This past September, my fiancé Rob and I became engaged in the tiny town of Ferchia, Italy. Despite the insanely romantic location, my lifelong dreams of being swept off my feet in Italy and the fact that we had been talking about marriage for a while, I still had been completely surprised when Rob proposed. It happened on the first night we arrived in Italy. Our friends picked us up at the airport in Rome, and after a long, windy drive up into the rolling hills of Ferchia, we finally found the beautiful Tuscan villa that we had rented. After we had finished getting ready to go out for dinner, Rob hinted that we should go for a walk along the terrace. I think I was distracted by how overwhelmingly beautiful the scenery was that I had no idea what was coming. We stood in the early evening light, overlooking miles and miles of rolling green hills. So remote was the location that the only thing we could see for miles was the tiny neighboring village tucked up in the hills about 10 km away.
Rob started acting unusually romantic, hugging me from behind and kissing my neck. I thought it was uncharacteristic of him but thought to myself it was just the effect Italy had on him. Then he said that he had a present for me and pulled out a large package from behind the stone wall. I opened the package to find a Vancouver Canucks hockey jersey. Rob works in the professional sports industry and loves hockey. He was missing the season opener in Italy so I thought it was a pretty cool gift since I had never had a jersey of my own. Normally, you put the last name of your favorite player on the back, but when I turned it over, the jersey read "Rees." That's Rob's last name! I said, "What are you doing?" As the tears starting pouring out, Rob went down on one knee and proposed. Perhaps the most amazing thing he said was that he had asked my great uncle for permission for my hand. My uncle had passed away the week before I left, and we had delayed our trip in order to be with him during his last days. The fact that Rob had made sure to ask his approval meant the world to me. Later that evening, we dined at the smallest, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, where I had the greatest meal and company of my life!