Oct 23, 2011
We'd planned on spending R&R in Europe since the first day of my yearlong deployment. To say that we were anxious to see one another after a 9 month separation, would have been a gross understatement!! The holiday that we'd planned was going to be amazing! Beautiful sights, wine and food that wasn't served on paper plates were definitely in order. Our itinerary included sightseeing in Heidelberg, Trier, Strasbourg, Saarbrucken, and finally...Christmas in Paris!! Unfortunately our carefully constructed holiday was derailed by the worst snowstorm Germany had experienced in 27 years!! It was a mess!! Icy, unsalted roads, made it impossible to reach the beautiful destinations that we'd talked and fantasized about...
After a week of schitzel, wine (tee-he) and sliding around Germany, we decided to brave the Autobahn. Taking a deep breath, we tapped into our respective stubborn streaks and forged ahead to Paris on Christmas Eve. A 4.5 hour afternoon drive turned into a maddeningly-cautious 6 hour crawl through the slush. So when we finally arrived at the Crowne Plaza around 8 p.m. exhausted, cold, and snackish...all I wanted to do was take a hot bath & curl up bed with my Hunny. Rick apparently had other ideas. As this was his first trip to Paris, he was super excited to explore the City of Lights. <eyebrow raised at the memory> Slightly irritated at the prospect of venturing back out into the cold, I threw on my coat. We were tucked into a taxi and on our way to the Eiffel Tower in mere minutes!! Merci Monsieur Cabbie. Walking cautiously on the sheet of ice that blanketed the ground beneath the base of the tower, we talked lightly about everything and nothing until 9 p.m. For those of you who've never been to Paris, every hour on the hour the Eiffel shimmers with countless, tiny white lights. It's truly a beautiful sight! Not wanting to miss it, I turned to gaze up at the sight. Brave tourists clapped & cheered around us in pure wonderment. Smiling I turned around to say something to Rick...to find him standing in front of me with a small black box. There beneath the sparkling Eiffel Tower, he held up the most beautiful ring that I'd ever seen..and asked me to be his wife.
It has been 'few' weeks since that magical moment, and I've since returned to Afghanistan...with the lights of the Eiffel shimmering within my eyes.