All posts by Jessica Garrett

Jessica Rose Garrett earned a Master's Degree in Art History from Columbia University. After living in New York City, she returned to Utah with a passion for city life and desire to explore all Salt Lake has to offer. Whether you live in Salt Lake, Logan, or Boise, or happen to be passing through, read about her suggestions for the perfect anniversary or staycation here on the Anniversary Inn blog and make your "time on the town" memorable.
Proposal

Surprise Proposal at the Top of the Empire State Building

This fabulous story was submitted to us from Amanda and Nate. They both recorded the proposal experience and, lucky for us, we get to hear both sides.

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He said…
I had been dating Amanda for only 6 months and I knew that she was the one for me.  I was 30 years old and in past relationships I always had reservations regarding marriage that stuck out in my mind.  With Amanda I never felt those reservations.  She is the total package.  I found myself in complete and utter amazement during our courtship.  She has a zest for life that I have never encountered.  Her smile lights up my day and makes me forget about all my troubles.   Amanda is always thinking about my well being and pushing me to meet my goals.  I knew that we would make a great team

After meeting with Amanda’s mother, Judy, to ask for Amanda’s hand, Nate began the planning process. Amanda was planning a trip to her favorite place in the work – New York City. What better place to propose?! In classic style, Nate chose to ask Amanda to marry him on the top of the Empire State Building. Continue reading

Boise’s Two-Story Anniversary Suites

Planning an extensive anniversary celebration has its place. Sometimes that place is at the beginning of your marriage when energy trumps experience and “going out on a limb” seems exciting and not risky. Sometimes that place is well into a marriage when you need to spice things up by planning a surprise, out-of-the-norm celebration. Still, after a long week (or month … or year), a place to rest and relax away from kids, work, and obligations is novelty enough to make for the best solution for anniversary planning. Why settle for an average hotel room, when you can just as easily book a suite at the Anniversary Inn? Raise the stakes and reserve a two-story, diamond suite to make the night of relaxation feel extra special. The Anniversary Inn at Boise has a few to choose from, and – trust me – you won’t walk away disappointed.

The Romeo and Juliet Suite
This suite recalls the timeless, tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers – it even includes a balcony. A jacuzzi and sitting area for two sit on the bottom level while the king-sized bed is up the stairs. Between the deep red carpet and winding staircase, you are bound to feel extra special staying the night.

The Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Suite
For fairytale lovers, this suite cannot be beat. It features a drawbridge and moat the separate the main sitting area from the luxurious bathroom that includes a jacuzzi tub and waterfall shower. Climb the stairs and you’ll find a queen sized, round bed fit for royalty. The entire suite is bursting with enchantment.

The Treasure Island Suite
Ahoy! This entire suite is designed after a classic ship equipped with a plank and captain’s quarters. Wood paneling and deep blue painted walls will make you feel like you are actually aboard a romantic vesle. Soothe yourself in the jacuzzi tub and coconut shower or relax in the king sized bed located upstairs. Need some fresh air? This is one of the few suites with its own private balcony, so take advantage!

Like all suites, these featured rooms include big-screen televisions, complimentary cheesecake and apple cider, and breakfast in the morning. Call today! (1.800.324.4152) Or book online and plan your restful, relaxing anniversary. It’s nice to have something to look forward to, isn’t it?

Say Goodbye to Summer with a Staycation in SLC

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Summer Twilight Concert Series @ Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City

As August winds down and the temperature starts to cool, I always ask myself, “Where did the summer go?” The months seem to fly by. One way to treat the blues that inevitably accompany the last few weeks of August, is to making “saying goodbye” to summer a momentous occasion, giving yourself something to look forward to. May I make a suggestion? Plan a staycation! It’s an easy, cost-effective way to enjoy one last weekend before school starts and the leaves begin to fall. Not to mention, a staycation requires very little planning and can be booked at the last minute. Below, I have an itinerary that will make for a perfect way to squeeze the most out of these last weeks of summer. See what you think!

