I left a hint at the end of the last post as to whatÂ today’sÂ post may be about, but if you didn’t guess from that small hint, I’m hoping you guessed from the title! Most of you will already know this news, so it’s not really news at all, but I thought I’d make it super-official by posting it on my blog – Jas and I got ENGAGED! While we were down in Tassie, I took a knee, pulled a big diamond out and asked the most difficult question of my life to the most beautiful girl in the world! I’ll give you some behind the scenes below, but if you would like to watch me proposing, feel free to watch below!
Shortly after arriving in Hobart, Jas and I borrowed Katie’s car (thanks again Katie!) and headed up to Freycinet National Park for a romantic getaway. Â I had subtly suggested to Jas that we deserved a little holiday and a nice weekend away in some of the worlds best scenery was just what we needed. Â We packed our weekend bags, got some essential selfies in front of the vehicle, pulled in for a quick take-away coffee and headed off to the mid-East coast for a few nights.
This trip was the first time we saw any of the beautiful landscapes around Hobart, and neither of us could look at much else! Â Jas snapped away outside the window and I struggled to watch the traffic in front of me. Â We slowly made our way North-East, hugging the beautiful coastline towards Freycinet.
There were too many pretty things to stop at along the way; our first stop was at a cool old church complete with neighbouring cemetery. Â Every bend opened up to a vibrant, blue bay or a long straw-filled farm. Â Sometimes, there was both. Â Â We joked that the beach and countryside was what we hoped Bali/Thailand would be – I guess it takes ice-cold water to preserve natural beauty (oh, and laws against trashing your own natural wonders).
On recommendation from a mentor in Tamworth, I pulled in to Kate’s Berry Farm, just shy of Freycinet National Park. Â Kate has a huge collection of jams, sauces and sweets – most produced on site and handmade by Kate herself. Â Jas and I were ready for lunch but unfortunately, they did not have a hugeÂ savoryÂ selection. Â Nevertheless, we tried some chocolate coated macadamia nuts, someÂ fudgeÂ and some fresh jam on scones with tea. Â It was as good as it looks!
The closest town to Freycinet is Swansea. Â I pulled over pretty quickly after seeing a cute, old General store and a long jetty down on the water. Â Photos were taken. Â Many, many photos were taken. Â (NB: The really wide shots were taken with the panorama mode on the x100 – it’s a cool little feature that I suggest you play with if you have one!) Â We decided to grab some wines from the bottleshop before getting to Freycinet – at one stage, I suggested to Jas that we should get some bubbles, you know, just in case we wanted to celebrate. Â She gave me a strange look and we both laughed – she had no idea!
Before long, we had made it to Freycinet. Â Our home for the following few days was Freycinet Lodge. Â The lodge is situated in the middle of the national park and is totally surrounded with trees and wild life. Â Just before entering the grounds, we even saw a wild echidna crossing the road! Â The cabins are all made of wood, decorated simply and have quite a homely feel to them. Â Ours looked up at the Hazards – not a bad wallpaper. Â The main lodge/reception faced Coles Bay and was enclosed with towering windows. Â There were numerous fire places, a few nice bars and a massive outdoor area that you could sit at and relax – it was definitely an all-weather type of setup. Â The staff at the complex were really friendly and the food was great too. Â We had a great stay at Freycinet Lodge and would highly recommend it to friends – we even got upgraded on arrival and a were given a voucher to have a wine/port and cheese supper!
After we got settled in our new home, we headed off to explore some of the national park. Â We decided to check out a lighthouse that was only a short drive away as it was late in the afternoon and had read that it was only a short trip. Â The lighthouse was pretty uninspiring (I was hoping for a Byron-esque scenario), but the view from the walk around the lighthouse was stunning! Â Huge, red rocky landscapes jutted out into the cold, blue ocean. Â We were almost completely alone, and the distant rolling of waves was all the broke the calm air. Â Jas was having a lovely time taking photos of the landscapes… however, all I could think about was the ring that was back at the lodge in my camera bag!
