HELLO! Yes yes yes, I've been a bad blogger. I KNOW. I HAVE NEGLECTED YOU. But you can hardly blame me!
Well OK you can. Just a little bit.
But not too much.
Lots has happened in the last however long it has been (shh, don't tell me, I don't want to know!) and hopefully I'll get a chance to document it all right here. 2012 has simply been magnificent so far, and has thrown me some amazing experiences and highs.
BUT for all the amazing happenings 2012 has brought, none has matched up to a little trip S took me on to the Barossa Valley in Adelaide, a scant 2 weeks ago.
Our Barossa plans for a weekend away had been a long time coming - we haven't had a real holiday since our Egypt trip (here, here, here) and decided a 4 day getaway may just do the trick. I booked the flights and then S said he would handle the rest, rather mysteriously, and added on that he couldn't wait to just SPOIL ME SILLY.
We woke up early one Thursday morning in February, and boarded our flight to Adelaide. We arrived in the wonderful heat that a glorious summer day brings, piled into our rental car, and started driving to the Barossa. S said the first item on our agenda was going to be exciting, so I was well, EXCITED!
We reached Barossa country, and then suddenly pulled down a dirt road that looked like we were in Hawaii. VERY STRANGE.
Little did I know, S had planned a helicopter ride to acquaint ourselves with the Barossa Valley from the SKY!
I was literally SO EXCITED when I saw the helicopter sign, I started shrieking and bouncing up and down and singing "HE-LI-COP-TER RIDE, MY BOUJEE!" to the tune of "Oye Como Va", rather sadly.
It really was a truly magnificent experience, and DEFINITELY one of the highlights of our trip.
After such a wonderful start to our weekend, S just kept going from height to height with all the activities he had planned for us.
After a sumptuous tenderloin steak lunch, we checked into the rather amazing Barossa Pavilions, which came complete with picturesque views, a HUGE deck with a swing to watch them from, and a super duper well appointed array of luxuries (in house iPad, L'Occitane toiletries, in-room spa bath that overlooked the valley with floor to ceiling windows)... I was in HEAVEN!
We also visited the famous Whispering Wall - which is a HUGE dam wall at the Barossa Reservoir.
The dam is notable for its parabola effect, where a voice can be heard clearly from one side to the other — over 140 metres, end to end. This unusual acoustic phenomenon is a popular tourist attraction, and has earned the dam the title "Whispering Wall".
You can actually walk ALONG the top of the dam wall - and it's actually kind of freaky - on one side of you, there's water that's so close to you that it's almost touchable. On the other side of the railing however, a sheer 40 metre drop of concrete wall descending to dirt shows you just how deceptively deep that bright blue water is, and how crazy steep a fall would be. I only got about 1/3 of the way across, then couldn't go any further, frozen with weird vertigo fear.
S on the other hand, bravely walked all the way across. Can you spot him in the picture below?
We merrily went about testing the Whispering Wall's capabilities, which was super fun - except that S' voice could be heard VERY clearly (not like a whisper at all) and the other tourists who were around us were subjected to S saying things like "You have a cute BUM!" in the wall like the little deviant that he is. AI YAI YAI.
For dinner that first night, S requested that I don one of the first dresses he ever bought me when we first started going out. It was one of those summer nights that was perfection, sun glowing as it set, balmy breeze, handsome man wining and dining me...
Maybe a little over the top for the countryside, but AH WHO CARES, you only live once! For dinner, S took us to Vintners Winery, which was ABSOLUTELY phenomenal.
JUST a perfect DAY 1 to our trip.
DAY 2, however, to my incredulous surprise, was WAY better.
We started with some wineries in the morning - Penfolds, another winery I don't remember the name of (YES, MAYBE I WAS SLIGHTLY TIPSY AFTER PENFOLDS, WHY DO YOU ASK), and snacks at Maggie Beer's Farm Shop, which was simply delightful.
