The Best Weekend of My Life

29 Jan

On Friday morning at Muir Beach Overlook, David Opel asked me to be his girl for life. What I thought would be another great weekend in wine country ended up being the best weekend of my life. It started like this: It was Friday morning (we had both taken the day off ) and we went to our favorite breakfast spot on Divisadero, the glorious Eddies! I remember thinking that for all the years I had frequented Eddie’s, these were the best  mugs they’d given me to date…

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We hit the road for what I thought was a trip to Guerneville and a stay at the Applewood Inn. Turns out D. Opel had been making some fake elaborate plans for the past couple months to throw me off. We headed across the Golden Gate Bridge and he said he wanted to show me this place with a cool view called Muir Beach Overlook…


It was one of the prettiest places I had seen and growing up in a California coastal town, that isn’t an easy feat. The weather was completely perfect and we were the only people there. I was so taken aback by how beautiful the place was that I took this picture of Dave. Despite my private Pinterest board and my obsession with TLC wedding shows, I can honestly say that in that moment I had no idea what he was about to do….


We walked to the very end of the overlook trail looking at the sea and I turned around and he got down on a knee ❤

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Yay self-timer camera…





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We headed to The Marshall Store in Tomales Bay to celebrate!

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Doing his best Ryan Gosling pose by the rental car…


We got back on the road and it was then that he told me we weren’t going to Guerneville but Yountville instead. We had spent our anniversary there last year at a cute little B&B and I fell in love with the charming fairy tale-like town. He then proceeds to tell me that we’ll be staying at Hotel Yountville  and having dinner at Auberge de Soleil. Holla! I then asked him where we were having dinner the following night and he says French Laundry to which I said “Shut the f*ck up!” Closest I had been to going to French Laundry was just sitting on the bench across the street looking at their garden. I remember thinking that I must go there before I die. We’ll get to the FL a little more later! First, I informed Dave that I had not packed well enough for the French Laundry and being the gentleman that he is, he was patient with me while I made a mad dash around the Napa Premium Outlets. We got to the hotel and then went to dinner at Auberge where we had the best table in the place.


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The next morning we had a breakfast room service picnic in our hotel room and then took a stroll around Yountville…


Dave geeked out over the French Laundry garden…

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We stopped and smelled the roses…


We walked around some more and had a light lunch at Bardessono where we drank a very pretty cocktail and  ate some really good shrimp

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Headed back to the hotel for a nap and then at around 9pm we walked over to the French Laundry. No biggie!


Trying to be cool, we only snuck two pictures inside. One of which was this cheese dish from heaven….

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The French Laundry has a lot of hype surrounding it. After eating there on Satuday, the hype is 1000% warranted. It was without a doubt the best meal and dining experience of my life. I was afraid it would be stuffy but our server was friendly and made us feel comfortable right away. I also appreciated how they paced the courses. It’s one of the only times I’ve left a restaurant feeling great after eating rich food and multiple courses. Our waiter was so nice that a round of our wine was compliments of the house and a congratulations on the engagement. He also gave us a tour of the kitchen after our meal. It was surreal going back there, seeing Thomas Keller’s office, and watching all of the chefs huddling around planning the next day’s menu. The French Laundry doesn’t need to go out of their way to make a young couple feel special on their engagement weekend, but they did. And that combined with their glorious food makes French Laundry my favorite restaurant of all time.


The next morning we got some pastries at Bouchon. All weekend it seemed we were lucky and always 15 minutes ahead of the crowd. We had Muir Beach Overlook to ourselves for a whole 15 minutes and by the time we walked back up the trail, there were crowds of people coming. We had no line for Bouchon and 15 minutes later there were 30 people lining up to get into the bakery.


And then there’s the ring! All weekend I kept staring at my ring which I am in LOVE with. Turns out all those times Dave expressed no interest in my Pinterest or rings, he was actually paying a lot of attention and with the help of a jeweler in San Diego he designed this crazy beautiful ring…


When I left my house on Friday morning, I didn’t realize what the weekend had in store for me. I’m still floating on cloud nine and will be for a while. I can’t wait to marry my best friend and the love of my life. David Opel, you are my guy and I am the luckiest girl in the world that you chose me.


(I had no idea when this picture was taken 4 years ago that I was sitting next to my future husband)


14 Responses to “The Best Weekend of My Life”

  1. Alison-Claire Caputo January 29, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    So so so happy for you guys. I seriously got teary at the end. It’s so strange to think about where life has taken all of us and I am so lucky that I got to watch this little love affair from the very beginning, and by that I mean the butt hut. I knew I saw something special in the way Dave looked at you and the way you reacted to him and I am so glad that that special something was given a chance to take root in your hearts…(I’m starting work on a great little toast already see 😉

  2. greetingsblog January 29, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Great recap! It’s obvious from the pictures how in love the two of you are, and I’m so glad your weekend ended up being perfect. Couldn’t be happier for the two of you!

  3. joptholt January 29, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Love Love Love! Good Job, Dave!

  4. katherinehickson January 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Jackie – this is the cutest engagement story ever. ❤

  5. wjfry January 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Reblogged this on Some Kind of Wonderful and commented:
    My very dear friend Jackie had the most amazing weekend of her life….she got engaged!! I just love this post and had to share. By the end I was tearing up. Congratulations Jackie and Dave!!!

  6. Lori January 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Jackie, congratulations to you and David! What a most perfect engagement weekend – thank you for sharing stories and pics with us! 🙂

  7. George January 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Congrats to you both!

  8. David Opel January 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Love this post. Have re-read it so many times 🙂

  9. Leanna February 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    I am so happy for both of you! This post had me tearing up before work this morning. Can’t wait to see you guys (and that ring, damn!) this weekend.

  10. Barbara Miehls February 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    First, I want to thank Facebook for allowing me to glimpse the best weekend of my daughter’s life from half way around the world. We are
    thrilled and so happy that Dave will be in the family and that we will soon get to meet Ellen and Rick in person. Can’t wait to see you. We’re over the moon for your happiness. XOX mom & dad

  11. ruby daggett February 4, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    What an amazing and romantic engagement story!! Thank-you for sharing it. I’m so happy for you (both), Jackie! You two are going to have a magical life together!!

  12. Jane March 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi there!
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Guerneville to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

  13. Michelle Groom April 23, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Hands down one of the best proposals I’ve seen! Congratulations! {Gorgeous ring too!} Great job David!


  1. Looking Back at 2013 | Year of the Ratty - December 31, 2013

    […] Getting engaged. On January 25th, Dave proposed and it was perfect. I chronicled the weekend here. Six months later we had our engagement photos done by our awesome photographer Josh […]

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