Back at the lodge, we enjoyed a few ciders while we waited patiently for dinner. Â As the Sun set, we snapped some photos from the deck before hurrying inside, safe from the cold. Â Freycinet sure is beautiful.
The big day:
The first full morning that we had in Freycinet was amazing. Â The sun was out, the sky was blue and some little puffy clouds stretched through the sky like fairy-floss. Â We started the morning with a huge breakfast at the lodge and headed over to a little cafe at Coles Bay for a coffee. Â They had an awesome view of the Hazards across the bay, pumped out a great coffee and made us some salad rolls for lunch – it was going to be a great day.
We drove to the start of the walk up to Wineglass Bay Lookout. Â Before even leaving the car, we saw a lazy kangaroo laying in the shade. Â I didn’t blame him; it was hot. Â We started the 40 minute ascent feeling fresh, but after 5 minutes, quickly realised that jeans were a poor choice. Â Nevertheless, we climbed to the lookout, zipping past other tourists. Â The lookout was full of tourists, some taking photos on iPads (hehe), most just recovering in the shade from the walk, taking in the stunning view. Â Wineglass Bay looked heavenly; bright white sand,Â turquoiseÂ water and miles of uninterrupted beachfront: serenity.
I walked with Jas around the bay and stopped after covering half the beach. Â We made a little picnic, sat in the sand and looked out over the ocean. Â We opened our sandwiches and enjoyed having a huge stretch of stunning beach to ourselves. Â My sandwich, unfortunately, had had ham on it, but I could barely eat anyway. Â I was too nervous. Â I suggested to Jas that we set up a little tripod and take some selfies in front of the bay. Â Dolphins swam by as we played with the self-timer and giggled with each other. Â I ran back to the camera to make some changes to the exposure, then ran back to Jas to beat the 10 second countdown. Â I did this multiple times until the photo looked right. Â Really, I was justÂ focusingÂ onÂ luringÂ Jas into a false sense of security (haha!). Â I ran to the camera one last time, changed it to video mode and grabbed theÂ ring out of my bag. Â What happened next is in the video at the start of the post. Â It was only after we watched it back that we realised we were matching – that was totally not planned!
What you didn’t see from the video were the tears streaming from both of our eyes. Â Wow – I was so nervous. Â As my mentor said, “You wouldn’t ask the question if you didn’t know the answer”, but it’s still a nervous few minutes! Â There was a lot of pressure in the moment – I had to show Jas the ring that she had no idea about and I could not wait to tell her about a hundred retrospective stories of secrecy andÂ deceitÂ as I battled to choose a ring and surprise her! Â Asking the question isn’t too difficult, it’s the few months leading up to the big day that piles on the pressure.
We watched the video back while we sat on the beach. Â A few more tears were shed. Â We wanted toÂ savorÂ the moment so we decided to head the long way back to the car and visit a few more beaches on the way. Â We found some stunning inland lakes and some deserted beaches – please make sure you take heaps of water if you do the same trek! Â We had less than half the recommended water for the walk between us and at one stage, Jas was willing to swap the diamond with a few liters of H2O. Â Talk about under-appreciating/valuing diamonds!
To celebrate our engagement, we headed back to the cafe that we had visited that morning. Â It was only a few kilometers along the beach from the Lodge and they did delicious looking wood-fired pizzas and had champagne. Â We shared a few wines overlooking the Hazards before heading up to the cafe for dinner. Â The food was great, the staff were friendly, and we were able to sit in a corner away from others! Â The staff even celebrated with us and posted an image of us on their Facebook page! Â What a wonderful day. Â To round out an amazing day, we strolled home as the sun set. Â Could life get any better?
We stopped quite a few times on the way home from Freycinet. Â Often to take photos and once to pull into a winery for wine to take back to Katie and George. Â Jas had fun being my navigator, partner in crime and fiance. Â Look how much fun she’s having with this dandelion.Â
With the huge weight of my shoulders, I was now free to enjoy the rest of our trip, knowing that I had swept my lover off her feet and finally had a ring on her finger! Â I am so glad that we always take a lot of photos and we can look back at these (and the video) and remember how lucky we both are! Â Love you Jassie! xxx