The Flying Fishbone Restaurant:
“Try and Imagine The Most Romantic Moment Ever…Getting Engaged in Aruba”
“After much research, curiosity and careful consideration I had arrived at a decision, ARUBA!!!”
Little did I know that my interest in this enchanting little Island was setting the stage for what would eventually be the next significant chapter in my life. The stars were aligning and destiny’s plan was unfolding.
I met her… the soon to be, love of my life, about 6 months after my first visit to Aruba. We both proceeded very slowly with caution since we both had been hurt in the past and genuinely cared about each other, but did not want to mess things up foolishly by rushing into things. A year had past and I thought that I would try giving another Caribbean island a chance for vacation all the while my gut was telling me to go back to Aruba. Against better judgment—I picked another island thinking that it would be a chance to experience a different location and culture. There was a heavy price to be paid. Aruba felt betrayed and she was going to let me know how she felt. Needless to say that I pretty much encountered monsoon season, rampant mosquitos, flooded hotel room, rocky beaches, unfriendly islanders and was almost assaulted by an intoxicated tourist. Point taken! I redeemed myself the next year by going back to Aruba but taking my then girlfriend with me for the first time.
This was the first time traveling with a girlfriend to another country and it was her first time to Aruba. It didn’t take much convincing since I had shared many a tale of my first trip and mentioned how friendly the people were in Aruba. The Aruban people were the genuine salt of the earth people, and yet astonished me again on my return. My mind was blown when the Bell Hop from the same Hotel we had last stayed at actually remembered me and my father from our first trip two years prior. Not only did the bellhop remember me and repeat stories that we shared with him before, but a waitress at one of the finer restaurants remembered me and my Dad as well. Keep in mind that literally hundreds of thousands of tourists visit yearly. How was this possible? These reunions were like meeting an old friend that you had missed for a while. My girlfriend was very impressed at how sincere and down to earth these folks are. The personal interactions experienced by her validated my claims and removed any doubt she may have had before she came. She too fell for Aruba’s charm and had become as enchanted as I was leaving us with magical and memorable experiences. We came back year after year and with every year that we visited our love for each other grew stronger. It was no longer a vacation spot the yearly ritual to return had become a part of our lives and an absolute necessity.
After several years had passed, I had finally decided to profess my love to my then girlfriend and honor her in the best possible way I knew I could. In 2009 we had heard about the Flying Fishbone
in Aruba and wanted to experience what others were raving about. Well, if you like to have your candlelit table in the water while viewing the sunset to be accompanied by a very tasty meal then this is a place I would recommend to anyone seeking a romantic date. Although intimate to some, families and large groups are easily accommodated as well. As the night descended the lighting overlooking the water began to glow and the miniature palm trees decorated with lights came alive too. The stars twinkling above and pleasant trade winds gently blowing only added to the experience. Needless to say my Girlfriend and I found ourselves in that perfect, timeless moment to be forever etched into our memories…the stage had been set. Upon our return to Aruba in 2010, I decided to pop the question at one of our most romantic spots–The Flying Fishbone. I was very nervous and tried to be calm without letting on so I casually recommended us to eat there for dinner. I remember being so nervous that the little brown box of the engagement ring was making me nervous as I constantly checked my pocket to see if it was still there or if it fell out somehow. While being seated at our favorite table, in the water, I was still trying to think of how I was going to pop the question. I knew I had to do it, but how. I decided to pretend and go to the bathroom, but my intention was to really speak with the waitress and ask her to take pictures of us while I would be proposing. She was happy to help but suggested if I were also interested in having the ring in the box placed on a plate with “Will You Marry Me” written in chocolate syrup and a sparkler to boot. She also said that another couple were getting engaged there that evening as well and had agreed to the plate presentation. The plan was that they were to take our desert orders and that a staff member would unexpectedly approach me while waiting for desert to inform me that there was some trouble with the taxi we had ordered in advance to come pick us up after dining. I was to follow her, but secretly go to the kitchen for a last minute inspection of the plate and provide the engagement ring with the brown box. So all the pieces were in place. I tried to relax and not check my pocket as much as to not be so obvious. Thanks to my paranoia though I had to check one more time and thankfully I did because for whatever reason the box happened to be half way out of my pocket and could have fallen into the sea. Holy Cow! As if I wasn’t nervous enough….yikes! That was way too close–I would have been done for before I even started! Could not have been more freaked out! Then shortly after that the other couple getting engaged on my special night across the sand began their ritual. It didn’t help any that everyone in the restaurant started cheering for them and applauding. Thankfully that they were almost directly behind my wife so it was hard for her to see what was going on…the glasses of wine she drank didn’t hurt either. Me feeling nervous and thinking that somehow she was going to catch on to what I had planned I quickly said that they were celebrating a birthday. Hoping that would distract her and throw her off in case she had any suspicions. Incidentally, the restaurant that evening seemed much more crowded than the first time we went. This was it! no turning back now I have an audience of about thousand witnesses. Well, it felt that way anyway.
Dessert time finally arrived and so did my cue. In pre–rehearsed fashion a lady approached our table and said that there was some trouble with the taxi we ordered earlier and asked if I could follow her.
My wife looked a little puzzled and I pretended to be too, got up, and followed her. I gave them the engagement ring with the box and we all agreed that it was to go down in 2 minutes so I returned to my table. I played dumb and said that it was minor miscommunication. My girlfriend was seated facing the sea and myself, but I could see everything going on behind her. As if everything took place in slow motion I remember clearly my wife being caught up in the moment yet again and wore a pleasant smile of satisfaction. I noticed the water server, a young woman, positioning herself to my left side with the camera I gave her earlier. Then the moment of truth! as I saw the waiter slowly approaching with the plate and the sparkler set atop firing off I began to grab her hand and knelt on one knee in the water. My eyes welled up as I gazed upon this most beautiful human being and was grateful to have her in my life. As the waiter placed the plate before her I began to profess my undying love for her. As all eyes stared at me I drew the courage from the positive energy that filled the air that night and stated with conviction, ”Will you marry me?” With all the beauty that I fell in love with she at first had a quizzical look as she stared at the plate and then her eyes began to stream and stream and stream. It appeared that all my planning finally achieved success, but the patrons and myself included did not hear a “Yes!”. I did have to inform her that the other diners were waiting in breathless anticipation and it wouldn’t hurt letting me know too. The poor thing was so overwhelmed and caught up in the moment that she lost her ability to speak so she nodded up and down while smiling and crying. I proudly stood up and faced the gathering of warm anxious faces and said with confidence “She said Yes!” only to be met with a round of applause from the entire restaurant and even the other engaged couple came over to congratulate us. Other kind folks wanted to take our pictures and some of the women there were teary eyed themselves.
My Fiancee had revealed to me why she had a quizzical expression on her face. In all the excitement I forgot that she had ordered some kind of brownie desert and as it turns out the box the engagement ring came in was brown and was almost the same size of a brownie. I could not have planned that better myself. It did not register with her at first what was going on. It also didn’t help that the written proposal on the plate was stated as a condition of the sorts. The kitchen mistakenly wrote, “Would you Marry Me?” instead of “Will you Marry Me”. Till this day we laugh at the little things that made that event that much more special. We married 1 year later and have been celebrating the anniversary of our engagement at the same spot in the sea, at The Flying Fishbone, every year since.