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Gerber Mini Photo

The Proposal Story:

            James:  So, I had a last minute work trip scheduled to New Orleans for the end of October 2006.  Marissa and I had discussed potentially her coming with me to one of my work trips –…. So the New Orleans trip worked out and she decided to come along, because she had never been to New Orleans before!
           Marissa:  On the plane ride to New Orleans (Saturday 10/28/06), James and I talked about some of the things that we’d want to do in New Orleans.  James randomly brought up going on a gondola ride, in New Orleans, and I told him he was crazy, there was no gondola rides in N.O. and we would go to Venice one day and ride on one there.  Plus, I’d already been on a gondola ride!
           James:  She was being pretty difficult, and stubborn, of course!  Meanwhile, I was trying to scope out the perfect spot to propose in New Orleans.  I had read about gondola rides in New Orleans but was disappointed to hear that there were no more gondola rides due to the recent hurricane Katrina. 
           Marissa:  James mentioned on the first day, how about we go on a horse & carriage ride?  I was like, why would you want to spend 60 dollars on a 20 minute ride, that is insane.  (we were operating on a budget here!)  I was trying to be practical, yet still be able to see everything we wanted.  So that day we started off by scoping out Bourbon Street.
           James:  We decided to stop in a Voodoo shop on Bourbon Street to check it out.  At one point, Marissa found a basket of dinosaur eyes or something like that, that were formed into rings.  She made a couple smart comments: “Don’t buy me a $5 ring!” and then she said to the cashier “He wouldn’t buy me a ring anyway!”  It took everything I had to not pull the ring out right there and propose in the Voodoo shop!  I managed to keep the ring in my pocket though.
           Marissa:  I would’ve killed him if he proposed to me in that shop!  LOL! 
           James:  It would’ve made for a good story!
           Marissa:  Yeah – whatever! :-)
           James:  The next day (Sunday) we took a tour of the city.  The previous week I had shadily met with her parents to tell them of my plan to ask Marissa to marry me while in New Orleans.  I’d told both our parents that I thought I’d propose on Sunday!  (October 29th). 
           Marissa:  The day came and went.  We spent the evening on a Southern Comfort bar tour around the city – it was fun! 
           James:  I spent so much time trying to find the perfect opportunity and place to propose.  Nothing was working in my favor though! Monday came along and I knew I HAD to propose today.  The trip was almost over!!!  Still trying to find the perfect spot…..
           Marissa:  We went on a tour to the Oak Alley Plantation – beautiful!  James kept talking to me about finding the perfect Oak Tree… I thought it was a little strange that he was so obsessed about these trees…
           James:  Meanwhile, I was getting attacked by mosquitos, I had to get out of there.  No more finding the perfect tree to propose by! 
           Marissa:  Later that night, James suggested the carriage ride again… I still thought he was being weird about the carriage ride.  Seriously – expensive!  Finally I gave in … but for some reason no carriages were in sight that Monday evening, October 30th!  I didn’t think it was meant to be…. Til finally we got our beignets and our drinks and found one, and hopped onboard the carriage. 
           James:  The ring, at this point, was burning a hole in my pocket.  I was so fearful the entire time that she would feel the box in my pocket.  She is always so nosy about everything in my pockets!!!  But, I couldn’t find an opportune moment to propose while on the carriage ride.  It just didn’t work out!  So, we decided to get some dinner and drinks at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Factory…
           Marissa:  On our walk back to our hotel after dinner, we walked past a random DMX concert @ the House of Blues…. We had full drinks in our hands, and we didn’t want to waste them!  So we decided to just head back to the hotel with our full drinks.
           James:  We said we’d just go back to the hotel, finish our drinks, the go back to the concert. The day was winding down (it was like 11pm at this point) I knew the time was near. We got back to the hotel, I was ready to go back to the concert.
           Marissa:  I said, go ahead.  I’m too tired and my knee hurts (dramatic knees).  Have fun!
           James:  So, I left the room and stayed outside the door for a minute. I came back in the room and said: Before I go to the concert, I just wanted to ask you something real quick. I walked over to the bed and she was stubborn and wouldn’t turn around to face me. 
           Marissa:  I was tired and wanted to rest!
           James:  She finally turned around.
           Marissa:  He was down on the floor, on one knee, with a small, open black box in his hand.
           James:  So picture me on my knee, small black box with ring in my hand, and I say: I really love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me? Her response: Are you was serious!?  After she got over the shock of it all, she said yes. 
           Marissa:  We celebrated with champagne he had brought from when he was in Paris – very exciting!  It was too late to call anyone that evening because it was 1 in the morning.  We finally called our families on Monday morning when we knew they’d be around to let them know it happened.  Both of our families were anxiously waiting to hear!  (James originally told them it was going to happen 2 days prior!).  My mom said to me, this was the biggest secret EVER and she couldn’t tell ANYONE!  (good job mom, for being so secretive!) :-)
           James:  Yes, I’d brought the champagne we got when we were in Champagne, France, saying that being in New Orleans was as good as reason as any to celebrate with our good champagne. She had no idea what I was planning! LOL We spent the last 2 days together in New Orleans, our new-found special place…
            And so the wedding planning began!