I’m rolling my eyes as we speak, but I have to tip my hat to him. He got me. Well done.
I guess we should start from the beginning.
About 3 months ago, EJ started asking me all these questions about taking the next step, and then, he began keeping things from me. I knew something was coming, but I had no idea when or where it would happen. In fact, I hate surprises. I like to know what’s going on at all times, so of course, I wanted to know when. I started to try to piece things together, and I was convinced that I knew the day everything would happen.
“Keep Oct. 6th open. We are going wine tasting,” he’d say.
“Okay, where are we going?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Okay, who are we going with?”
“Erin, can’t some things just be a surprise!”
So – something important is happening on Oct. 6th! I was convinced, and when I left for our girls’ weekend, I thought it would be a great chance to get away, and talk about what I thought would happen the next weekend.
My friend Emma booked the itinerary for the weekend:
-Lunch at R&D Kitchen, Yountville
-Tasting at 2PM at Rombauer – booked
-Tasting at 3:30ish – Ideas: Mumm, Silver Oak or Pine Ridge
-Dinner (let’s find somewhere fun! I LOVE the bounty hunter)
Stay at Silverado – booked
-Tasting at 10AM Nickel & Nickel – booked
-Lunch at Rutherford Grill at 12PM – booked
-Tasting at 2PM at St Supery – booked
-Tasting at 3:30PM at Alpha Omega – booked
-Drinks/Cocktails in Yountville
-Dinner at Bottega or Redd
-Stay at Hotel Villagio – booked
-Maybe go to a winery?
-Stop by Boon Fly Café!
Emma and I took the day off Friday to head to Napa. We first worked out in the city so we wouldn’t feel as guilty about the wine and yummy bites we were about to indulge in all weekend.
Friday was nice. We stepped away from life and enjoyed the moment.
We stopped in Yountville at R + D Kitchen, where we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed chicken salads and an appetizer. Once we finished eating, we made our way to Rombauer in St. Helena. Emma had never been to Rombauer, and I’m so glad it was a beautiful day out to show her why we joined the wine club.
After Rombauer, we made our way back towards Napa where we stopped at Pine Ridge. Pine Ridge is one of the few spots in Napa where you don’t need an appointment, and to my surprise, every varietal was amazing. I’m a big red drinker, and usually opt out of drinking whites.
From start to finish (Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon) there wasn’t one thing I wouldn’t buy. (10/10 recommend Pine Ridge)
We bought a couple bottles and headed towards the Silverado Resort and Spa to check-in for the night. The Safeway Open was only a couple days away so the hotel was quite busy. We decided to head to downtown Napa to grab a bite to eat, and I recommended my go-to spot, Gott’s Roadhouse. Their burgers, salads, and sides are all amazing. You can’t go wrong ordering off their menu.
I definitely miss living in Napa, and every time I come back, Gott’s is a must!
…Little did I know the entire time we were downtown eating, my family was 5 minutes away at the Archer Hotel.
After we finished eating, we grabbed a treat from Kara’s Cupcakes in the Oxbow Market before returning back to the hotel for the night.
We woke up around 7 am and walked from our condo at the Resort to the Market out in front of the main building. It was a cute area with a fire pit where you could eat your breakfast and sip on your coffee while the sun came up. It was peaceful and the start of yet another relaxing day.
Our plan for the day included three wineries: Nickel & Nickel, Alpha Omega, and St. Supery (two of which I haven’t been to).
EJ took me to Nickel & Nickel last year for my birthday as a surprise, and I had hoped this time around wouldn’t taint how special that memory was.
We walked back to our room and got ready. I brought a couple dresses with me, one of which, I wanted to wear the following weekend for what I thought might be a proposal. Emma kept pushing me to wear it so I could get a beautiful photo for the blog, but I wanted it to be a special dress I only wore on a special day. Against my better judgement, I put it on and we headed out the door towards the winery.
