Anyone who knows Patrick, knows that he likes to ‘go big’ – especially when it comes to people he cares about. So Patrick planned a surprise getaway for my birthday (and unbeknownst to me, our proposal). To him, all I needed to know were the dates to ask off work and the climate so I knew what to pack.
I didn’t know where we were traveling to, even after we showed up to the airport and checked our bags. The woman at the front desk asked, “Will you be staying in Cancun or traveling further?” with a wink Patrick responded, “We’ll be traveling further.”
After we landed in Cancun, we hopped in a private car to head to our final destination. After a long day of traveling, we arrived to Ana y Jose’s Charming Boutique Hotel in Tulum, Mexico. I think it’s safe to say we were both excited and anxious for what the next 5 days would hold.
We woke up early and spent the entire day at the beach. We took long walks up and down the coast line, laid out and read a good book – you know, all the normal beachy things people do while on vacation.
“Hey babe, I’m going to go talk to the staff and see if I can’t find a good place to celebrate your birthday for dinner tonight, okay?” As in, “Stay here. Don’t follow me.” He didn’t have to twist my arm; I happily stayed on the beach soaking up the sun blissfully unaware that Patrick was going to speak to the manager about the arrangements he had made prior to the trip. Not even 20 minutes later, Patrick returns, “I found a great restaurant right up the road that we can walk to. Dinner reservations are at 7:00pm.”
We headed back up to our beach front villa and started to get ready for dinner (Yes, beach front villa. I should’ve known from the moment we arrived then, right? Wrong. So wrong.) Setting the ambiance, Patrick shut the curtains and turned on jazz music, our favorite. He told me to take my time getting ready since there was plenty of time before dinner. Showered, ironed his clothes, nothing was out of the norm – Patrick looked completely calm and in his element.
We got ready sooner than expected and decided to kill time by grabbing a drink at the hotel’s bar before heading to dinner at the other hotel. I ordered a skinny margarita (typical); Patrick a whisky neat (again, typical). While at the bar, a server came up and asked Patrick, “Are you ready, sir?” Patrick looked at me and with a sly grin that said we weren’t actually going to another restaurant and said, “Yeah, I think we’re ready.”
As we left the bar to head to the table, we started to leave the actual restaurant entirely. Instead we were headed towards the beach. Walking down a private path, we rounded the corner to find candles lined all the way to a pergola dressed in white linens. Underneath it was a table set for two and red roses everywhere. “Is this really for me?! You did this for my birthday?!” Still I literally had no idea.
Patrick had the restaurant prepare an off-course menu: appetizers, salads, and surf & turf. You would think there wouldn’t have been room for dessert, but of course, everyone deserves dessert on their birthday…
At the end of the meal, the servers brought out a bottle of champagne and placed a cake in the shape of a heart in front of me. Written out was, “Happy Birthday! Will You Marry Me, Mallory?” Stunned, I looked over to Patrick only to find him out of his chair and down on one knee,
“Mallory, I love you so much and I thank God every day for you. I hope to spend every birthday with you for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?” — PAT
Needless to say I said, “Yes. Absolutely, yes.” We ended our night sitting on the porch of our villa with a bottle of champagne and spent the rest of the trip celebrating our new profound commitment to one another.