After roughly two and a half years of dating, we both secretly knew that we had found the one we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. We never had any in-depth conversations about marriage, just the casual mentioning here and there. But after planning our trip to Europe for several months, it dawned on me that this would be the perfect place to propose to her. The Europe trip was originally inspired by visiting Tarah’s best friend Katelyn Miller (who we went on our first ever trip together to her wedding in Camarillo, CA) and her husband Roeland Schaftenaar. He was, at the time, playing for a pro basketball team in Lugo, Spain. We thought, what a great time to go visit them, and we could stay with them while there. Boy, were they overly hospitable! They catered to our every need and showed us parts of Spain that most travelers will never get to see! I originally planned on bringing them in on the proposal and having them help me stage everything, until we decided to throw a pit stop in Paris into the beginning of the trip. Soon as we booked that trip, it popped into my head, I’m going to propose to her in front of the Eiffel tower, in the most romantic city in the world. After months of planning I finally found the perfect ring and it was in my possession 2 weeks before we left for Paris. If anyone knows us well, they know that we aren’t good at keeping secrets from each other, I wanted to propose and give the ring to her right away. But I was able to hold it in until we got to Paris, which that was an adventure in itself.
To make a long story short, I always seem to be stopped at airport security for some reason, some might call it racial profiling, but it’s been getting better. While crossing customs in Madrid, Spain, it was a hectic and chaotic process. Mobs of people are walking through the terminal and they “randomly” chose people to have their bags checked. Well, I was in the middle of the crowd and was chosen to get my bags checked. At this point I was so nervous because I thought they were going to make me pull the ring out which was rolled up into a sock tucked away in a secret pocket in my backpack. Luckily everything went smoothly and we were on our way.
After a few hour wait in the Madrid airport, and a short flight, we landed in Paris around 730pm. As we landed we noticed white flakes on the ground, it was 30 degrees and had been snowing for the last day or so, nothing terrible but there was snow on the ground.
We took the subway system to our room that we rented from airbnb. (Click here for $25 off your first stay with airbnb). This room was perfect for what we wanted to do, it was about a quarter mile away from the Eiffel tower, we could look outside our window and see it. We couldn’t have asked for a better view!
We met our host, Claire, dropped off our bags and went to the nearest Cafe to feed our bellies. One thing you’ll learn about us is that we like to eat! And if Tarah doesn’t eat regularly, she gets hangry!
After our quick dinner, we had to get things moving because I was on a time schedule that Tarah knew nothing about. I had done some research before and knew that the Eiffel tower lights up every hour on the hour at night. And that was the plan was to propose during the light show. It was around 10:30pm so we had 30 minutes to get there. Mind you I have been nervous as hell since before we left the States. Tarah was fed, but she was still cold and tired, two very bad combinations. We made it to the tower with about 15 minutes to spare, after seeing it she really wanted to go back to the room and get some sleep, but I persisted that we stay for a few more minutes. I’d say she was glad that she waited.
The light show began, and I noticed two strangers taking selfies. I approached them and asked them if they wanted me to take their picture (with the ulterior motive that they would return the favor and ask to take a picture of us). They, of course, politely asked if we wanted our picture taken, and I quickly handed her my phone in the video recording setting. She then took it upon herself to switch the setting to picture mode, and this is where I give her extreme props for thinking and reacting quickly. When she realized the magnitude of the situation and saw that I was getting down on one knee, she quickly switched the phone back to video recording. She was able to capture the whole proposal and everything worked out just as I planned. Whoever you are out there, thank you again for capturing this amazing moment that we will be ale to watch for the rest of our lives. As you can imagine, she said yes, and this set the tone for an amazing european adventure.