Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Something special in the greatest city on earth.

Something incredible happened on top of this building this last weekend.

Something incredible happened just up the street from this incredible bridge last weekend.

Here it is.

And here it is.

I had the most incredible weekend in New York. A weekend that I will never forget. Before I got too far, I want to give you two detailed versions of the weekend. If you have already read these, then skip down to the bottom for some more pics and words.

So here you have it.

So I want to tell you a story. I am in New York City right now. The story begins a couple of days ago in Salt Lake. I decided that I wanted to pull off a little surprise for Julie. So I told her we were going to go to St. George for the weekend. I told her that Noah and Kristi and McKay were coming in to go to St. George for the long weekend and that they wanted us to go along with them and Julie hadn’t met Kristi or McKay yet. So she was pretty excited about that. So I spent the next couple of days getting her excited about it but at the same time making sure that she was bringing slightly warmer clothes as we were going to go to an outdoor play and go on some early morning hikes and stuff (you’ll see why later).

So on Thursday night after she finished her weird girls only Valentines Day party, I picked her up. She was all packed up and ready to go. So we drove off up to Salt Lake to go to the airport. On the way up I called to make sure that Noah and Kristi’s flight was on time...and we talked about the trip to St. George. So we got to the airport, and went to the park and wait place where you can see on the screens the status of flights and when they are landing. While we were there I gave Julie a valentines card and a picture frame with one of my favorite pictures I have taken of New York.

With that, I told her there was one more surprise. That surprise being that Noah and Kristi unfortunately weren’t going to be able to come to Salt Lake because Noah had to be at church on Sunday. But they were using free tickets from Kristi’s brother that had to be use this weekend…so Noah somehow switched the names on the tickets and bam! We were on our way to New York City. Julie just kind of looked at me like I was crazy for a while, and then she was like “no we aren’t going to New York, what is going on?” So I pulled out the boarding passes and showed them to her. For the next 30 minutes or so she was kind of just in a daze, trying to figure out what was going on. She said, “Well why are we waiting here.” I told her I was building the suspense. So we drove over to the parking area, Julie switched a few things in and out of her bag; we jumped on the shuttle bus and went to the terminal.

After a bit of a delay we got on the red-eye flight for Newark and we were off. We lucked out in that the flight was pretty empty, so we both had our own rows and were able to get a bit of sleep. It was beautiful flying into the city…the sun was just rising and every piece of glass on every building was a beautiful orange. Man I love New York City. I was so excited to be here with Julie.

So we jumped on a train and headed to Manhattan to Noah and Kristi’s place. I don’t know what it is, but every time I come to this city, something about it just gets me. I love this place. And this time it was a little more special cause I was with Julie. So we headed to Noah’s place, got there, ate a little breakfast, and then took a nap for an hour or so. Julie and I then took off, walked over to Fifth Avenue, got on a bus and headed down into the city. We got off on 42nd street and walked over to Eighth Ave. so Julie could experience a real New York dog at Gray’s Papaya. She had been to New York once before when she was 16, but it was fun to see her look around with a mix of excitement and confusion at this huge city and the rather interesting people that inhabit it.

So after some good dogs, we walked over to and through Times Square, went into the Marriott there and up the gigantic elevators (I needed to test her fear of heights and this was a good place to do it). She was pretty scared and wouldn’t let me touch her on the elevator, but she made it ok. (The elevators are all glass, so you can walk to the edge and see down 50 stories). So then it just got better and better.

From there we headed over, checked out what was on Broadway, and then went to Grand Central Station to meet with Noah and Kristi. Noah had been nice enough to help me line up an interview for a potential internship with a travel company out here this summer. So Noah and I left Julie with McKay and Kristi and we headed over to meet this guy while they walked around a bit.

After about an hour we met back up. At the interview, Kevin (the guy Noah knew) asked that I bring Julie by to meet her as well. I told him that we were dating and that I had brought her out for the weekend so he was interested in meeting her as well. So we left Noah and Kristi and walked over to the building where I had just been with Noah.

