Sean and I met in Brewer's Hill in April of 2011, where we both were living at the time. Soon enough, we moved in together, and from our bedroom window each night, we could see Mr. Boh winking at us from the Natty Boh tower.
Our relationship continued to grow and blossom around all things Baltimore--Orioles games, local farmer's markets, trying new corner bars for Ravens games, and of course, drinking Natty Boh.
Fast forward two years. We are now living in the county but still go into the city often. On April 27, a beautiful sunny, 70-degree Saturday evening, Sean took me to Tark's Grill, a nearby restaurant we had never been to before. He told me to "dress nice" but to wear "comfortable shoes" because we were going to walk around the harbor downtown afterwards since the weather was so warm for April.
Me at dinner, unsuspecting!
The salmon I ordered.
I noticed during dinner that Sean kept glancing at his phone (which he never does), and that he left to go to the bathroom multiple times. He also rushed us out of the restaurant just as I was about to order another drink after dinner. I still didn't think much of it, because he said he wanted to get to the inner harbor to watch the sunset.
We decided to "have a few drinks" at a bar we like on the water. Well, instead of driving to Bo Brooks, Sean pulls into the parking lot of the National Bohemian tower. "I have a surprise for you", he says. "I arranged a private tour". When I asked him how that was even possible (I'm such a peach), he fed me some lie about a guy who went to his high school, blah blah blah. (For those of you not from Baltimore or unfamiliar with this landmark, click here for more info about it--it has a great view of the city, and the "winking" Boh face is a Baltimore legend.)
Still not sure what to think, but very excited, I went with him inside, where we were greeted by the building manager. Little did I know, Sean had arranged it all in advance with him. We had the entire building to ourselves since it was 7:30ish on a Saturday and offices were closed.
Dave, the building manager, took us up to the top floor in the elevator, where we saw the view from the offices there. Then he opened a door to the outside and pointed to a ladder on the side of the building. Sean told me to climb it and that it would be worth it to see the view of the city from the top.
When I climbed to the top of the ladder, which is literally right next to Natty Boh's winking face, there was a blanket with champagne and glasses, plus 2 Natty Bohs and 2 Natty Boh hats (courtesy of our "friend" Dave).
I was floored. It was then that I understood just what was happening. Sean got down on one knee and proposed, and then Dave (who left us alone when we climbed the ladder) let us have as much time as we needed on the roof. We sipped our drinks, took photos of the city and of us in front of Mr. Boh's face, and just enjoyed our first moments of being engaged while overlooking the neighborhood where we first met.
Dave then returned and took photos for us, which was great. (Side note: Dave had actually gone across the street to a restaurant and waited for Sean's text that it was ok to come back. Sean and I played a cruel joke on him by having Sean call to tell him "She said no, I need to get out of here", and when he rushed over we were laughing and joking and he though it was hilarious. Sooo mature almost-married adults, right here.) We were there for sunset and into the evening, which was incredible. Dave let us stay as long as we wanted, which was really generous because he took time out of his Saturday evening to help Sean set up this surprise.
The only "flaw" to the evening was that Sean had put a video camera (that he secretly borrows from my Dad weeks in advance!) in hiding to capture the engagement, and it ended up dying JUST as he was getting down on one knee! We looked at the footage later, and even though it would have been great to capture the proposal, there is still some great footage of us coming up the ladder and his arm around me as we gaze out over the city. Plus, we will forever have that moment just between the two of us.)
As if this wasn't enough, there was more to the evening (!!!). Sean and I got in the car and decided to go to Fells Point to celebrate with drinks. We usually take forever to pick a place, but Sean said "Hey, Kooper's isn't crowded right now, let's go there". I was a little confused because we generally like to hop around, but I agreed, and when we walked into the upstairs of Kooper's, a really cool low-key bar, 25 of our family and friends were there waiting for us!
Sean had planned a private, open-bar, catered event weeks in advance, and the people we care most about were there: my mom & dad, my best friend and her husband, my uncle and cousins, Sean's mom and brother, and so many of our close friends.
To say I was blown away by the evening would be an understatement. Although I knew a proposal was coming (we have lived together almost 2 years, we had looked at rings together about 3 months prior, and talked about the future all the time), I truly didn't know when it would happen. Although there were some signs that I definitely picked up on (like me getting a 101.5 fever a few days before the "big day" and wondering why Sean was making such a big deal out of the importance of me getting better "immediately" haha), the thought that he put into it (and the money and time!) was just phenomenal and unimaginable. It was so "us", and so beautiful of him to include family and friends. It couldn't have been a better day, and a fantastic way to start the rest of our life together.
P.S. Sean also had my dad videotape the surprise entrance and some footage from the party afterwards, so at least we have that :)