Growing up in a large Irish Catholic community in Cleveland, I had dreamed of taking a trip to Ireland for as long as I could remember. When I started dating my fiancé, he thought I was crazy for being so passionate about my strong Irish Catholic upbringing because he doesn't have an Irish background at all. I really thought my obsession for all things Irish drove him absolutely nuts! My fiancé and I had been together for five years before we were able to plan our first long vacation alone, so we decided to take a trip to Europe. He had booked the flights for London, and I couldn't have been more excited. That was until the day that he revealed we were not really going to London! He said he would not tell me where we were going until we got to the airport.
Nearly two months later, I anxiously awaited my surprise! He had managed to hold onto my ticket all the way through security checkpoints until we reached our departure gate, but the departure city was not identified at the gate. I was desperate to find out where we were going, and I was sure it would be Switzerland because he insisted we visit there together after his studies abroad exposed him to the country's beauty. My fiancé finally handed me the ticket, and there it was in black and white: we were going to Dublin! I cried and called my parents because I couldn't believe it. This was a dream come true, but it wasn't even close to what would come.
On the fourth day of the trip, I was anticipating his proposal and watched his every move. We spent the day touring Powerscourt Estate and Gardens in Wicklow County, south of Dublin. The largest waterfall in Ireland is located nearby so we drove to it. After about an hour of my fiancé taking pictures of the waterfall, my patience and love for the waterfall began to fade. He was taking pictures at multiple angles and eventually asked me to climb up the side of the waterfall, among thorns and "Do not climb " signs! He said he wanted to get a better view at a higher level. I was so frustrated and had finally tackled the thorns to sit atop a large boulder where we had our own personal view of the waterfall at this otherwise busy site.
The next thing I remember was my fiancé, on one knee next to this boulder, asking me to marry him! The moment that I always anticipated my spastic personality to come out in full force turned out to be the most romantic moment, leaving me speechless and shaking (after saying yes of course)! This was the only time on the entire trip that I had not anticipated him proposing: he had taken so many pictures for so long because he was nervous, not because he wanted all of these extra angles! And of course, my frustration distracted me from even considering the possibility that this would be the site of our engagement.
Everyone back home had known he was going to propose. I had hoped, but wasn't sure because I convinced myself he could not possibly have had a ring on him. We traveled the entire trip, and he had allowed me to rummage through his backpack, so I was sure it hadn't been inside. Our trip was an absolute dream come true from start to finish! A surprise trip with the most romantic engagement at a waterfall in Ireland, halfway through our trip! We had dinner at the Ritz Carlton that night, with a fantastic view of the Wicklow Mountains. We had five more days of driving the Irish countryside ahead of us, and from that day on, I continued to sit atop cloud nine!