What does your perfect day consist of? Does it include spending a day at the beach with all your friends? Maybe a night out on the town – but a town that you don’t know? Maybe it’s sitting home all day watching the rain fall outside by your big open bay window at the top of a NYC apartment building. Are you extravagant or conservative in what you think your perfect day would be? Maybe your perfect day is driving out to the middle of nowhere, with someone you love – camera in hand – and blankets galore because you know it’ll be cold and a bunch of lights for the back of the pickup truck so you can have a romantic night of watching the stars and taking astrophotography. Yeah, maybe that’s it… But there would have to be a lot of snuggles and a place with absolutely no lights. Maybe you live in the deserts of Nevada or Arizona and you can do this frequently. Maybe it’s just an idea in your head you’ve been dreaming of for quite a few years now but somehow it’s never happened.
My perfect day would end just like that. But I’ll take you through the entire day from point A when I wake up to the end of the night. I wake up at home, cuddled in bed with my kitties with the sound of birds waking me up from the sun shining outside. I roll over and hit the alarm – mind you, it’s about 8 am on a Saturday and we have a whole day planned – and look at the ceiling for some time while trying to make sure I have a clear head. Romeow will come up and sit on my chest and make his presence known, of course, while Moo will jump down off the bed to get ready to be let out of the room from a good night’s sleep curled up next to me. I’ll get some claws to the chest from Romeow and I’ll eventually push him off me to get up out of bed after looking at my phone to see what the weather will be. Perfect – another gorgeous day here in sunny Arizona with a high of 90 and no rain in the forecast.
I jump out of bed and put my robe on because while it’s hot outside, I always have a fan on in my room for air circulation. I can’t sleep without one, or some type of noise to put me to sleep. I wander over to the shower and turn it on for a nice hot bath filled with peppermint oils and sugar scrubs. I hear my phone go off in my pocket – “Good morning, honey bunnyyy.” It says to me. An instant smile appears on my face. I reply, “Good morning pumpkinnnn.” Which is our standard good morning these days for each other. “I’ll be home from work soon, I only had to go in for a couple hours in the early morning and then we can have our day of fun like I promised. Make sure you’re dressed and ready to go!” I jump in the shower and wash up, scrub scrub scrub, rinse, hair flip. By now it’s about 8:45 in the morning and the sun is in full force outside.
I go back to the bedroom and pull my sundress out of the closet that I love wearing now. I think I’ll wear this today, I murmur to the cats. Get my new sandals out of the closet I bought the other day on clearance. They go with everything and always look good, even with my fat feet. I throw the essentials on, then the dress and shoes and then start to put on my makeup. I don’t go too heavy on the makeup these days but I do need something on the eyes or else I look so sleepy and lifeless. As I finish putting the makeup on, I hear the front door open and he’s standing there with a bunch of flowers he picked on his way home. He gives me a peck on the forehead and shoves the flowers up my nose, like he always does. “These looked pretty!” he says to me. “Aww, thanks dear, I’ll go put these in water in the kitchen so they don’t wilt.” I go to the living room to put them in and he goes to the bathroom to shower from a few hours of construction work that he did in the wee hours of the morning.
By now it’s about 9:30 in the morning maybe closer to 10 AM, but that’s okay. He’s finally home and we can have a fun relaxing day together since he’s been working so much overnights covering for people on vacation at the job site. I hang my robe up and he takes a quick shower and get dressed. I give the cats some treats and make sure the back porch is locked and we head out to the car. “What did you have in mind?” I asked him. “You’ll see.” He says with a tiny smile. He starts rummaging around in the kitchen and putting something together and immediately brings it out to the car. “You have your camera, right? Bring it.” Now I’m starting to wonder what he’s up to. We get into the car and I see the back piled with a basket and a bunch of blankets and another bag, but I don’t want to snoop around because… I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
Our first stop happens to be a local diner to get some French toast he’s been begging for – I’d say he’s been begging me for them now for about a month or two and we have yet to have time to do anything together and get them. He works nights sometimes now and other times it’s during the day while I’m at work also. We planned this day to spend together – and to make it cheap since we’re not the wealthiest of couples just yet. We had moved not too long ago to Arizona to start over and start a new life somewhere that wasn’t in a cold dreary, depressing climate. It’s only been a few months but so far, it’s so much better than I could have ever imagined, like I am right now. The French toast came out warm and delicious and we dug in without saying a word. We were in heaven. It’s been so long since we’ve had diner food and that’s what today included as a treat to both of us. While eating, we discussed what it is we wanted to do for dinner and lunches for the next work week since I take care of most of that. Well, for lunches anyway. I always pack him his favorite, along with a little note saying how much I love him, in my clichéd, irregular ways that I do show him. He will usually cook dinners if he’s home for the night and doesn’t need to sleep. I love when he cooks – it’s much better than mine and I’ll let him have at it if he wants to.
