She said, “Yes”!
Anne Garner Austin


The Carriage

It all started with a phone call from the prospective groom’s Mother.  She said her son, Michael Frantz, wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Kristy Crow, and he had asked her to locate a horse drawn carriage.  They live near Modesto, California and after searching the Internet and many phone calls she located us, Eleven Roses Ranch, in Lake County, California.  Three weeks later Michael called and we decided the only date we both had available was in four days time.  We discussed details and I told him, “Give me a few hours and I’ll see if I can pull this together”.


Now we have provided mule-drawn carriages and wagons since 1991 for weddings and other events, but his was a new experience and I wanted to make it very special.  Three hours and several calls later I called Michael back.  When he answered I asked, “Young man, do you have a ring?”  He stammered, “Yes, yes I do!”  “Have you spoken with Kristy’s father?” I asked.  “No, but I’ll call him right away” Michael said.  “Then you had better get to it because we are on for Sunday afternoon,” I said with a smile.

The Vineyard

This very special proposal would not have happened if it were not for the cooperation of several great Lake County folk.  While the carriage was the focal point of what Michael knew Kristy has always dreamed of, he wanted it in a vineyard setting with an intimate dinner.  Myron Holdenreid of Wilhurst Vineyards, graciously agreed to allow us to use his “Grove” of majestic oaks.  I instructed Michael to arrive in Kelseyville by 4:30pm and go to Wildhurst Vineyard tasting room so that when they closed at 5pm James would be waiting outside with the carriage and our two white mules, Belle and Blue.

The Arrival

As Kristy followed Michael out of the tasting room, her eyes lit up at the sight of the carriage.  When James addressed them by name and asked if they would like to go for a ride, she burst into tears.  Since part of the adventure was to experience Lake County, we had Steele Wine’s Syrah Black Bubbles on ice in the carriage.  As they sipped the sparkling wine, James regaled them with stories of Kelseyville and Clear Lake.  As they meandered out of town, James “suggested” that they might enjoy seeing one of Wildhurst’s vineyards.  They were very enthusiastic and even stopped to sample some of the grapes still on the vine.  As they continued through the vineyard, with clusters of deep purple grapes hanging from the vines, they were greeted with the sight of a beautiful grove of towering oak trees and an intimate dinner table set for two.

Table For Two

As they pulled up Michael said, “You must be Anne”.  I introduced myself to Kristy and asked if she would like to have dinner.  Again it took a collaborative effort for the elegant gourmet dinner.  Michael had requested a vegetarian entrée for Kristy but a steak for himself.  To make sure I got the best advice, I consulted with Kenny at Lakeview Market in Lucerne, and then gleaned some of James’ favorite recipes for the rest of the meal.  Michael had said that they were red wine drinkers and while he admitted that Syrah was their favorite, he ultimately decided upon a Cabernet Sauvignon by Noggle Winery for the main course.  We thought that we could make this even more special by providing them with both so we put aside a bottle of Wildhurst’s  “Best in State for 2007” Syrah as their first engagement gift.


Kristy’s excitement was palpable and she had trouble eating as she tried to contain it.  As dinner progressed she relaxed and they both drank in the beauty of their surroundings with the ancient oaks and the lush vineyards with the mountains in the distance.  As the main course came to a close we saw Michael ask Kristy to close her eyes.  I truly do not think she knew what was coming.  He knelt on one knee and tapped her arm.  As she opened her eyes and saw the velvet ring box, her stunned expression rapidly changed to one of sheer joy.  She looked Michael in the eyes and said, “Are you proposing?”  When he answered, “Yes, will you marry me?”  She threw her arms around his neck and shouted, “Yes! Yes!”  There were many tears, kisses and hugs to follow.  I confess that my eyes were not dry.

The Proposal
They asked that we join them to share a toast and to talk of how special this was to them.  When Kristy asked Michael how he had done all this, he answered, “It was magic.”  After toasts and dessert, we departed in the carriage into a beautiful Lake County sunset.  I truly believe that the “magic” that Eleven Roses Ranch and Lake County provided have helped to start a lovely young couple off to a wonderful life together.
The Ring


The Hug
The Toast


Heading Home
Into The Sunset

Starting The Next Phase