THe Proposal

Like every other woman in a very long term relationship, we wonder when that special moment will finally arrive. When the love of your life drops down to one knee and pops the question. This was something I was waiting for since we started traveling in 2011. We made a pact to travel the world and see all the beautiful places we've always dreamed of visiting. After destination to destination for the past 5 years, whether it was Tokyo or Quebec, Paris or Norway, London or Iceland - there was always something inside of me thinking he was going to propose at one of these beautiful locations. But, it didn't happen. Until, he made a promise to me that it would before I turned 30 and it just so happened we were on another traveling adventure to Italy just before my 30th birthday.

We went from city to city exploring everything Italy have to offer: We hiked Cinque Terre's 5 costal villages, had romantic gondola rides in Venice, vineyard hopping in Tuscany, shopping spree's in Milan and dined the best restaurants in Florence. Every city was like a scene from some romantic movie, each destination we went to had the perfect setting and backdrop for the picturesque proposal. But still it didn't happen. We were on the last leg of our trip and en route to Lake Como. As we approached our lake-side villa by boat and coasting through the most romantic lake in the world, I thought to myself that it's definitely going down here. Our view from the villa was breathtaking, the lake, the mountains and the swiss alps all in one sight from our balcony.

On our last day at Lake Como we then visited Villa Del Balbianello - where locals have said is the most beautiful place in Lake Como. They were absolutely right! The views were belissima, the gardens were lush and the architecture was rustic and gorgeous. We then were at the highest point of the villa overlooking the lake and nestled under an archway surrounded by greenery. I was completely nauseous at this point and my heart was about to pop out of my chest, he gave his camera to a nearby stranger and walked back over to me. He reached into his pockets and pulled out.................................

His sunglasses. I was in complete disarray and wanted to leave immediately. I had given up on the proposal and I already had it set in my mind that it wasn't going to happen on our vacation. On the way back to our villa for dinner the thought of the missed opportunity kept relaying back in my head. It kept bothering me throughout the night and I was for sure that it was just going to happen somehow back in New York. Until we went back to our villa, the lights were low, the candles were lit, the sky full of starts, and our balcony doors were open to the most picturesque view of Lake Como. I opened up the sheets to go to climb into bed, and there it was, a ring box. He opened it up and asked me to be his wifey! In a very Eugene-fashion he caught me off guard and surprised me in a way that only he can. He knew how to get the most out of me and he did. So many emotions at the same time... I initially burst out roaring with laughter because it was completely unexpected, and 5 minutes later a stream of tears fell down my face of pure happiness as I repeatedly uttered "Is this for real?!" I was overjoyed, and couldn't believe this day has finally come. That moment was truly unforgettable. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Lake Como will always be a special place for us. 

-Janine

Check out more of our Italy trip on Instagram #janinegeneitaly