Jamie and Richard

How we met: The last weekend before school started back up at Florida State University in August 2011, I traveled from Tallahassee, FL to Panama City Beach, where one of my good friends had a friend with a beach house. I couldn’t turn down a last hurrah of the summer, even if I hadn’t met the boy whose house where we’d be staying!

crabAfter being introduced to a somewhat shy Richard, the small group of us spent the weekend by the pool, on the boat in the lagoon catching blue crabs, or on the beach in beautiful gulf waters. Meeting Richard definitely meant our friend group was growing, but I didn’t think much more at the time. Little did I know Richard already had his eye on me.

Over the next few months throughout football season, Richard and our friends and I crossed paths a lot and it started to become clear that Richard was interested. At first I was reluctant! But he knew better and we finally starting dating in November. It has been an adventure since then! We’ve traveled a lot, eaten a lot of good food, and made one huge move together to Washington, DC, where we’ve lived since May 2013.

How he asked: Richard and I started planning my first trip to Europe together early in 2014. Slowly the details came together, a week-long stay in a flat in the 7th arrondissment gallivanting around the city of lights seeing as much as we could of Paris seemed magical.

I thought there was a chance of a proposal during our stay, and my only thought would that it could possibly happen during our trip to the Eiffel Tower on our first day. When there was no dropping to one knee and no scary almost-dropping of the ring off the side of the tower that night, I figured it wouldn’t happen the rest of the week and my hunch had been wrong.

The next day, as we walked around the Tuilieries garden after visiting the Louvre, Richard and I saw the Grande Roue de Paris- a massive ferris wheel with what had to be stunning views of the whole city. We wouldn’t normally have the idea to go on a ferris wheel (we weren’t at a carnival, were we?) but… when in Paris!

That night after dinner at a cute cafe in Le Marais, we got to the ferris wheel just before it closed. It was late and not too many people were around, which was quite relaxing. We entered the little ferris wheel car and I immediately stuck my zoom lens out of the side, in my own little world, snapping shots of the festively lit Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and the expansive city skyline.

towerNot before we even reached the very top on our first time around, Richard grabbed my hand and asked if he could have a kiss. I leaned over and as I did, he whispered in my ear, “Will you marry me?”

In true Jamie fashion, my first response was, “Are you serious?!” as I began to burst into tears, not even interested in a ring while hugging Richard. Eventually I calmed down enough to exclaim, “Yes!” and looked down at the ring. It was beautiful and I started crying more as he put it on my finger.

Suddenly, the ferris wheel ride was over, and I don’t remember any of the rest of it as I tried (and failed) to remain composed. We exited the car and I held it together long enough to have some passers by snap a photo of us in front of what is now a very special spot for us.

We walked and talked (and I cried more) all the way to the Eiffel tower before moseying back to our flat, excited to let our friends and family know the good news, grateful that they were 6 hours behind us and that it wasn’t the middle of the night like it was for us!

The rest of the week in Paris was a dream and I am so thankful for the time we had together there as a newly engaged couple. Richard and I are so happy and cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together!

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