the proposal

Ashley had the day off work on New Years Eve, so Ryan and Ashley planned to go to Kansas City and spend the afternoon at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the evening with friends. They departed from Lincoln around 10:00AM and got to the museum just after 1:00. Ryan kept in touch with a couple of friends (Jason & Jessica Toye) about dinner reservations for later that evening. After the museum, Ryan and Ashley headed to the hotel, the Marriott in the Power & Light District. Ryan ordered the New Years package with a bottle of champagne and $25 gift card. Finding a parking spot was extremely frustrating; everywhere was packed and the hotel booked up for the night. After they finally got parked, they checked in and went up to their room (the 11th floor of 22 floors) to discover that the package was not ready. Ryan had to go back downstairs to order the champagne up to the room, get the gift card and the breakfast buffet tickets for morning.

Ryan and Ashley got on their swimsuits in hopes of relaxing in a hot tub. The pool and fitness center are on the 22nd floor with only one elevator that ascends to that floor (in a booked hotel with the elevator in constant use). They reached the top only to find a heated pool (no hot tub), which was not heated but cold. So they didn't swim overly long before heading back to the room to get ready for the evening. Ryan and Ashley got ready, walked a couple of blocks in the wind and cold to a friend's apartment (Dan Hinds) to meet him and his girlfriend (Marissa Piette, who is also Ashley's friend and coworker) and her two friends (Joslyn & Justin). They hung out there for a while, drinking champagne that Ryan brought in his coat and celebrating the coming of the new year. Still no ring...
Ryan continued to work on reservations for dinner. Turned out that the first restaurant, JP Wine Bar was in transition of partnership and wasn't even open. The next place Jason and Jessica recommended, the kitchen caught fire and closed for the evening. Ryan and Ashley headed back to the vehicle and drove to Jason and Jessica's newly acquired home for a tour and good conversation. By the end of the visit, they all took out on the road to see what local restaurants were still open. They almost thought they were going to have to resort to Ruby Tuesdays, where Ryan and Ashley eat often times anyway. But they ended up at Paul & Jack's Tavern, one of the few low-key restaurants not closed, completely packed or having a cover charge of $70+ per person.
By just after 11PM, Ryan and Ashley got back to the hotel, meandered around and sat in the hotel lobby for a bit, watching the indoor waterfall and looking at the Christmas decor. They headed up to the hotel room to finish out celebrating the new year. Ryan tried to find a music channel on the television so they could dance, only to find a music preview channel which lasted nearly two minutes before it said "billing is automatic". So they had to shut it off immediately. He tried to find some music on his phone, meanwhile Ashley was wondering what they were going to do for the next hour in the hotel room. Finally, at about 11:30 he opened the champagne and anxiously said, "I have something to ask you. Will you marry me?" Ryan said he had just the ring in his pocket the whole day and was waiting for a good moment, but, with all of the little frustrations, neither of us had been in an exceptionally great mood at the same time.
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