November 20th 2004 - Tessa's Birthday, and I had arranged a surprise trip to France, for a night at our favourite B&B and a slap up meal. I arranged the trip a few days before and kept it a total surprise until Tessa guessed where we were going after we joined the motorway to Dover - I had already packed her passport!! We arrived at Dover to travel with Speedferries.com - a new company who cross from Dover to Boulogne and have very very good prices. I took it as a good sign of what was to come that we got put into lane 7 while waiting to board the ship!! As you can tell from the way Tessa is wrapped up - it was pretty cold for this 11.30am crossing!
And even colder on the crossing itself!!
But flat calm - a quick 50 minute crossing to Boulogne - France clearly visible from Dover.
The familiar sight of our car parked outside our room at Ferme du Saule, in Brimeux. It had rained as we got into France, hence the roof.
To be honest the roof stayed on for the whole trip - it kept spotting with rain and was bitterly cold - what the hell - we have proved our 7 hardiness elsewhere!!
So - the big surprise for Tessa was that I proposed that evening, whilst we ate a Birthday meal at a Michelin Starred Restaurant nearby. It was a total surprise - I did of course speak to her Father just before hand, in order to ask his permission!
This is us at the Restaurant, just after I proposed and Tessa accepted!
The Teddy had a 'Ring Token' tied around his neck (along with a scarf - it was still very cold!!) so that we could go and choose a ring later on.
Of course our car was present - well, in the car park anyway - I did not drink obviously, apart from a glass of celebratory Champagne!
M & Mme Trunnet, who run the B&B, were delighted to hear our news - another glass or 3 of Champagne went down very well!
The following day, Sunday, we were to return to England - it was just a quick 24hr visit. But we still had time to stop at Le Touquet, where we were able to ring parents and friends, and of course take some pictures of the car!
Not the busiest time of the year!
This little car - possibly a FIAT Punto - was well and truly stuck in the sand - well what did they expect???
Speedferries One waiting to take us back to the UK from Boulogne.
Speedferries take great care that we are parked in a suitable place for the car - we stay on the flat part of the ferry deck. Usually last on for that reason, but as loading only takes about 10 minutes, this is no problem.
No one moves until we do!!
The following week was exciting as all our friends and family found out about our news. Bouquets from parents arrived, along with many cards - thank you all!
The following weekend we arranged for the parents to meet each other for the first time at Tessa's family home. They had not met before for purely geographical reasons, but we knew everyone would get on.
Tessa shows the Mothers our cards!
My parents with Tessa and myself.
Tessa's parents house is right next door to the village Church, so this is where we intend to get married...
...followed by a short walk across the field to the garden and a marquee. We will involve the 7's somehow!
Us and the in-laws! Luckily both sets of parents are delighted with the news.