I want to say it’s about 11:30, close to noon now since we talked a bit and enjoyed food together. I have no idea what he has planned next for us on this day. We pay and head over to the car. “We need to stop for gas, I think.” Now I start wondering what he has planned since we almost do have a full tank. Where is he taking me?! I silently wonder what’s going on in his head as we stop for gas. He turns to me after filling up and we’re getting ready to head off “You ready?” He says with a tiny grin/ “I’m always ready, though I’m not sure what you have in mind, so yes!” I reply. “How long of a drive do we have since you needed to fill up?” “You’ll see.’
About 2 hours into the trip, we stop at the last stop before the highway ends. “Make sure you use the bathroom.” He says to me. I now have an idea of where we’re going, but I just don’t know yet for sure what he’s got planned there. We’re headed dead on to the Grand Canyon, my favorite place to be on a nice day like this. I hardly come here because it’s so far away to come daily, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I wanted a day trip. He goes into the gas station, picks up a couple drinks and more ice for whatever he has packed and matches. “Matches?” “Stop questioning everything! You keep asking I’m going to use these on you!” That’s normal banter between us, it’s been years.
Shortly after pulling away from the gas station, we go straight to the Canyon. Hmm, I was right. Before reaching the tourist points, we make a turn and go to another part of the Canyon where there are less people and a better view. As much as I love Canyon West, I’d like to see some other parts of it as well. Today was that day, finally! Another hour into the trip and the high sun is now on the other side of us and we’re slowing down and turning into this small parking area that looks like an old rest stop that was torn down – and there are a few cars in the lot. In front of us I see mountains of red rock and an open space with cactus and nothing else. We park and he goes into the back and says, “Come with me.” Grabbing my hand we take a short walk to get in front of this huge red rock structure and in front of it there’s a picnic set up already there. “How did this get here?!” “I had a friend from work come up here to get all of this together; he’s actually over there with his wife now,” as he waves to someone else near another car who looks like they’re about to head off after finishing their picnic themselves.
He brings out two subs that he bought on the way home from work that morning from the 24 hour deli/grocery that we have near the home, and a bottle of wine to share. The most beautiful tapestry is set out to sit on and I almost don’t want to sit on it because it’s too nice. It’s turquoise and yellow and contrasts with the desert ground almost perfectly. It looks like something out of a catalog, and honestly, it probably was. “Wait!” I tell him. “I want to take a picture first!” “I knew you’d want to, haha.” I grab my camera out of the bag and take a few shots and then I let him sit down to eat. While all of this is happening, I forgot to mention that there’s an exquisite view in front of us off the edge of the Canyon. The sun is still out so we’ve made a makeshift shade from two sticks and another blanket he brought with him in the back of the car. I give him a huge kiss and we start to enjoy the subs for dinner and open the wine for me. There’s strawberries for dessert and obviously cookies. I start to get creative with the photos and take some of the strawberries with the Canyon as the background and the incredible view that we have. It’s only necessary of course.
There’s a few people roaming around the area we’re in doing the same thing – enjoying the view with their cameras and some have kids with them who are running all over and I’m afraid they’re going to go over the edge if they get too close or miss a step – so I yell to the kids to be careful and the parents look up from what they were taking a photo of and scold the kids a little bit then return to what they were doing. Next thing I know one of the children fell and I go over to help him up (he’s about 8years old) and see if he’s okay. As I reach him, he turns to me and says “Oh Lady, I’m okay. But I think that guy over there needs you.” With a huge grin on his face, he points over to where we were sitting on the blanket.
I turn around and see him, lo and behold, on one knee, holding the ring I’ve had my eye on since I was 16 years old in a box open in front of me. “I know we’re a little far from where I wanted to originally do this… But yeah… will you marry me?” And all of a sudden I knew what happened. Those people roaming around were all people he know from work who were in on it, the people who had their cameras out were there to capture the moment and the kid was the distraction he needed to be able to set this up. Through tears and bliss, “Well of course yes, DUH!” I knew today was going to be special because he’s been different for a few weeks now and I thought it was something that I had done, never in a million years was I expecting this day to turn into this – I thought we were just going on an adventure together for the day and taking photos.
After all the excitement was over, and I went over to his friends to see the photos they took of us (of course I had to..) we returned to our little picnic together and cuddled for a while on the blanket looking at the view we had. “I have one more surprise for you.” He tells me. “But we need to drive a little bit for it so you can get the full effect of what you wanted.” How could this day get any better, seriously? We packed up the car, me grinning the whole time. It’s later in the afternoon now and the sun will be about to go down shortly. We drive a few more miles up the road to a more open area with an even better view of the whole Canyon in front of us with the sunset dead ahead. He opens the back of the car and lays out the blankets he put in there with one fuzzy one for us to snuggle up in together and then plugs in some decorating lights in the shape of hearts along the back of the car. “This is for you so you can get the photo you’ve always wanted of the sunset and Canyon. I added the accents for you because I know you’ll want one of us laying in the car like you always talk about.” Seriously, do I have the best fiancé or what? He gets me, and he knows I’ve been trying to get this shot for so long now.
And it’s just perfect.
This day was perfect.