Dec and Charlene
How We Met
We met when we were 18, through mutual friends in our small town. We had known of each other for years previously but never actually spoke, just some social media stalking every now and again! I plucked up the courage one day to message Charlene, pretending that I thought I saw her in a bar the night before (knowing she wasn’t there). It was an ice breaker and we got to talking from there!
How He Asked
On Thursday 22nd June, I woke Charlene up at 4:30am and asked her to go across to the bathroom, where I had put the Polaroid picture below up against the mirror during the night without her knowing. We love traveling to new places more than anything and the quote ‘Never Stop Wandering’ fit perfectly. The evening before, when Char had gone to bed, I told her I was going to do a new bit of chalkboard art for our giant chalkboard in the kitchen and it was a bit of a surprise for her. Her Thursday plan was just going to be a consisting of the gym, a doctor’s visit for some travel vaccinations for our Bali trip later in the year, and then back to work. Little did she know that I had arranged with her work (big up her boss) to have a couple of days annual leave without her knowing, as well as rearranging her vaccination appointment!
I did my best to make the Swiss flag stand out on the black chalkboard haha! The red didn’t really show through as well as I planned… But I laid out the tickets, our passports, some Swiss Francs and our new GoPro we hadn’t really used yet. Safe to say her mind was blown! Something Charlene has said to me every time we drive past Manchester Airport is ‘shall we just go and get on a plane?’ or her idea of waking up one day and being told she was going somewhere new rather than work is something she mentioned years ago to potentially be her best day ever. I obviously took note!
Switzerland is another place that has been on our list of countries to visit for a good few years, after seeing all the amazing views and lakes plastered over all the travel accounts we follow on Instagram, but with buying a house last year and traveling around Belgium in January, visiting Prague in April, then Bali and Lisbon later in 2017, we had put Switzerland on the back burner for another time. Possibly even for one of our 30th birthday presents (in 5 years). So, waking Charlene up first thing to tell her that her Dad is taking us to the airport in 3 hours certainly had her jumping up and down with excitement (literally). Surprise trip? Tick. Country she has banged on about all year? Tick.
We landed and drove to our accommodation, which I had also kept a surprise. Another of our favourite things is just being outside; we love glamping, camping, walking etc. Luckily I found Forellensee in Zweisimmen, a small fishing lake with 3 glamping pods, a bar and restaurant. This location was perfect – just a 20 minute drive from where I planned on proposing! We enjoyed a few drinks that evening, allowing the whole surprise thing set in for Charlene. I was just buzzing that the surprise element had gone to plan so far. The morning after, we stocked up on some supplies for the day and filled my backpack. Thankfully, the ring was disguised as a pair of socks at the bottom of the backpack. Out of sight. I had planned for us to visit 3 lakes in the 4 days we were there: Seebergsee, Oeschinensee and Arnensee. I told Char about the second and third, but kept Seebergsee another secret. This was my favourite one and where I wanted to propose. I came across this lake when I was swiping around Google Maps during my lunch hour at work, searching for new places to visit. It was a tough drive up to the lake, but we got there in the end, after getting over the fear of the car toppling over and down the mountain. The lake was an hour hike away from where we parked and the most scenic walk we’ve ever done.
I got a bit nervous as we got down by the lake and started making a fuss of where we were going to sit. I wanted it a little elevated so we had a nice view of the lake. Something else Charlene is passionate about is photographs; she loves capturing it all. Perfect for our memories. I asked her to stand in front of me, facing the lake, so I could get a good picture on the GoPro. This bought me some time to get the ring out the socks! As she turned round, I was on my knee with the ring box open.