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TV on the Radio Performing at the Twilight Concert Series

 

Salt Lake City has a vibrant culture of music and boasts numerous picturesque venues where artists can perform. Every summer, bands come in from all over to play at the Summer Twilight Concert Series held at Pioneer Park. Concerts are held every Thursday night and tickets are only $5. It’s a large open venue that attracts thousands of people every week. For musicphiles, it’s a real experience. Too crowded for your tastes? Grab authentic Thai food from Ekamai or an indulgent Belgian waffle from Bruges Waffles and Frites and sit across the street (tables on the street and above the restaurants) – you’ll still hear the music while being able to avoid (some of) the crowd.

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Red Butte Garden Concert Series

Red Butte Garden also hosts a summer concert series, bringing in bands that have more of a following (such as Earth, Wind, and Fire – performing this Friday, August 29th). Though tickets are more expensive, the ambiance is more organized and spacious. The best part? The backdrop. Red Butte Garden is stunning to say the least, and the soaring mountains behind it aren’t too shabby either.

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, check out the array of options here. VisitSaltLake.com is a great resource in planning any Salt Lake City-based staycation. The Bluegrass and BBQ night at the Utah Museum of Natural History sounds especially summer-esque.

And the staycation doesn’t have to end there. Take a short jaunt over to South Temple and check in to stay a night at the Anniversary Inn. Request the Savannah Nights Suite and continue on basking in the warmth of summer. The suite includes a king-size bed, a jetted tub, television, cozy robes, and – as always – complimentary cheesecake, apple cider, and breakfast in the morning. What this suite offers that most don’t is a Turret with a table and chairs surrounded by windows where you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from inside the suite. I can’t think of a better place to spend either a lazy summer evening or bright summer morning – both allow you to enjoy the warmth that August brings before it makes way for cool breezes of Autumn.

An Intimate Proposal

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When my husband, Tyler, and I were dating he lived near a duck pond. We would often grab day old bread from Jimmy Johns and go feed the ducks at the pond. We had a special bench we would always sit on and laugh and talk about our future. It just became our spot and we loved going there. On the night of October 12, 2013 I knew something was up. Tyler picked me up with a new haircut and a dozen roses. I knew he had the ring we had picked out and had been wondering when he was going to propose, I quickly realized tonight was the night. Tyler drove straight to our duck pond and I knew this was it. I had butterflies in my stomach and my heart was racing. I think I was more nervous than him!

Without even thinking we both walked straight to our bench. Once there, Tyler quickly told me how much he loved me, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. I immediately said yes! He later told me he was more nervous than he had ever been, but I would never have guessed it. It was the most perfect proposal. It was in a place that meant something to us and it was just the two of us there, which is what I had always wanted. What followed was a whirlwind of wedding plans and excitement. We were married on January 17, 2014 and couldn’t be happier. Tyler is the love of my life and I couldn’t ask for a better husband.

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Thank you for sharing your engagement story with us Danielle and Tyler! How romantic and intimate – just the two of you and the ducks to watch! We are thrilled to share your story here.

If you are interested in having your proposal story published here on the Anniversary Inn Blog, just email a brief summary of the events and a few photos to anniversaryinnproposalstory@gmail.com. Those who submit their stories are automatically entered into our contest to win a free night at one of the four Anniversary Inn locations (Boise, Logan, 5th South, SLC, and South Temple, SLC). We look forward to hearing from you!

Spend Your Anniversary at a Mansion

It’s a beautiful time of year in Logan, Utah. These are the months that allow us to forget all the snowed in winter days of last year. So it’s time to make the most of it! If you are celebrating your anniversary this summer or fall, we have just the celebration itinerary for you! Still, who needs an anniversary as an excuse to celebrate? Be spontaneous! And follow these simple steps for a romantic weekend spent in luxury characteristic of a time gone by.

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Photo via Panoramio.com

Step #1 – Go for a drive
Logan Canyon in route to Bear Lake is one of the most scenic in Utah. Its steepness encourages a slower drive which, in turn, allows you to take in the surroundings and relax in the presence of your sweetie. Think you know everything about your spouse or partner? Bring along a book of questions (similar tothis one). You may learn a thing or two! Or, pick a few favorite soundtracks, roll down the windows, and enjoy a peaceful ride.