So we walked past the New York Public Library, past some sweet break dancing street performers, and over to the building. We went in and up to the 52nd floor. I am telling you this building was awesome. So then we had to go up a few flights of stairs up to where the office was. This is where Julie totally fell for it and I was so happy about it. After walking up like 7 flights of stairs she was like “why can’t we just go on the elevator?” which was a good question…I just told her the elevator couldn’t access his floor. So after like 7 flights Julie looks at me and says “I am going to need to take a little break before we meet this guy,” as she was a bit winded, huffing and puffing her way up the stairs. So we got to the 59h floor, and Julie says, “ weird, it looks like an attic up here,” I just told her how cool this guy’s office was because of that. So we went trough the door, through another door, through a closet and then Julie was like “Eli, where are we? What are we doing?” I was just like, “he has an office in a weird place.” Then finally I stopped Julie and told her where we were.

Way back when we first started dating, Julie and I were looking at some pictures of New York and I showed her a picture of a specific building, and I told here that I had always wanted to get to the top of the building…but I hadn’t yet found a way on top of it.

So I told Julie, “Do you remember that building I was telling you about? Well this is it, and Noah found a way up on top of it, and he just showed me.” She looked really confused, so I just grabber her, and brought her along. Up a bunch of ladders, through some little doorways, through some closets and electrical rooms, up some stairs and out side this door. All of the sudden we were outside. 60 floors up, this is where Julie got even more confused, and a little scared. She had just told me how terrified she was of heights…so I was a little nervous to bring her up here, but she handled to perfectly. So we went up another ladder. Suddenly you could see where we were. Above the city, surrounded by buildings, skyscrapers and all. Julie was like “Wow, what the heck am I doing up here, Eli! Where are we? What is going on?" I think by this point she realized that the guys office wasn’t up here (I hope she realized that!) So around a corner and up one more rickety old ladder to the top of the building. On top of it all! 360-degree view of New York City. A couple of blocks down was the Empire State Building with downtown behind it, to the other side, the Chrysler Building and the East River, on the other side uptown was central park and a sea of skyscrapers, and to the other side the Hudson River, Times Square and some other monster buildings. Julie was kind of just frozen up there, totally scared to move. I tried to hold her arm and help her, but she was just like “don’t touch me right now.” Finally she got her courage up and moved around a bit. Holy Cow I love that place up there. It is like you are in a different realm on top of the world. So high up that you can’t get cell phone service. So I took a little bit of time to explain the city to Julie, talked about where things were, and we just enjoyed our time up there. Then I realized I had one more surprise.

So I went over underneath one of the drainpipes and pulled out a bottle. A bottle that had a note inside of it. I grabbed it and handed it to Julie. Again, a confused look on her face. I had her sit down so she would stop wigging out because of how high we were. So she pulled out the note and began to read it. This note was something that I had left up there about a year ago. It was a letter addressed to the girl of my dreams, that I had written with the intentions of one day surprising a girl and bringing her up there. So she read it. Meanwhile I was sitting there amazed that I just pulled this off, and also a bit nervous about what I was about to do. The note implied that she was the girl for me, and there was a special reason why I brought her up there.

So she stood up, a bit teary eyed, told me that she loved me, and I said the same. We embraced for a minute, and then slowly I knelt down on one knee, making sure not to knock either of us over, and looked up at Julie. Again the wicked surprised look came on here face. She said something I don’t really remember what, but some along the lines of oh my gosh. I looked up at her and asked her if she would marry me. She just looked at me again. I pulled out a ring…put it on her finger and asked her again, as she failed to answer the first time, I think she was a bit shocked, and then she looked back at me and said yes. What a magical moment. I will never forget how beautiful it was up there, the sun was just setting, the most incredible city there below us, and the most incredible girl right there in front of me.

So we let it sink in for minute, took some pictures just as a wicked wind started to pick up. We got some great shots though, and then headed down to warmer grounds. It was about this time that I came out and told her the truth. Everything up to this point had kind of been a lie. I had the tickets for New York all along, Noah and Kristi were never coming to Utah, I didn’t actually have an interview (Noah and I had gone up to the top of the building to scout it out and make sure everything was good). I had been up on this building many times, but the truth being that is where I have always wanted to get engaged.

Julie is about the most inquisitive girl around, and she was getting very anxious to figure out about when we’d be getting engaged, you know all that girl stuff. I had been fighting it off for a long time; I finally decided it was time to go for it. So with the help of Noah and Tal, we came up with this great “plan/scam” and tricked Julie like you cannot believe. She was like a deer in the headlights. It couldn’t have been any better. I love the fact that for one day she was so dang gullible.

