A Roman Engagement / by Anna Terry

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“If you have someone you think is the one, take them and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all over the world, to places that are hard to reach and hard to get out of. And when you land at JFK and you're still in love with that person, get married.”  Bill Murray

Well, we didn't take the last piece of advice just yet; but as many of you already know...WE’RE ENGAGED! After almost a year of traveling and not getting sick of each other's company, we fiancé-d up.  It was the most romantic day of my life and all took place in one of my favorite cities, the eternal city, Rome. We lived there for only a month, but it'll forever hold a special place in my heart. I feel like we walked all over that city discovering it’s hidden gems and before leaving for our next destination I said yes to the man I get to spend forever with. The fact that we spend every sleeping/waking second together and Shane was still able to put this all together without me knowing is pretty incredible. He had told our parents last summer that he was thinking of proposing when we got to Europe. His ring shopping took place when we were in Rome when he would “go to the rock climbing gym”. The deception! If you are ever considering proposing or wanting to surprise your significant other with an amazing date, contact Shane for ideas. He does not disappoint. 

We take turns with planning date days/nights and Shane insisted that it was his turn and he wanted it to be a surprise. Sweet, I love surprises! Plus we had done surprise dates in the past during this trip, so it wasn’t suspicious to me in any way. Day of, Shane woke up early to run a few errands and was pretty frantic by the time he came home. A little strange that he was so wound up but my spidey-senses didn’t pick up anything unusual. 

With two bags packed full of mysterious items which I was ordered not to look under any circumstance, we headed out on the trolley to our date destination. I am still blissfully unaware, well sort of. I had guessed secretly that we were probably going on a picnic from all the things we were bringing. My suspicions were correct, we were indeed picnicking in the beautiful Roman park, Villa Doria Pamphili. We walked around a bit to discover the most perfect spot in front of the Villa surrounded by blooming wildflowers. Revealing the contents of our picnic, the man had done GOOD. Good isn’t even the right word, he went above and beyond with all the greatest charcuterie/cheese hits. As we lay there in the wildflowers downing glasses of wine and eating our weight in triple creme Brie, I thought wow this date could not get any better. Spoiler alert: it did. 

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Shane turns to me and asks if I was ready for the second surprise of the date. AHHH I love surprises! Of course! He then told me that I would have to stand and turn around. In my cheese drunken mind, I had (for some reason) thought that he was about to surprise me with a puppy. Don’t ask me why but that’s where my mind went. It did not think “he’s about to propose to you”. So when I turned around to see him on his knee holding out an engagement ring and not a puppy I feel like my jaw hit the floor. He then proceeded to say some absolutely wonderful things but I was too shell-shocked to really hear him. In the middle of his speech, I stopped him and asked: “is this a joke?” What any man wants to hear when he is proposing, right? Thank goodness he laughed it off and instead asked me again if I would marry him to which I said yes! It was a romantic moment straight out of the movies. The only witness to all of it was some girl a few feet away on a bench reading and she didn’t seem that phased. Me on the other hand, I felt like I was about to pass out from the shock. We settled back down to our picnic to call our families with the good news when out of the blue, we are charged by a dog who also wanted to join in the festivities and proceeded to devour a whole block of cheese and the rest of our prosciutto. A happy ending for everyone (well, maybe except for the dog's owner who will have to clean up after that sick dog).

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