John and I met in college and had been dating for over four years when I was selected to spend the summer in France to perform with an opera company. We had never been apart for more than a week, so this was going to be a challenge for the both of us. I would be singing in France for seven weeks and was really nervous about being on my own for so long in a foreign country. John and I decided that he would fly out with me a week early and spend time in Paris before I had to go to my job. We left for France in the evening so we arrived at 7 am Paris time, which felt like 1 am to our East Coast bodies. We were lucky enough to know the pilot who flew us and were upgraded to first class! Nevertheless, we were exhausted and were not allowed to check in to our hotel until 3 pm! So, we wearily walked around the city, trying to make the best of our sight-seeing time. When we finally checked in to the hotel, the pilot who had flown us there called to ask us to dinner, so we both dressed up in nice clothes and met him in the city. When we got there, he took us on a two-hour walking tour of the city, which would have been wonderful if we hadn't assumed we would be going to a fancy dinner and weren't wearing heels and uncomfortable shoes!
So, after almost 24 hours of being awake and busy, John wanted to go see the Eiffel Tower. I begrudgingly dragged my throbbing feet to the tower and saw there was a two-hour line to get to the top! I was so annoyed that I did not want to wait in line; I just wanted to go to the hotel and sleep! John persisted that we wait in line and I gave in, knowing how important it was to him, and I wanted to enjoy every moment of this trip. When we finally got to the top of the Eiffel Tower, we saw the amazing night lights of the city. As we were standing there, John turned to me and said, "This is so amazing. I cannot wait until we get married." And I agreed with him, assuming that would not be anytime soon due to our student loans and graduate studies. Then, he suddenly turned and said, "Why don't we make that sooner rather than later?" And he knelt down and held out the perfect ring of my dreams. I started crying and screaming, "No way! No, this is not real." I didn't even answer him until he finally got up and replied, "So, you mean yes?" I yelled, "Yes, of course!" John later explained that he had planned to ask me on the Eiffel Tower for so long that he just couldn't wait past the first night of our trip. Of course, I apologized profusely for my lack of patience earlier that day! It was the most magical night. I cried and called my whole family who had known for months and had heard me complain about John never being able to afford a ring. They all had a good laugh at my naiveté, and it was the most amazing trip of my life. During my time alone in France, I had the beautiful ring he gave me to remind me of how lucky I am!