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Step #2 – Arrive at Pickleville Playhouse
Once you exit the canyon, turn right on Bear Lake Blvd. You will quickly see Pickleville Playhouse on your right (map).Pickleville is a local gem, offering classic theater productions that are becoming harder and harder to come by. This season, they are showingBeauty and the Beast – a timeless tale of finding love, even in the most unlikely of places. Buy ticketshere! But, hurry quick, the show ends August 30th.

***Note: For the full experience, come early and enjoy theirBBQ. If you are looking for a romantic, intimate option, pick a restaurant closer to Logan such as Le Nonne or Elements.

Step #3 – Drive back to Logan for a romantic evening at the Anniversary Inn
Book a night at the Anniversary Inn. After your drive, you will be excited to arrive at a luxurious, comfortable suite. I recommend theMansion Suite. This suite features elegant decor reminiscent of a day gone by – you will feel like Belle herself! Though the aura of the suite will make you feel that you’ve stepped back in time, we don’t scrimp on modern day luxuries such as a jetted tub big enough for two that is place right below a cozy fireplace (turned off May 15 – October 15). The suite also features not one, but two televisions – one for the bed and one for the tub. As always, your stay comes with complimentary sparkling cider and cheesecake – a perfect way to end your night.  Your stay will be followed up with complimentary breakfast as well. You will leave feeling pampered and rejuvenated. So what are you waiting for?Book today!

A Staycation Spent Enjoying Bridal Veil Falls…and really good pizza

A staycation is defined as: “a vacation (…) spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.” Ultimately, a staycation is an affordable way to vacation as it allows you to experience the sensations of being on vacation – relaxing, adventuring, etc. – without requiring the bill that usually comes along with it. Added bonus? Staycations encourage you to explore the city you live in, to see it with new eyes. So what’s stopping you? After reading the itinerary below, you will have no reason to hesitate.

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Bridal Veil Falls

Hike Bridal Veil Falls:
Start out the morning early (don’t worry, you’ll have time to relax later) and head down to Provo, Utah. Get off on the 800 North Exit (Exit 272) in Orem and head west. Drive for about 4 miles and you will see signs indicating the direction for Provo Canyon. Bridal Veils Park is located about 3.5 miles up the canyon with plenty of parking. Take a short walk down the Provo River Parkway from the park to find the base of the trail to Bridal Veil Falls. Take the short but steep hike to the base of the falls and be rewarded with a beautiful view of the cascading falls accompanied by a refreshing mist to cool you off after the climb. If you are an experienced hiker, continue on to the top of the falls. Beware, the climb is very steep and should only be attempted if you are an advanced hiker. My most important piece of advice is to arrive early. This hike is very popular and tends to get crowded throughout the day. If you want to explore the surrounding area, go for it! You can find more details and the history of Bridal Veils here. Planning your staycation during wintertime? No problem, the veils create a beautiful ice sculpture that is worth seeing (or climbing if you are experienced in ice climbing).

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Bridal Veil Falls Park

Dine at Pizzeria 712:
After your hike, you are bound to be famished! Bringing a picnic is always an option, but remember, you’re on STAYCATION! This means you should spend time out, enjoying the local area. I recommend checking out Pizzeria 712.  Pizzeria 712 is a local gem to say the least. The chefs use only locally grown, seasonal ingredients to make their pizza creations which are placed in a classic, wood-burning stove, cooked to perfection. The crust will change your life.

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Pizzeria 712

The atmosphere at Pizzeria 712 is casual – you can even observe your pizza being made while chatting with the chefs! They are open for lunch from 11:30-2:30 (a perfect window for your post-hike lunch) and dinner from 5:00-11:00. Check out their lunch and dinner menus. Their pizzas are reasonably priced, so order a few and share them amongst your group so everyone gets to try a taste of something original. If it’s just the two of you, order a salad and two pizzas and you will leave happy. Pizzeria 712 has received numerous accolades throughout Utah and the country (see more reviews here), so come see what all the buzz is about!

Relax the afternoon away:
This is an important part of the staycation – relax! You woke up early to hike, ate a hefty, well-deserved lunch, and now you’re ready for a nap. So indulge already! You would if you were on vacation, so this weekend should be no different. After a relaxing afternoon spent napping, or reading, or watching your favorite TV show, get spruced up for a night on the town. Pick your favorite Salt Lake City Restaurant (think Em’s Restaurant for a romantic evening or the Rio Grande Cafe for a family outing) and head out on the town.

