Lyndsey and Nicholas

Where to Propose in Lake Champlain Islands, Vermont

How We Met

Nick and I went to the same small high school in upstate New York. Despite having several classes together over the years and passing each other in the halls, the first true conversation I remember us having was during gym class the fall of senior year. I was always very studious and part of a small, close knit group of equally academically focused friends. Nick, on the other hand, was more interested in coming to school to have fun and make people laugh. This goal seemed to be at its peak junior year, when Nicholas took a video production project to the next level by choosing to wear various crazy outfits- ranging from a ballerina to Edward Cullen- to school each week in order to elicit reactions from students, teachers, and administrators alike. Nick certainly seemed eccentric, but in an amusing and likable way. He got along with everyone and was voted our class Homecoming King. So while I knew who he was, there wasn’t any occasion where we really talked until that day in P.E senior year. We were outside on the ropes course, and I remember trying to distract myself from a slight fear of heights.

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Nick was joking around with a friend, and joining the conversation seemed to be the perfect distraction. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but the conversation lasted for the rest of class and as we walked inside. I remember wondering why I hadn’t talked to him before and was eager to see him in class the next day. Weeks passed, and we continued to talk during P.E and the other class we had together- AP Biology. We also started texting occasionally after school. At this point, Nick was dating someone else, and I started to secretly wish he wasn’t. They soon broke up, and we began to talk even more. I hadn’t yet let on to my friends how much I liked him, so when we starting seeing each other outside of school and officially dating a few weeks later, most people were surprised. Given our completely opposing interests and personalities, we certainly seemed to be an unlikely match and most probably didn’t think we’d last long. However, as someone who was always more on the serious side and very focused on doing the right things, getting the best grades, etc., Nick’s easygoing, light-hearted demeanor was so refreshing to me. We continued to date senior year, stayed together through college, and we both moved back to our hometown after graduation to find jobs. What started out as casual high school dating has grown into the strongest, most important, and best relationship in my life.

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How He Asked

It was the end of August, and Nick had one last summer trip planned for us. As a teacher, the end of summer is usually a time of mixed emotions- while I was excited to meet my new group of students, I was also a little bummed that the carefree days of lounging in the sun would soon be coming to an end. So, I figured Nick had planned the trip at this time to make sure I really enjoyed those last few days. However, that was about all I knew- Nick had mentioned the trip months ahead of time but told me he wanted it to be a surprise. I had no idea where we were going or what we would be doing, but part of me wondered if there was more to the trip than just simply a farewell to summer. We come from more traditional families, so up until this point, the only trips we had taken had been with parents and siblings in tow; This was the first time we were going away just the two of us. We hit the road Friday morning, and Nick continued to be very secretive.

He memorized the directions beforehand, so there wasn’t a GPS to give me any hints regarding where we were headed. I told myself to just enjoy the trip and not try to figure everything out ahead of time. We spent several hours driving on a beautiful sunny day, talking and listening to the radio, until Nick said we were getting close to our destination. I looked around, but still had no clue where we were. We drove on a bridge over a large body of shimmering blue water and I saw a sign saying “Welcome to Vermont.”. After a few more minutes of driving through what seemed like an ordinary small, quiet town, I noticed that the water seemed to now be on the other side of us. When I asked Nick about this, he smiled and told me we were on the Lake Champlain Islands. I had never been to Vermont before and didn’t know much about Lake Champlain, but the idea of a weekend getaway to an idyllic island seemed perfect to me. I became more excited as we finally made it to the place where we were staying. Nick had found an adorable little cottage with a red door right on the water.

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The trip was off to a great start, and I was eager to find out what else Nick had planned. It had taken us a bit longer than expected to get there, so we spent Friday night in the cottage. Nick made spaghetti and homemade meatballs and we watched the sunset over the water. He told me to be ready for the day to come because he had a full day planned. The next morning when I woke up, Nick was already making me breakfast. It seemed like he had carefully planned every aspect of the trip, right down to the groceries he brought, because he was making my favorite foods. For breakfast he made me french toast topped with sliced strawberries, mini chocolate chips, drizzled peanut butter, and whipped cream, along with a latte he made using the espresso maker he brought from home (Yes- I have a bit of a sweet tooth haha!).

We ate our breakfast on the back deck looking out at the water, and Nick told me what he had planned for the day. We had recently picked up a new hobby of cycling together, and we brought our bikes with us. Nick wanted to first go for a ride together, since the island was known for its picturesque trails. Then, he figured in the afternoon we could rent a canoe to go out on the water and end the day by going out for a nice dinner. He told me he wanted time before we left for dinner to take pictures at sunset.

The day was wonderful- one of the best I’ve ever had. We had a relaxing, leisurely morning and afternoon spent outside biking and canoeing- enjoying the sunshine, picturesque scenery, and of course, each other’s company. When we got back to the cottage to get ready for dinner, I felt truly content and couldn’t imagine how the day could get any better. However, a small part of me wondered if this would be the time when Nick would pop the question. We had been dating for nearly 6 years, and we had talked about our future on several occasions. We definitely both wanted to be together, but were young and I didn’t know for sure if this would be the moment. As I was getting ready in the bathroom downstairs, I peeked outside at Nick sitting on the back deck. I thought to myself, if it’s going to happen soon, he should be looking nervous, right? Maybe pacing, muttering under his breath preparing what he wanted to say?

However, I saw him sitting down looking just as he normally did- calm, happy, and at ease. I told myself again to not overthink and just enjoy the weekend that Nick had so thoughtfully planned, without creating expectations. But being my usual, over-thinking self, I allowed myself one more analytical moment. We were both dressed and ready to head outside, and I stole a quick glance over at Nick. I focused mainly at his pockets, searching for a sign of a ring, but I saw nothing. Yet again, I tried to silence my inner dialogue of questioning. We walked down a set of wooden stairs to a private spot on the rocky coast of the lake, just as the sun was about to set. The water was clear and skill, and the sky was filled with lovely shades of yellow, purple, and pink.

Nick had brought a tripod to take some pictures with the sunset and the water in the background. He set the timer, came over to me, and placed his arm around my shoulder as the camera went off. Then, he set the camera up for another picture. This time, however, he took his time walking over and stopped facing me. All of a sudden, his demeanor seemed to change and he appeared to be nervous for the first time all weekend. He talked about the wonderful day we had and how much he wanted to keep surprising me with special moments and time together for the rest of our lives. He said some other heartfelt things too, but at that point I was getting nervous myself and can only partially remember it- I couldn’t believe it was happening! After a moment, he took my hand, and knelt down on one knee on the gravely coast.

Smiling up at me, he pulled out the ring box that he had carefully hidden in the side of his sock, and asked me to marry him. I immediately said yes, feeling overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude and thinking..How lucky am I to be able to say yes to spending the rest of my life with not only my very best friend, but one of the most thoughtful, caring men I know? The day had already been amazing, but now it was completely perfect.

I’ve heard some really great proposal stories, but mine is my favorite! It’s a perfect representation of how amazingly thoughtful my fiance is. I feel so blessed to have found my perfect life partner, and I can’t wait to become his wife in 144 days!

Special Thanks

Nick LoPiccolo