we had used the whole "we need careers, we need a place of our own, we need...... other essentials" reason to postpone marriage. But we had just moved into our own studio apartment, we had both started to get our careers on the road. Everything seemed to fall into place except for one essential thing. The guy being on board.

I tried to prepare him for the marriage talk that was about to come raining down on him.... During phone conversations, I would not-so-subtly drop hints that I was thinking more and more of marriage. More of the "what are we waiting for?!" thoughts were a daily occurrence, especially during late night shifts that last until sunrise. Marriage fever was hitting. Hard.

Little did I know, Mr. Awesome was already on board and had begun planning, scheming, and working very hard to concoct the perfect proposal. He'd brush off my comments with things like "well..... we JUST got our own place" , "you've spent less than a week at our new apartment" "I still have to think about PA school" (All valid and true points). This would satisfy me forrrr about 48 hours until I was back to bringing it back up again.

Finally, I returned home to San Diego. We sat down to have the marriage talk. Deep breaths, pounding chest. It boiled down to this:
"I need more time... I'm just so in debt, and I'd like to get my head above water before we start to think about that stuff. Can we re-visit this two months? Is that fair?"
Two months it is. We both jotted "September 13th" into calendars to remind us (pfft, as if I needed reminding) of the "big marriage talk". Well, alrighty then.

The next MONTH is not something I'm proud of. I made multiple tactless jabs at him, finding a way to insert "I'm-never-getting-married, WOE IS MEEEEEE" comments into everyday conversation. Most of them were to his face and outright, but others were to friends, and pretty much anyone who would listen. I NOW KNOW that most of these friends were already IN on the plan.... and I'm pretty much the biggest jerk on the planet.

John did an excellent EXCELLENT job at throwing me off the trail. There was a fleeting moment were I thought maybe MAYBE he would propose on my birthday. He asked "what do you think you're getting for your birthday?" I giddily and shyly told him "I think..... maybe you're going to propose??". His reaction should have gotten him an Emmy
"Woah woah woahhh. Ok, we need to seriously sit down and talk about this because if that's what you think you are getting, you are going to be reallllllly disappointed" 
(Like any good actor, he took my hands, looked me in the eyes and fed me one of many many lies to get through the next month)
"Look, you know that I don't want to propose around a birthday or holiday. I've just never wanted to do that" 
(And now some distraction for good measure...)
"We'll talk about it on September 13th, ok?"
Get. This man. A statue.

More to come...

Friday, April 12, 2013

It's a whale!! It's a shark!! It's a WHALE SHARK

Hellloooooohhhh. Or shall I say "Harrroooo"

There are sooo many things to blog, you guys (we went to Nagoya, saw the tunnel of lights, Kyoto, Okinawa, the fact that I have LESS THAN A WEEK left in Japan...). But I just have to write about our whale shark dive before I forget it.

There are not enough words. I say that phrase a lot but seriously... amazing. epic. incredible. unforgettable. breathtaking. It was everything and more.

This was our second trip to Okinawa. Our first was in December of last year- we spent Christmas there, just John and I. This was one of our few trips away together, so Okinawa is a really special place to both of us. We had researched diving with whale sharks the first time, but only found places that required a SCUBA certification (which we didn't have). The absence of a whale shark dive hit John hard and I was constantly reminded of "the time we didn't swim with whale sharks." When we found out we would be going a second time, we (and I say "we" but I really mean "John") hit the research HARD. Found a company that would take us without any SCUBA certification or experience and made a reservation! Boom!! You all know what happened from there, I made sure ALL my facebook friends were well aware of the fact that I would be swimming with the world's biggest and most elusive fish.

Fast forward to the morning of April 8th. After giving a brief intro on how to scuba dive (1. breath  2. equalize  3. don't go up to the surface to fix your problems), we changed into wet suits and got on a boat. Our guide had told us "the water conditions today... are not so good. They are... uhh... bad." Fantastic. Exactly what I wanted to hear, as a incredibly motion-sick sensitive person. The boat ride out was rocky, but I kept my eyes focused on the horizon and tried to stay calm. There were about 12 other divers with us, all who were SCUBA certified and could therefore enter the net where the whale shark is kept. John and I were to remain outside the net, but were permitted to pet and touch the whale shark (and any other fish).

Our guide helped us put on our "packs" (not sure what the technical name is... the tank and regulator and stuff) along with some fins and red gloves. My red glove had a hole in one of the fingers, which the guide just said "Oh yeah, sometimes the fish bite". And then proceeded to pull the remaining bit of my glove over the finger glove. Like that was going to protect me from the human-eating fish below.

He told us to keep our right hand over our face, mask, and regulator, left hand over the back of the mask. And then just fall backwards into the water. Up until this point, I had been 100% excited. Something about the "backwards fall" made me feel all the fear I had been hiding. Like I was just supposed to throw myself backwards off the boat? The guide went in first, and then it was my turn. With my heart thudding in my chest, I fell backwards into the crystal waters of the East China Sea. It wasn't so bad. I didn't die, so that was a definite plus.