Book a Night at the Anniversary Inn Bridal Veil Falls Suite:

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Now, this is the point where you send the kids home (if you haven’t done so already) and spend a romantic evening together at the Anniversary Inn. What better place to spend the remaining hours of your staycation than at the Bridal Veil Falls Suite at our 5th South location?

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Enjoy a movie together or take a tub in our jetted jacuzzi to soothe your sore hiking muscles. Or, better yet, just lay in bed enjoying the painted murals of Bridal Veil Falls and reminisce about the day over a piece of complimentary cheesecake accompanied by sparkling apple cider. Most of all, enjoy the evening, you’ve earned it!

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The best part about this particular staycation is that it can be catered to a family or couple. If you and your sweetheart want to bring the kiddos along for the hike and pizzeria, then pair off for a romantic evening, it is totally feasible. If you want the entire day to yourselves, the itinerary is equally enjoyable if planned for a duo. So get out! Go explore the local gems like Bridal Veil Falls and Pizzeria 712! And, don’t forget, Anniversary Inn has locations on South Temple and 5th South in Salt Lake as well as locations in Logan and Boise. Book today!

May Day! The Multiple-Attempt Proposal

My poor husband tried and tried to propose to me and it seemed that something went wrong or got in the way every time, but I didn’t realize that was what he was trying to do at the time.
For instance, we drove to the park one day and had a picnic and enjoyed the peace and quiet while feeding the ducks near the water – perfect setting, right?  I didn’t know he had plans to propose and as we were talking we ended up in a disagreement and upset and that ended that idea.
Another time –  On Easter I woke to find my yard covered in plastic Easter eggs, candies, and stuffed bunnies, as he had snuck over to my house before I woke up.  Inside each egg were notes expressing his love and wanting to spend his life with me. However, I was dense and didn’t get it that he was proposing and it kind of flopped.  He had hoped to put the engagement ring in one of the eggs, but that didn’t work out either.
PS 988312_597566210263292_1655252380_nThen on May Day we got ice cream cones and went for a drive.  It would have been my brothers birthday that day so we took some flowers out to the local cemetery to place on his grave.  And right there in the most romantic place in town, he told me how much he loved me, that he wanted to spend forever with me, and asked me to marry him.  That was 12 years ago and I am so glad I said “Yes”!   We then went to the graves of his parents and told them of our engagement.  We headed back to town and visited with my parents and told them.  Ron placed my Grandma Brown’s engagement ring on my finger and my dad took this picture.  When we married, he placed my Grandma Johnson’s wedding ring on my finger.   Every May Day each year we buy ice cream cones and take a drive to the cemetery.
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Thank you for sharing your engagement story with us Leisa and Ron! When I read your story, I couldn’t help but think, “Three times the charm!” Congratulations on 12 wonderful years of marriage! We are thrilled to share your story here.

If you are interested in having your proposal story published here on the Anniversary Inn Blog, just email a brief summary of the events and a few photos to anniversaryinnproposalstory@gmail.com. Those who submit their stories are automatically entered into our contest to win a free night at one of the four Anniversary Inn locations (Boise, Logan, 5th South, SLC, and South Temple, SLC). We look forward to hearing from you!

An Intimate Anniversary in Salt Lake City

Many of the posts on this blog describe ways to celebrate your anniversary or plan a staycation in a grand and creative manner, taking advantages of all the local events that Utah and Idaho have to offer. Though a creatively planned anniversary is fun and exciting, sometimes the most enjoyable evening is one that involves a romantic dinner and a relaxing get-away. Fortunately for you, Salt Lake offers superb options for such a night.

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One of Salt Lake City’s most valuable gems is Em’s Restaurant. Em’s Emst2is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake on Center Street, just below the Capitol Building. It rests in a small, cozy space that is endlessly romantic: dimmed lighting, candles, beautiful art, small tables – you’ll never want to leave. And the food, oh the food! Head Chef – Emily – is brilliant. Starting out in a much smaller space serving lunch and catering on the side, she soon found more space would be necessary as the reputation of her delicious and creative cuisine grew. She relocated to Center Street where the restaurant expanded once more into the neighboring space which provided more seating for the ever growing group of patrons. Em’s cuisine is gourmet using seasonal and local produce which means the menu changes throughout the year.

