Hello to all of my mom's blog readers! It is time for another guest post from A, and this time, I'll be joined by CB as well! This post is on the recent trip I made to Spain to visit CB during her last week studying in Spain. It all started during a conversation I was having with CB on Skype in February. I had been playing with the idea of visiting her, and I finally decided to do it. So, I bought the tickets for my trip to Spain. Then, as we continued to talk, CB suggested we go to Paris since I had taken 4 years of French in high school. I had always wanted to go to Paris, so of course, I agreed, and we had tickets for Paris soon after.
My first flight took off at 1:25 pm on May 17th, and then, after stops in Boston and Madrid, I finally made it to CB in Oviedo at 9:50am (which, to me, felt more like 2:50 due to the time difference, but it was enough to make me very tired). So, after grabbing a bite to eat with CB, I went to the host family of her friend, T, who allowed me to stay with him. I immediately collapsed, and slept for 5 hours. I woke up for a few hours before going right back to bed.
The next day, CB took me on a tour of the city, and we spent quite a bit of time in a park, where there were several peacocks, ducks, turtles, and other birds that were all very pretty. CB had a final that she had to take, so we went to her campus, where she finished her schoolwork fo the semester. The rest of the day was spent in the apartment that CB stayed at during her stay in Spain. Her host mom made Spanish tortillas for dinner, which were very delicious.
Then, on Wednesday, we got up early and went to the bus station, where we caught a bus to the airport. This was the part of trip that I had been waiting for: Paris! We had a bit of a layover in Barcelona, but we arrived in Paris at about 5pm, which gave us plenty of time to find the hostel where we stayed for the two nights that we were there. It was a nice little hostel, and we got into a 4-person room. The first night, we had a roommate from Brazil stay with us and we got to talk to her.
After dropping our stuff off at the hostel, we went to the Arc de Triomphe. It was quite a sight, right in the center of a turn-about with 12 road branching out from it. We went over and saw all the cool carvings on the Arc, as well as the tomb of the Unknown Soldier which is right under it. Then we climbed up the stairs to the top of the Arc, where we had a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower, as well as the rest of the city. We were up at the top when the sun went down, and then, at 10pm, the Eiffel Tower had a light show! It was beautiful. It lasted 5 minutes, after which, we decided to call it a day and headed back to the hostel.
The next morning, we headed out to the first of our two major stops for the day, and that was the Notre Dame Cathedral. We waited in line for quite a while, but the wait was made fun by a man who wore a mask and scared passers-by. Very entertaining. When we got to the top, we got to see the bell made famous by The Hunchback of Notre Dame. So, of course, I felt the need to make an appropriate pose.
The next stop is the ever-famous Eiffel Tower! No trip to Paris is complete without going to see this awesome monument. We bought our tickets and walked up several flights of stairs to the second level of the tower before catching a lift up to the very top. The view was absolutely stunning! And now is when the story gets really exciting. Because it is here that I brought about the workings of my evil scheme: to propose in Paris! Yes, that's right, I had bought the ring in April and had devised a scheme to propose on top of the Eiffel Tower during our trip to Paris! Things didn't go exactly as planned, but when the moment of truth came, I was down on one knee, and said those four little words, "Will you marry me?" After receiving an excited "Yes!", I was back on my feet with a grin on my face, and I was officially engaged!
For those of you who are curious as to why things didn't go exactly as planned, here's the scoop. When I was in Argentina, I had bought CB a necklace that came in a little penguin that was just like a ring box, so I had planned on using that when I proposed, but it was unfortunately broken during CB's stay in Spain and fell apart in my pocket. I had also planned on having someone taking our picture while I proposed, but we couldn't find any native English speakers to take our picture, and the guy we did give our camera to didn't know how to work a camera very well, so that was out. But in the end, she still said "Yes", so all's well that ends well.
And if that wasn't a big enough of a surprise for her, I had my parents waiting for us at the airport in Chicago, which she wasn't expecting (she had thought that I was going to drive her to her parent's place), and then, when we stopped for dinner on the way home, her family was waiting for her there! It was a wonderful way to finish off the trip. Here is a picture of us all at the restaurant celebrating our engagement. And now, to tell you her version of the story, is CB.
Here is one of my first pictures with the soon to be infamous Eiffel Tower. At this point I was just so happy to be in Paris with A. This was actually my second visit to Paris while I was in Europe, and I didn't get to go on top of the Arc de Triomphe my first time so I was doubly excited! Little did I know...
Ah yes on top of Notre Dame. In just a few short minutes I would hear the story of a girl we met at Notre Dame about her engagement and how she still had no idea what was happening. I thought come on he was down on one knee! How could you not figure out he was proposing? Of course I wasn't even thinking that A would be proposing to me at our very next stop.
This is one of my favorite pictures because this was taken before we even got in line to climb the Eiffel Tower. I just laugh now because at the very top A would get down on one knee and say the four words I'd been praying that he would say to me one day, "Will you marry me?" God is good.
A thought this would be a great picture to have. The significance behind this photo is that A and I had agreed that we would wait to say, "I love you," until we were engaged.
Here I am as we're leaving the hostel showing off my engagement ring! Quick rewind: So we get to the top and are going around taking in the view. Normally A likes to take his time, so I thought since we were taking a while, A must be taking in the view and really soaking it up. I briefly turned away from him to catch another glimpse at the Arc de Triomphe and by the time I turned around he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. Going back to that other girl, so very clear, but what is my first response, "What?!?...YES!" Now there wasn't much pause in between those two, but I still had to pinch myself to check if I was really awake.
And that's our story, and we're sticking to it.