Once all three of us were in the water, we joined hands and Yas (our guide) took us deeper. Every now and then he would stop and give us the signal to equalize. I saw the first look of Takuya, the whale shark and gave John and tight hand squeeze. As we got deeper and deeper, the pain in my ear grew. I tried and tried to equalize but water just came out my mask instead. I gave Yas the sign for "PAIN!" and he took me up a bit higher so I could equalize. We worked on different depths for at least 10 minutes (meanwhile, John hung onto the giant net in the water and watched me make awkward faces in my mask). At one point, I was sure that blood was coming out of my ears. FINALLY I felt a giant POP! and the pressure was relieved from my ears. I could finally enjoy it.

Enough talking for now... Time for some pictures!!

We're on a boat!
First SCUBA dive!

 I was worried about two things:
  1. That my midget arms wouldn't be able to reach Takuya (the whale shark). While I struggled to pet him through the net, John could reach with ease.
  2. The fish would eat my hand through the glove hole
Ended up that... I COULD touch Takuya, kiss him even as he swam right up against the net. Andd the hole in my glove allowed me to feel a whale shark's skin. Super neat!! When I asked John what he thought of how Takuya felt, he replied "Uhhh yeah, he felt like glove!" Ended up being lucky to have that hole in my glove. 

Look Ma! I'm riding a whale shark!!!

Definitely felt him swim up my body while I looked at the camera

 We were down in the water for about 40 minutes, and they kept Takuya by us nearly the entire time!! We were the only divers outside the net so it was only for our benefit. And we are soo so grateful for it.

Whale shark eat your face!!!!
You can't tell but I'm feeding Takuya!!!
 There were SCUBA divers who had bags of krill and shrimp and would use the food to lure Takuya to our spot near the net. At one point, the diver reached for my hand and gave me a handful to feed to Takuya! I immediately released my hand but he gestured to release it slowly in a grab-and-release kind of motion. Takuya opened his mouth and it was like an underwater vacuum. I was almost positive my glove/arm/head would be sucked into his mouth!! It was incredible!!! A little while after, John got to feed him too!

The gentle giant

My glove with the hole in it.
 After our 40 minutes with Takuya, Yas signaled that it was time to go back to the boat. As we slowly made our way to the surface (taking the extra time to equalize), I could feel the current taking it's toll on me. The water sloshed us back and forth, making us well aware that we were at the mercy of the sea. When we finally reached the boat, I was signaled to climb on the ladder. This was a LOT easier said than done. I knew the tank would be heavy, but combined with the angry sea and a sopping wet suit- it felt like I was 100 lbs. heavier. I looked to the captain for help but he merely watched my struggle with an amused look and crossed arms. Thanks guy.

As I made my way onto the boat, I heard sounds of divers vomiting in the water. Beth had told me a similar story about a diver vomiting in the water and fish coming to eat the nasty remains. Sure enough, I could see fish starting to appear for a midday snack. As more and more divers came aboard, they all seemed to go straight for the edge of the boat to hurl. I found my happy place and tried to focus once again on the bobbing horizon. John came and took a seat next to me, but I knew that if we talked at all, I too would be bent at the waist, tossing my lunch.

Without turning our heads, we had a brief recap
"That was awesome"
"We'll talk about it later"

A forced smile as we tried to keep our food down.
I honestly could not have asked for a better experience (maybe better water conditions...) but the memories are unforgettable. Being in the water with a gigantic fish, being able to touch it AND feed it was simply amazing. Thank you John for doing the research and finding such an incredible opportunity for us! I could not imagine sharing this with anyone else.

Another thing checked off the bucket list!! Oh, and I am UBER proud at the both of us for not yacking like the seasoned pros did. Yay for noob divers!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Okinawa- Oops, we're in Fairy Land!

Two things I was utterly and ridiculously excited for: The Aquarium (check! Ended up being better than I could have imagined) and the Pineapple Farm. The gift shop apparently was incredible and had everything pineapple you could imagine. I pretty much drooled at the thought of Pineapple wine, pineapple cake, pineapple cookies. John even started to call my suitcase "the wine suitcase" because I talked about it so much.

After the most stop-and-go, nauseated bus ride of my life (hey, at least I got to ride the same bus as my ancestors), the bus driver looked at us gaijins and told us that it was OUR stop. The Pineapple Stop. The person at the front desk of our hotel told us that the bus drops you off RIGHT IN FRONT OF the Pineapple Farm.

Is it any surprise that I ran to the front? That I quickly shoved the money in the gate keepers hands, while casually remarking "Huh, it's a bit more expensive than it said online"? That I didn't question why someone was handing me a map when it supposedly should be automated cars that drive you around the farm? I think the biggest clue was when we started reading signs for FAIRIES and enchanted forests... but NO. I still assumed it to be the beloved Pineapple Farm. I'm sure it's just around the corner, as soon as we complete this hidden treasure map and free the white fairy...

For reals. This happened.

Somewhere between the butterfly garden and purple fairy land, John finally broke the news to me, "uhhhhh, I don't thinnnnkkk this is it..."


Tropical Okinawa Fruits apparently does NOT include the Pineapple Farm

At the actual pineapple farm. With the automatic carts

Lunch at Family Mart
Mexican man FTW
Next stop: Orion Brewery!

Goya pasta!!!
Post-goya face
I begged for this photo
but he did this one all on his own
Orion Cans over the years
Contemplative over the Purple Sweet Potato ice cream...
The view from our room... which was attached to the aquarium
This was after our third attempt to get to the beach