S was being particularly sweet, ordering a case of the Penfolds wines I loved to be delivered to us in Melbourne, enduring my cooing over each port (he doesn't care for wineries that much), and pretending to care about the different kind of pate at Maggie Beers!
Then, after a long lunch (see the platter in the montage above? That entire loaf of bread was WARM, and OURS. OH YEAH BABY), he drove us to the Novotel Barossa's ENDOTA SPA - where he had booked me in for 3 hours of SOLID PAMPERING! Sorry for all the yelling but CAN YOU BLAME ME?!!!!!
(I didn't get any pictures of the spa of course, but after a foot bath, body scrub, steaming shower, full body massage, and facial, suffice to say I was quite literally, dizzy with joy, and stumbling back upstairs to the hotel lobby where my honey had patiently sat waiting in a fuzzy cloak of blabbering giggles).
That night, S requested another dress he had bought me recently for our cryptic very special dinner that he refused to tell me the name of. In fact, ON THE DRIVE THERE, he insisted we were going on a picnic. A PICNIC. In my pale coloured dress. INAPPROPRIATE. I proceeded to be quietly pensive all the way there, thinking up plans to not get dirt and grass on my lovely frock.
The Apellation did NOT disappoint - not only was the food superb, but the service was quite literally one of the best I've ever experienced in a restaurant ever, and S and I had a ball. Between our courses, the staff had prepared several little surprise tastings of other items on the menu, and we proceeded to sup, sip, and dine our way through a fantastic meal with the best company each other could ask for!
As we walked out of the restaurant, we looked up into the starry sky, and S kissed me, and I wish I could capture that moment and bottle it - as fresh, giggly, chirpy and in love as we were right at the beginning of our relationship, with the open night sky and gentle breeze upon us, and AH it was just amazing.
We got home to the pavilion, and S suggested we change into pyjamas and sit out on our deck's swing to look at the sky.
We sat on the swing, and cuddled, and S proceeded to go on a 30 minute speech, whilst, holding my face in his wonderful strong hands, all the reasons why he loved me. OH IT WAS JUST GLORIOUS.
And then he kneeled down in front of the swing, in front of me.
And then this is what went down:
S: I would love for you to be mine.
Me: Oh honey, I AM yours!
S: Ah, but I would love to make you mine.
Me: Oh honey bunch, i already told you I AM yours!
S (audible sigh): Shan, I really really really want you to be mine.
Me: But baby, I really really really am YOURS.
At this stage, S thinks that I'm a retard and perhaps he was thinking of re-negging on the WHOLE DEAL because let's face it, HOW DUMB CAN HIS GIRLFRIEND BE?! I meanwhile, am just a happy girl. A swing, the stars, a man who loved me, who needed anything more?
He put ONE KNEE up.
And I gasped. And started hyperventilating. And the realisation of what was about to happen DAWNED on me.
And he smiled in the dark, star lined night. That glorious, handsome smile of his.
And pulled something out of his pocket. Whilst holding my hand tighter.
As tears streamed down my cheeks.
"Sharon, will you marry me?"
OH MY GOD.
I don't actually remember what happened for the next few minutes - but I know there was OVERWHELMING emotion. Crying, laughing, jumping around, hugging, screaming, and all that good stuff.
It. Was. Awesome.
AND, a few minutes later, I suddenly realised that in the midst of it all, I had entirely ignored THE RING!
I pulled away and asked "were you just holding a ring in your hands?!" and he laughed and said, "YES, do you WANT IT?!"
So he slipped it on. And ladies and gentleman, let's just say the man IS A KEEPER - not only orchestrating the world's most lavish, pampering and loving proposal, but also presenting me with a ring that I love, adore, and can't stop looking at!!
WE ARE ENGAGED!
I'M GOING TO BE MRS S!
I'M GOING TO BE MRS BOUJEE!
and most importantly....
S is going to be my wonderful wonderful husband. And I am officially, the luckiest girl ALIVE.
See, wasn't that story worth waiting for a blog post for? :)
Now of course, you'll have to be INUNDATED with wedding planning posts. HA. I apologise in advance!!!