Adam and I had been dating for a little over three and a half years. In September 2008, we were planning a vacation to Ireland with his family. Had you asked me a few months before the trip, I would've told you that I wouldn't have been surprised if Adam was planning to propose during the trip - I've been talking about going to Ireland for as long as I can remember, and it would've been the perfect opportunity. However, as the trip got closer, I thought there was no way he could be planning a proposal - no suspicious behavior, unexplained disappearances, squealing from my friends gave anything away. To this day I still can't make sense of how exactly he pulled this off.
We arrived in Ireland and spent an amazing five days touring the country from Dublin to Shannon with no sign of a proposal. On our second to last night, we arrived at Dromoland Castle in County Clare. I've never been to a more beautiful place in my entire life! We felt like royalty. The grounds were almost as beautiful as the castle itself. After returning from dinner that night, Adam's family was planning to have a few drinks in the castle's parlor. Having consumed quite a bit of mead with dinner, I asked Adam if he and I could go for a walk around the castle grounds instead.
Our tour guide was more than eager to give us a flashlight, which at the time I didn't think anything of. After several failed attempts at exploring the grounds in the dark, Adam and I headed to the walled garden on the castle grounds because we knew it was lit. We walked through the garden discussing all we had seen, what our favorite parts of the trip were and that we didn't want to return to our real lives.
The walkway in and out of the walled garden consisted of a long archway, covered in greenery and flowers. As we were walking through to exit the garden, Adam stopped to hug me. He is very affectionate by nature. He started telling me how much he loved me and how happy I made him, and then he started shaking. Before I knew what was happening, he was down on one knee, asking me to marry him.
My whole life when I would fantasize about my proposal, I would tear up. I cry all the time. But when I saw Adam down on one knee, asking me to marry him, I laughed! I was so full of happiness and excitement it was the only thing I could do! I pulled him up to hug him, shouting, "Yes, yes, of course!" Only then did he ask if I wanted to see the ring. He had re-set the diamond from my grandmother's engagement ring in a beautiful new setting. My grandmother passed away when I was relatively young, but she was a very important part of my childhood. At that moment, when he told me it was my grandmother's diamond, I felt like she was there with me for one of the most important moments of my life. Then I finally cried (and wondered how in the world he got a hold of her ring without me noticing!).
After spending a bit more time in the garden, we returned to the castle parlor to meet Adam's eagerly waiting family. If you've ever wondered what a person might look like a split second before she was about to explode, Adam's mom could've shown you. Apparently she had been carrying the ring, and the secret that he was going to propose, the entire trip. It was so nice to be immediately welcomed to the family. I cried again.