We went back downstairs where Noah and Kristi were waiting with a camera. They had been following us around getting secret pictures and videos as well as taking a picture of us on top of the building. We are just little dots but you can see us. So they congratulated us, I thanked them for all their help. They totally tricked Julie as well, and led her on a bunch of stuff. Haha.

We took off from there down to the meat packing district to an awesome Italian Restaurant that Tal had got us reservations at. This beauty restaurant right there in the thick of Manhattan. So over the course of dinner I explained all of my deceptions to her, we talked about how excited we were, and had some wicked awesome food... some of the best steak I’ve had. Definitely want to go back.

After dinner I had one last surprise and that was the Blue Man Group. I had hoped for Les Mis cause Julie loves it, but it isn’t playing here right now. So we went and had an awesome time, both of us just in awe the whole time now that we were engaged. It still hasn’t really sunk it. I can’t believe it, but I couldn’t be more excited.

So there you have it, that master works or trickery, deception and love by Eli Eyre, written on this 17th day of February 2008 and pulled off on the 15th day of February.

From Julie

So here is my side of the story. This is the story of innocence and possessing extreme gullibility. It all started last Tuesday night I was in Salt Lake doing a preassessment of the patient I will have the next day. So as you know Eli came to see me that night and mentioned that Noah, Kristi and McKay were going to come to Utah this weekend and we should all head down to St. George for President's day. I thought it was a great idea since Kristi was the last one of the family I had yet to meet and it was a great way to get away from the crazy Provo weather. So on Thursday I packed my bag (with a winter coat because we were seeing an outdoor play as well as some other warmer clothing since we were going to do a few things outside). I went to my roommate's V- day love party and at 8pm Eli came to pick me up. I thought it was sort of weird that Eli wanted me to come with him to the airport since we were just coming back down to Provo to head to St. George, but he apparently had to go his previous Romney office in Provo that day anyways and claimed he wanted me to drive back with him to keep him company. So trick #1 I fell for.
We headed to the airport at about 8:30. On the way Eli called the airline to see if the flight was on time. It was a little late so we stopped to get Eli some dinner and then made it to the airport at about 9:30. Noah and Kristi still hadn't called us to so we went to the "park and wait." While waiting he gave me this Valentine 's Day card and a picture of New York city. I was excited about that, but I thought it was slightly random. Then about five minutes later Eli asks me if I am ready for the real surprise and then proceeds to tell me that Noah called him earlier that morning saying they couldn't come to Salt Lake because everyone in the bishopric was going to be out of town and he had to stay. Kristi's brother works for Continental and so these standby tickets had to be used this weekend and we were going to New York! I didn't really believe him until he pulled out the tickets with our names on them. Needless to say that was a big surprise! We parked and waited in the airport for a while until our plane left at 12:45am. Luckily the plane was pretty empty and so we each got a row of seats to ourselves to sleep the whole way. Now at this point I wasn't really sure what was going on. Eli had made it pretty clear that this was a last minute trip and we were just going to go do some random stuff. I thought it was a possibility that he would want to propose in New York city, but since we had only decided for sure last week I didn't think he would have a ring and I knew he wouldn't propose until he had the ring. So these were my thoughts as I drifted to sleep on the plane.
We arrived in New York at about 7:00 am and took numerous trains and buses to get to Noah and Kristi's apartment at about 9:00. It was great to finally meet Kristi and McKay and just chat for a bit. During this time Noah said that the guy in his ward who works for the travel company wanted to talk to Eli for a couple minutes while we were here so we decided to take a nap for a bit and then I would go with Kristi and Noah and Eli would go meet this guy Kevin for a possible internship this summer. Also during this time Noah mentioned how sad he was they couldn't come to Utah etc. So needless to say Noah and Kristi were playing along really well. So we napped, got ready after a night of sleeping in the plane, and Eli and I went to walk around Time's square, rode the Marriot elevator, and ate at Grey's Papaya for lunch.
