Wyoming was super memorable. But the best part of the trip? Visiting Yellowstone National Park.
Following the short and scenic drive from Jackson, we stopped a few times on the way for views like this:
Once we got to the park, we knew it would be an additional 1-2 hours to get to Old Faithful, the highlight of our trip to Yellowstone. Usually, there’s a pass between the south entrance and Old Faithful, but it was closed early for the season, for repairs. That meant we had to go all the way around the inner loop circle, which added 80 miles to the trip each way.
Not to worry – we had snacks, I had my favorite travel companion, and really–what could be better than exploring extra territory in Yellowstone?!
When we made it to the South Entrance, we absolutely had to stop to take a photo. I had no idea when we took this picture that Johnny had a HUGE secret. Seriously, it was such a surprise. I do remember looking at this photo and commenting “wow your smile is big today!” I mean, I thought the excitement was because of Yellowstone…
(Fun fact: I tagged @goyellowstone and #iloveynp on instagram and we WON for photo of the day! We get a variety gift basket prize and I’m so excited to see what’s in it).
On the way to Old Faithful, we saw bison in the road! They stopped traffic, which bison can do since they’re so large. My face shows my level of excitement in this adventure.
We stopped a couple of times near the lake to visit these geyser basins. Amazing — there were some shallow, some deep, and a range of beautiful colors.
This one was by far my favorite — look how deep it goes! The blue means that it’s boiling temperature, and no microorganisms live in it.
My geyser basin-strolling date. He kept so cool and calm during our 3 hour trek to Yellowstone. Pay special attention to his front left pocket. Okay, you can’t see anything, but there was SOMETHING in there.
We made it to Old Faithful TEN MINUTES before the next predicted eruption. How cool is that for timing? This eruption lasted 3.5 minutes and the water went super high. I loved sitting on the bench and watching the show! Immediately afterward, Johnny suggested that we walk around the park a little. Since we’d been in the car for a long time and had an equally long ride back, I jumped at the suggestion.
Then…it happened. We sat down on a bench that overlooked the park, not too far from Old Faithful. Johnny asked me if he remembered the goal and action plan sheet I gave him (the previous winter). He said he took time and filled it out for me to see. Um, yes! I was giddy, because I LOVE goals. I was so pumped that he completed my nerdy worksheets, and even more excited to talk about his goals.
He pulled the goal sheet, folded up, from his pocket, and asked me to read the goal and plan. It said “Marry Aundra.” Um, what?!
The next thing I know, he’s pulling a bag from his pocket that contains a sparkly ring. He gets down on one knee, looks right at me, and says “Will you do me the honor of marrying me?”
So, I lost it. I was so surprised, so excited, and so honored in one instant. In that moment, I became the girl who was getting married. Me! To the most amazing man!
We held each other for the longest time, long enough even for Old Faithful to erupt again.
Two ladies who’d been walking around the park came up to us and asked “Did you just get engaged?” and asked to see my ring, sharing in the excitement. That was so neat, to share our new happy news with two strangers who seemed so thrilled for us.
Since we got to see Old Faithful erupt again, I got this awesome shot with my engagement ring and the geyser.
Still shaking from the happiness of the moment, but with large smiles, we took a few photos to share with friends and family.
Everything about the proposal, the day, was perfect. Johnny did such a great job with picking out a ring that I LOVE, surprising me, crafting the best moment to ask, and making this an unforgettable, unbelievable experience. I cherish him and cannot wait to build the rest of our lives together.