When we got there we parked in the lot and walked towards the famous white house. Kelly, our hostess, greeted us with a crisp Chardonnay and informed us that the other party had cancelled last minute so we would have a private tour/tasting. (YES!) I was excited for Emma to experience the tour that we got to do once before in more of an intimate setting with less people.
We walked around the side of the house, alongside the vineyards towards the barns and famous vintage pick-up truck in the back. The property was absolutely beautiful as it always is.
Then, I looked past the truck to see a man in a white shirt and dark denim jeans, and in my head I thought, “Is that EJ? That looks like EJ. He’s just smiling at me.”
I turn to Emma and she says, “Go!” and I walk towards him.
I had the biggest smile on my face, but not because I was shocked, because I didn’t know how they outsmarted me!
When I finally got to him, I started giggling as I put all the piece together thinking, “How did I miss this?!”
EJ brought me back to the place he first knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life to me. He promised to love and take care of me, and push me to be better every day. It was an easy answer with no hesitation, no doubt.
But – that’s how love should be.
When you’re a kid and a boy breaks your heart, you think it’s the end of the world, and let me tell ya, in the moment it sure feels like it. Your parents tell you that when it’s real, you’ll just know, and you roll your eyes cause they have no idea what they are talking about.
But – when you know, you know. And in my moment, I just knew. I said Yes!
He got up off his knee and lifted me up for a big hug, when I started to hear people cheering. My parents, his parents, and two of our closest friends were watching the entire proposal from the top of the barn behind us. It was a special moment and even more special that we got to celebrate with our family after with a private tasting in the barn.
…little did I know this was only surprise 1 of 3 for the day.
After our tasting, we finished our tour and EJ said we were going to head back to the Eitel’s home on the lake (Lake of the Pines) for dinner. We stopped at the Oakville Grocery for sandwiches before heading on our way. My parents joined us at the Grocery, while EJ’s parents “took his friend back to Petaluma.”
We then proceeded to make our way out of Napa, when surprise 2 surfaced. We dropped by Eleven Eleven Winery for some celebratory bubbles. Eleven Eleven is one of my favorite wineries, yet another place where every varietal from start to finish is unbelievable. We left with a beautiful magnum bottle of Pinot Noir. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture.
Once we got back on the road, we headed towards the lake. We called and FaceTimed friends and family to let them know the good news. Traffic wasn’t too bad so we made decent time.
EJ’s mom called us and said that we should meet his dad at the Marina to go on the boat one last time before they pull it out of the water, so we parked at the Marina and walked down to the dock. Dave, EJ’s dad took us on a lap around the lake and then coasted into the cove towards their backyard.
…little did I know surprise 3 was already in motion.
As we entered the cove I could see balloons and a couple people, but as we got closer to the deck there were almost 40 people waiting for us, all cheering and excited.
“Are you ready for your Engagement Party?” EJ says.
About 40 of our closest friends and family were all dressed up waiting for us to arrive to start our engagement party. Lights were strung all over the backyard. Cornhole, Lasso Golf, and a ping pong table were out for some fun, and there was plenty of food & beverages out on display. EJ even had signs made and photos hung up around the yard of us over the years. Everyone had been waiting for this day for the last 4 months.
I couldn’t have asked for a better special day. It had everything I could have every wanted: a private moment between us at a place of significance and our loved ones close by to celebrate the beginning of our journey. The night was incredible. Family and friends from near and far made the trip.
Saturday night showed me how much love we are surrounded by.
EJ – you planned a special day, that I will continue to cherish each and every day. I love your thoughtfulness, your emphasis on family, and your ability to bring out the best in me.
Thank you to everyone who shared in our joy over the weekend. Love conquers all.
Stay tuned for the proposal video!
Special Thanks to Sierra Shay Photography and Tony Castaneda Films for capturing our special day. The two of you were a big part of our day. If you are looking for a videographer or photographer, this dynamic duo should be your go-to! I’d be more than happy to connect you.