We meet Noah, Kristi, and McKay at Grand central station around 3:00pm. They guys headed out and Kristi and I went to H&M and a couple stores which was great. I had to buy some flats (shoes) since I didn't realize that we were coming to New York and my wardrobe was slightly off for a lot of walking. About an hour later we meet up the Noah and Eli on Madison Avenue. Kristi was great when I talked to Eli on the phone and really wanted to know how the interview went. Eli said the interview went great and how it would probably be a made up position for the summer since he doesn't really have interns. Noah and E came up with some great stuff because I was totally believing everything at the time. Eli said the guy really wanted to meet me and we would go back to see him real fast. So Eli and I left and headed towards the Public Library. Noah and Kristi had to back to their apartment since it was getting "too cold for McKay" (according to Eli). So we walked into this office building on fifth avenue. They took our pictures and we headed to the 52nd floor. We passed the company's office building I thought were going to and headed up this old stair well. Eli said something about this guy Kevin's office being away from everyone else and so we climbed 5 flights of stairs. Now at this time I was wondering why this guy was such a weirdo with his office being so far away from the main company's office, but I was trying not to ask too many questions because I was already winded walking the stairs so fast that I wanted to be able to talk normal when we got up there. I even made Eli stop at the top of the stairs so I could catch my breath for a second.
So he opened the door and all of a sudden we weren't anywhere near offices. He then took me through some rooms and a couple flights of stairs and we were on a roof. At this point I asked him what the heck was going on. He reminded me that he was trying to get on the roof of one of these buildings (he had told me that while ago) and Noah had just figured out how to get on to it and Eli now wanted to see it himself. So as dumb as it may sound I actually fell for that I was sort of focused on how high we were and not really thinking about anything else. For those of you who don't know I am a little afraid of heights and it even made me nervous to ride those elevators in the Marriot a few hours before. Now that I was outside on top of a 60 story foot building climbing rickety old stairs my mind was completely occupied. So we climbed some stairs and then went to climb some more. Thinking back to that last set of stairs makes my stomach drop because it was totally wobbly.
So we were on top of these huge air conditioner units looking out to the city surrounding us on all four sides. The view was indescribable. On one side is the Empire state building, another side is the Chrysler building and basically everything else in New York. So the first 10 minutes we just looked around. I was looking sort of cautiously, but was still totally amazed by the site. So I really didn't know what was coming because he Eli was as excited from the view as I was because he said he had never been up there before. But he told me he had one more surprise for me. He reached down and pulled out a pharmacy bottle with a note inside and admitted that he had been to this building before and put this letter up here last year. The letter was to his future wife and so I sat down and read it. Needless to say I started to get a little emotional and after I finished it I stood up to hug him and after a second he got down and asked me to marry him. I will never forget that nervous smile on Eli's face. I am so surprised looking back now that he wasn't more nervous, but he certainly got me with that smile. I got so caught up in the moment that I just kissed him and forgot to say yes and so he had to say "uh I think you forgot to answer." So I said yes and he gave me the ring and told me how the band was temporary and how the jeweler didn't have the real one ready yet. So it was such a huge surprise. My fear of heights really played to Eli's advantage because I was totally consumed that I really didn't even think about getting engaged and I didn't think he had the ring so I wasn't sure it was going to happen.
It was just incredible to be up there, I don't think could ever quite be described. I was half crying because of joy and because of the very strong wind that had picked up. Right after Eli told me to look at the Empire State building and said that the picture he had given me the night before was taken from that exact stop. I definitely started to cry and we just kind of stood there a second to let it all sink in.
Then Eli, the picture guy, came alive (as well as the wind) and we took a bunch of pictures. By the end I was completely frozen because the wind was so strong. I was huddling between each shot to keep warm. It was totally worth it though because we came out with some great photos.
We came back down stairs and Noah and Kristi were waiting for us. They started to tell me about all the lies they had been telling me. Thanks to Tal, Eli and I went to this awesome Italian restaurant in the meat packing district where we had some great food and Eli told me all about the web of lies he had strung. Then we went to be ushers at Blue man group where we got to see the show for free from the 5th row.
Well the night was nothing like I could possibly imagine. I had always wanted everything to be a surprise, but I had no idea that I would get such a unbelievable surprise while being able to see the most amazing view on earth. I can't tell you all how excited I am for the future and how lucky I am that Eli and I went to Jerusalem at the same time. Life is unpredictable and just amazing.
I love you all and can't tell you how of difference each of you have made in my life. Thank you especially to our parents who raised us to get on this path where we would find each other.

How beauty is that?