 

Start your meal with her famous potato pancakes served with creme Emscatering3fraiche and fresh herbs. They are delicate and savory with complex flavors that pair perfectly with creamy creme fraiche. Her flatbread with seasonal toppings is also a great choice. Follow up the appetizer with a salad. Whether you prefer something light (mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette, croutons, and shaved parmesan) or something more hearty (roasted potatoes and caramelized onions with Italian sausage on seasonal greens, tossed with a bacon, sherry vinaigrette), she has something for you.

The list of entrees is substantial, each includes a perfectly prepared Em'st1meat (lamb, short ribs, salmon, etc.) that is paired with sauces and vegetables that are prepared to accompany the meat perfectly. For vegetarians, she has an excellent potato lasagna and nightly pasta special. Let’s just say, if she’s serving her famous house-made ravioli…you can’t go wrong. What is dinner without dessert? Em’s list of desserts presents a comforting, classic selection. Sorbets, bread pudding with caramel sauce, raspberry creme brulee, homemade ice cream served with a warm chocolate chunk brownie….is your mouth watering yet? Read more reviews here where Em’s earns 4/5 stars on Yelp!

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The best part about Em’s is the AMBIANCE. My husband and I have been there a number of times and every time we visit I feel the need to hold his hand across the table and lean over the table to engage in intimate conversation. It feels like a place where we can share secrets and exchange romantic glances – the perfect restaurant to host your anniversary celebration.

***Important Note: due to it’s popularity, Em’s recommends that you make reservations a few days in advance. Having been disappointed once when arriving at a full-to-capacity restaurant, I strongly encourage following this policy.
***Em’s also serves Sunday brunch and lunch throughout the week. I highly recommend both.

 

 

After a romantic evening spent on Center Street in Salt Lake, take a short drive to the Anniversary Inn on South Temple, just minutes away. There, book the Anniversary Inn Suite. This suite stands in contrast to the others in its classic interior. It is elegance at its finest. No frills, no distractions – just comfort. relax with your sweetheart in the jacuzzi tub for two before crawling into our king sized bed and watching a movie while a fire burns in the fireplace. Complimentary apple cider and cheesecake come with every suite. Indulge! There’s nothing wrong with enjoying “second dessert.” Let the morning greet you with a complimentary full breakfast.

Craving a classic, romantic, and intimate anniversary celebration. Reserve a night at Em’s and the Anniversary Inn on South Temple and you won’t be disappointed.

Hiking Around Boise – the Ideal Summer Staycation

Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. In the west, we oftentimes take for granted the accessibility we have to beautiful trails that wander along peaceful streams or climb impressive mountains. Especially in Idaho, where the summer heat is less intense than other locations, locals should take the time to experience the natural beauty their state has to offer before the winter snow sets in and masks it all in white. Instead of booking an expensive flight or traveling to a foreign destination, look around! With a little collaboration between mother nature and the Anniversary Inn in Boise, this weekend could easily turn into an affordable, enjoyable staycation.

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There are dozens of hiking trails that surround Boise and most all are worth the time and effort. However, if you’re looking for the most “bang for your buck,” I would choose Hull’s Gulch. Why? Well, I have three reasons.

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Reason #1: Accessibility:
The Hull’s Gulch trail is located less than 10 minutes from downtown Boise within the Hulls Gulch/Camels Back reservoir. Just take 8th street north towards the foothills until the pavement ends. Park in the first parking lot on your right. More details on location here.

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Reason #2: Versatility
There are numerous ways to enjoy the gulch, which makes this area an ideal place to spend a Saturday with your sweetheart (and kids if they’re lucky enough to come along). Whatever your hiking experience or time frame, the gulch has an option for you. Take a look at this map to see the various trails to choose from within the gulch trail system. If you want to spend just an hour or two, pick a loop that is shorter or hike in until you are ready to start heading back to the parking lot. For the full experience, pack a lunch and hike the entire 7 mile loop. Stunning views of the city and beautiful nature scenes can be seen all along the trail.

