Our Story

Our Story: After meeting in graduate school at UGA, we were married in 2011 in Marietta, Georgia. A year later, we joined the Peace Corps as environmental conservation volunteers and embarked on our adventure in Paraguay!

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are ours personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

September 17, 2011

Up, up, and away we go!

Over the past week, Ben has been giving me one clue each day leading up to a romantic date on Saturday. The clues are as follows: champagne, drive, basket, tickets, puzzle, and a picture from the jungle book. I thought for sure we were going to have a picnic at the zoo, but boy was I wrong! We jumped in the car and headed across the state to Augusta, GA. All along the way, Ben gave me more and more clues helping me to guess our destination. After the clue, "it involves 2 of Captain Planet's powers: wind and fire" I finally guessed it. We are going on a hot air balloon ride!! I was so thrilled that tears formed in my eyes... what a romantic surprise!

We met up with the balloon crew and rode out to a large field where they began to set up. They pulled the balloon out of a bag, laid it out on the grass, and used a large fan to fill it up with air. While they were filling it up, they let us walk inside the balloon and take pictures, so cool! The next thing we knew we were scurrying to get our belongings and jump into the basket of the balloon. Soon we were watching the ground grow farther and farther away. The sound of the fire filled our ears as we gazed in awe as the horizon expanded around us. An interesting fact about hot air balloon rides is that because you are moving with the wind currents, it will not feel windy. As we were soaring over the trees, Ben got down on one knee and proposed mid-flight!
"Sarah, I brought you up into this hot air balloon to ask you to be my wife. I love you with all my heart, and I know you love me too. I want to spend the rest of my life with you! Will you be my wife?"
I threw my arms around him and said YES! While he was putting the ring on my finger, I was terrified that it would accidentally plummet into the trees far below. I turned to see that the balloon pilot had been taking pictures of us the whole time... and they turned out amazing! By now, it was time to land and the balloon started to sink towards a large hay-field. As we lowered the pilot gave us instructions on how to brace ourselves for the impact. We clung to the sides of the basket and each other as we struck the ground and skidded to a stop.

We celebrated our safe flight and engagement with champagne and snacks. I could never have imagined a more perfect and exciting proposal! Later, Ben told me how he had secretly taken my parents out to dinner to ask for their blessing. We stayed that night in a little bed-and-breakfast, then had a steak and lobster dinner with my parents the next day. I am so happy to begin this new adventure in life with the man I love!

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