It went great!
Friday morning, Jovada and I took an early train into NYC and made our way to Central Park. My friends all pretended to be tired and ""decided to sleep in"". The minute we left for the train, they jumped into a car and headed to Central Park. They made their way to Bethesda Fountain and hid up on the terrace overlooking the fountain.
When they were in place, they sent me a text - it was go time. Jovada and I walked along a path on the edge of the lake and finally entered Bethesda Fountain. I was looking at the terrace hoping everyone had stayed well hidden - all was good. One friend was secretely video taping the whole thing. Another was taking pictures. The other 3 friends were in charge of hanging the 20 foot banner over the edge of the terrace at just the right moment. Timing was everything. We casually walked around the fountain and found a good place to stop. I did my best to focus her attention out on the lake, so my friends could hang the banner behind us. I took a quick peek - the banner was out. The fountain area was packed with tourists and they were all now looking at the banner. I didn''t have much time. I looked at her and said, ""Do you know the absolute best thing about Central Park?"" She shook her head. I then turned her around and pointed at the banner.
She was SHOCKED! Her jaw dropped and she just stood there for a moment and said, ""WHAT?"". She couldn''t figure out what was happening at first. Then the tears came. I dropped to one knee, pulled out the ring (hidden in my camera bag), said a few words, and asked her if she would marry me. She said yes!! Thank goodness!! I was kinda all in at this point. By this time, the whole crowd had stopped and was staring at us. They began to clap and cheer. Some lady cut a fresh flower from the fountain and handed it to Jovada. Very cool. I put the ring on her hand and gave her a kiss. My friends came down from the terrace. We took a few more pictures and after all the crying and hugs, we went out for an awesome lunch and began the celebration. Ironically, I was sitting at that table when you sent me the text.
The rest of the weekend was amazing - we celebrated for a few days in NYC, spent a day on the beach on the Jersey shore, and then headed home. All the planning and stress was well worth it!! She was totally surprised and has a great story to tell our kids one day. I want to thank everyone at Whiteflash for all your help with the ring.
She absolutely loves it and shows it off proudly wherever we go. It really is beautiful!! You have both been so very helpful and encouraging in this process. And genuinly interested - which is rare. Though we will probably never meet - I almost feel like I know you both. And Katie - thanks for all your patience when I changed my mind every day. You kept me on track. My fiance and soon to be wife thanks you as well!! We will certainly be referring our friends and family in the coming years.