So … last summer (2011) we went to visit my parents on the Amalfi Coast on their whirlwind trip of Europe [DETAIL: Best Trip Ever!].  I was just going to finish my third year of med school, so we planned a nice week with my family and a couple days at the end in Rome to have some alone time and also visit some of Rob’s friends.

As some of you know, Rob is not known for his ability to keep a surprise – at Christmas you’ll often know what is in your present before you take the wrapping off [CORRECTION: I did keep secret Tom’s surprise 30th birthday in Woodstock so I’m improving!] – and along this vein about four months before heading to Italia, after a night out with friends [DETAIL: and a few cocktails] he asked:

“If I were to ask you to marry me while we are in Rome, what would you say?”

Well, my answer was obvious – at the time we’d basically been living together for three years and had a dog together – but the next morning I asked:

“Can you please not ask me to marry you in front of my parents” to which he replied “Well, we do have two nights in Rome, and I have a great restaurant reservation for our last night.” [CORRECTION: I didn’t give it away that obviously.  A few days later I suggested that we spend four more days in Italy as Rome was Tom’s favorite city in the world and I wanted to experience it with him.]

As such, now not only did I know that he was gonna pop the question, I knew the exact day [CORRECTION: I don’t think I was that obvious].

So, after an awesome week with my parents and brother in Praiano we hopped on a train from Naples to Rome, and the second we sat down my stomach knotted up, as it tends to do during nervous occasions (anatomy exam, seeing my first patient, getting engaged, etc.).  I tried to calm my nerves with some prosecco to no avail, and I knew we were going to have a problem.  Italy is my favorite country on earth, and my favorite cuisine, and I was going to be angry if for the next three days I couldn’t gorge myself.  [DETAIL: After an amazing week in Spain this year tasting wine throughout Rioja, I’ve converted Tom into a lover of Spain as well!]

After settling into our hotel we headed out to Campo dei Fiori to meet some friends for dinner, though they ended up getting derailed and couldn’t show up [DETAIL: Their apartment got broken into and they had to deal with the Italian police].  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat much, so I ordered soup and bresaola salad (my favorite) and could barely get it down.  The wine went down fine though [DETAIL: too much wine], so as we headed home to our hotel along the Tiber River (ironically directly across from the Vatican) I stopped walking and hopped up on the ledge above the river. [DETAIL: The photo on the home page is the exact location where the proposal occurred.]

I told Rob “Ok, I am not going to go through the next three days not being able to eat, so you have 5 seconds to ask me, or I am going to ask you.”

Rob immediately got teary eyed [CORRECTION: I’m emotional so I cried like a baby], got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  My answer is obvious, and then we headed back to the hotel.  [DETAIL: We had been walking all day and I had such bad blisters that I forced Tom to take a cab much to his dismay as he loves “strolling.”]  In the hotel Rob asked them to bring up a bottle of Champagne [DETAIL: more prosecco.]  We got to the room and he came over to me, got down on a knee again and pulled out a nice light blue Tiffany box to give me a ring.  [DETAIL: I was crying … again]

I responded, however, “I’m not gonna be the girl in this, so I am only going to accept that if you accept something from me.”

I then pulled out a dirty sock from the clothes I had worn earlier in the day and handed it to him.  [DETAIL: It’s normal for Tom to wrap presents in odd materials like newspaper, magazines, printing paper or any other similar household product.]  At first he laughed, and then a small light blue Tiffany bag fell out of the dirty sock, and he realized that (surprise) I had been prepared.  He proceeded to cry as if he had just won Wheel of Fortune [CORRECTION: I was a mess], and while I finished my champagne and headed to bed (it was 2:00 AM at this point) Rob stayed up for another hour [CORRECTION: 5 hours] calling just about everyone he could think of to the delight of Vodafone.