Jim had let Marilyn know of his intentions in February and took her shopping in San Diego for an engagement ring. Jim, proper gentleman he is, met with Marilyn’s father and oldest son to have “the talk.” Discussions had to do with camels and goats and who should get or give the livestock! Marilyn received a formal invitation from Mr. McFadden inviting her to join him February 23 at 1:30pm for an engagement day that included a visit to Mission Santa Ysabel and dinner at the Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla.
Saturday was beautiful, sunny, and warm as the couple departed on their journey. The drive to Santa Ysabel is breathtaking with oak trees, sycamores, canyons, and majestic views of the land. Mission Santa Ysabel is a special site to each of them as they had each paid a visit to the chapel in the summer. Marilyn had stopped with her daughter in July. It was the first time that she bowed her knee and prayed, asking God if it was right that James be in her life. James visited the Mission weeks later with his daughter.
Upon arrival, they toured the museum documenting the history of the chapel, erected in the 1800’s. The couple entered the chapel through big wooden doors and Jim asked visitors for some moments of privacy. In a heartfelt request, Jim, in his quiet demeanor, expressed to an emotional Mermaid, how he would like her to be his bride, to spend their lives together, forever. She expressed her sincere love and acceptance to James and they made a bond of eternal promise and commitment. Lingering, they held one another. Jim presented to Marilyn an engagement ring as a symbol of their promise in the form a lovely, large, brilliant-cut diamond in a Tiffany setting.
They next stopped at Dudley�s bakery for loaves of fresh bread. Driving to La Jolla the couple admired the fog bank from the road high above as it made its way from sea to shore. Arriving there, the couple basked in the sweetness of the day at Marilyn’s favorite place, by the sea, picturesque with the sun’s rays peeking beneath the mist with divers and kayakers below.
Entering the Marine Room the couple was seated seaside for a lovely sunset. They gazed at water lapping at the shore ever closer as the tide came in. The silhouetted palms and spray of ocean waves breaking upon rocks was a scene from one of Marilyn�s much-loved places on the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii. They dined on crab cake appetizers, artistic entrees of hazelnut halibut and chicken breast with huckleberries. After a luscious raspberry chocolate dessert, they slipped their shoes off and walked on white sand with thoughts of Ke�e beach on Marilyn�s mind. A time to enjoy the smell of the sea, to listen to waves carried from miles away to lap at nighttime shores, to watch night birds blend in as one with the white seafoam at water’s edge.