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Ashley D.

My fiancé James and I have been together for a little over two years. When my nursing classes got out for holiday break mid-December, James and I were supposed to go up to Chicago for a relaxing weekend to de-stress. The night before we were supposed to drive to Chicago, James told me to pack for a longer weekend, so I assumed that he had gotten Monday off from work. I packed more clothes and went to bed. The next day, we woke up, packed the car and left to drive to Chicago, or so I thought. Shortly after we began our drive, I realized that we were heading south, not north towards Chicago. I began asking a million questions, probably driving him crazy, but he just kept smiling and told me to be patient. I was even more confused when we neared the Indianapolis Airport. When we got inside the airport, I kept asking him what was going on, but he told me to wait a minute. He then pulled me over with him in line and handed me a ticket and my passport. We were going to Europe! He told me that all throughout our relationship, I had always complained that he had been all over the world while I had never been anywhere.

Over the summer, he had asked my parents to make sure I had a passport. He had planned everything and kept it a secret for eight months, which was a hard task considering we had been living together for ten months at the time, and I'm usually pretty on top of things like this! We first flew to Chicago and then from Chicago to Belgium. I spent most of the first day sleeping off the eight- hour jet lag and recovering from the shock of actually being in Europe. On the second day we were there, we bundled up in hats and scarves to brave the wintry weather outside. Making me pack for Chicago was a smart idea on his part because the weather was pretty much identical. We walked down the cobblestone streets, bought fresh chocolate and then had lunch and a carafe of wine at a small brassiere. Belgium had a two-week long Christmas celebration, and I love Christmas, so James led us over to check out what was going on. There was a tall, giant Christmas tree and a bunch of small holiday markets in the Gran Place (town square). I had my camera with me, and I started to take a lot of photos of everything that was going on around me: the beautiful buildings, the trees and the people. As I was taking pictures, James tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around quickly, and there James was, shivering and holding up a ring. I think he said, "Will you marry me?"But, I wasn't really listening. I just said yes, grabbed him and kissed him. For the rest of the trip, I walked around with a huge grin plastered on my face. It was the perfect proposal, and I will remember it for the rest of my life!

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