Carmel man ends gallery walk with surprise marriage proposal

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Almost every month, Mike Thibideau, 27, and Elizabeth Andresen, 34, like to participate in the scavenger hunt at the gallery walks in the Carmel Arts & Design District.

They’ve been dating for about a year and half, and during their courtship it’s been a fun way to check out Carmel art galleries and just talk to each other.

“We always enjoy going on the scavenger hunts and talking to the artists,” Thibideau said. “It’s kind of our thing.”

But on Oct. 8, Andresen got quite a surprise when she went to claim her prize at the end of the scavenger hunt. One of the organizers told her she had something special.

“I thought it was unusual, because you usually get to pick what you got,” Andresen said. “They said, ‘No, you get this,’ and inside the pretty wrapped box was a ring box. He got down on his knees and said a bunch of wonderful things and asked me to marry him, and I said yes.”

Thibideau said she seemed surprised at the proposal.

“She had the look on her face like, ‘Is this really happening?’” he said.

He said he got the idea because he was trying to think of an activity they enjoy doing instead of doing something out of the ordinary. He said he contacted the City of Carmel and gave them ring, and they were very helpful.

“I wanted to do something that was special for us and make something we already enjoy a little more special,” he said.

No wedding date has been set. Andresen said she’s happy to have such a fun story to tell people about their engagement.

“In retrospect, I realized he wasn’t as chatty as he normally is, but I didn’t notice anything at the moment,” she said.

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