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Reason #3: Safety
The Hulls Gulch Nature Trail is reserved for hikers (restricted from bikers and equestrians though they may use other parts of the gulch) and the climb is gentle which means it can be enjoyed by everyone! Still, be sure to bring enough water as there is little shade along the trail. See other reviews of the hike here.

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After a long hike, reward yourself with a night of relaxation at the Anniversary Inn in Boise. To continue the nature theme, book the Enchanted Forest Suite. There, you will be surrounded by painted murals depicting a forested area that you may recognize from your day spent in the Boise foothills. Make no mistake, you will find no wildlife or dirt trails here. Only a comfortable queen bed, TV, and luxurious jetted tub for two. We’ll even throw in a bottle of sparkling cider and a delicious cheesecake – no trail maps required. After a weekend like this, you may never want to leave Boise again.

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People flock from all over the country and world to enjoy the American west – and it’s right outside your door. So, get your hiking shoes on! This weather won’t last forever.

Boating and Banners – a Proposal at Lake Powell

The day we got engaged is a day I will never forget! It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Here is just a little background on Weston and I. We both grew up in the same neighborhood and our parents became good friends. Every summer, our families would go spend a week in Lake Powell together. Weston is about 2 1/2 years older than me so we didn’t start dating until we were about 19 and 21 years old. We dated for about a year when we knew that we wanted to get married. Here is our proposal story…

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We were in Lake Powell with our families and some really good friends. I was sitting in the houseboat when Weston came up to me and said, “I’m going to help my dad fix his marine radio. I’ll be back soon. Love you” and gave me a kiss. I thought that was a little bit odd but I loved it. He left and was gone for a long time. I ended up going on my parent’s boat to go tubing. We all piled on. It was my turn to go tubing next when I saw Weston’s boat pulling up to ours. He dropped off my sister and his brother on our boat and said “Do you want to come with me Maddie?” I was thinking, “Well I was about to go tubing!” :) Ryan, Weston’s best friend said, “Ya Maddie, go with him!” So I did. My dad said, “Is anybody else going with Weston?” Weston said “Just Maddie!”

So I got on his boat and he seemed so excited! He had been telling me for a couple days that we should go on our own little boat ride. Once we were in the boat he said, “I’ve got something to show you! My dad said I could take the boat so I decided to show you these ruins we found while we were fixing our marine radio.” He was all smiles! I sat on his lap on the boat ride over. He then told me that we need to pick up his sister because she was hiking around there. I said, “You just left her there?” Haha

While I sat on his lap he told me that he had the biggest crush on me in Lake Powell last year. After that he told me he needed me to go sit on the front of the boat to look for rocks in the water so we wouldn’t hit them with the boat. So I did. I didn’t like being without him but I wanted to help out. He started honking his horn that didn’t work. Thats when I started catching on. We drove the boat through this beautiful canyon in face canyon. We came around the corner and I saw a huge banner that said Maddie, will you marry me? My hands came up over my mouth. I was so surprised and speechless! I remember saying “Weston” over and over again. I got a little emotional. I went back to try and give Weston a hug but he had to dock the boat. Once he situated the boat, he told me that I was the only person he wanted to be with and a few other things. Then he got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me?”

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And I said yes! He put the ring on my finger and it is gorgeous!! I absolutely love it! I felt so blessed! Then he pulled out a letter he had written for me and read it out loud. It was the most beautiful letter that anybody had ever written for me. We turned around and his sister was hiding behind a rock taking pictures for us. They turned out so great! We picked his sister up and headed out of the canyon. We drove up to my boat and I saw all of my family and friends. I was so overwhelmed and so grateful that I started crying. Afterwards, we all went back, looked at the sign, and took some more pictures. It was such a perfect proposal for us and I couldn’t be more grateful for it!

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Thank you for sharing your engagement story with us Maddie and Weston! What a romantic setting for a proposal. I’m sure you will never go down to Lake Powell again without thinking of this special day. We are thrilled to share your story here.

If you are interested in having your proposal story published here on the Anniversary Inn Blog, just email a brief summary of the events and a few photos to anniversaryinnproposalstory@gmail.com. Those who submit their stories are automatically entered into our contest to win a free night at one of the four Anniversary Inn locations (Boise, Logan, 5th South, SLC, and South Temple, SLC). We look forward to hearing from you!