The Proposal

It was a brisk Wednesday morning in Rome, Italy. Rachel and I had a busy day planned, but little did she know I had one extra thing added to the agenda! As the afternoon rolled around and our stomachs began to growl, we decided to venture into the northern part of Rome to find a little restaurant that supposedly had the best Cacio e Pepe.

Our Cacio e Pepe!

Our Cacio e Pepe!

As we walked around block after Roman block, we quickly realized that finding this place wasn’t going to be as easy as we thought. So like a true Kovaleski/Solomon I pointed to the next block and walked, unwilling to flex my Italian schooling or listen to Rachel when she insisted she saw a cafe setting up behind us. Block after block went by, circle after circle was walked until we finally found our destination, right where Rachel said it was! >.<
There we ate the most delicious meal we had on the entire trip. It is amazing how something so simple could taste so good! Afterwards, we set our sights on our next destination, the Borghese Gardens.

A quick walk and a metro ride brought us to the Borghese Gardens. We took a stroll through the paths and trails through the gardens, it was a perfect day. The sun was shining, it was warm, but not to hot, and even those pushy guys selling roses to tourists left us alone, for the most part. We took a slow walking tour of the Villa Borghese, admired the priceless works of art by Bernini, Caravaggio, Titian, and Rubens.

Villa Borghese!

Villa Borghese!

It was after we left the Villa Borghese when I started to look for “the spot.” It had to be perfect, out of the way, personal. I didn’t want a bunch of strangers taking pictures or clapping, I wanted it to be just me and Rachel. I took Rachel across the Gardens, leading her around with questions like “What’s over here? Let’s see!” only to find every spot taken. There was always a couple sitting together, someone walking their dog, or just talking on a cell phone. I began to become discouraged.

After some encouraging by Rachel, we decided to rent one of those 4-wheeled bikes and explore more of the Gardens, and we had a blast! We rented it for two hours, which we thought was more than enough time, and ended up racing back to return it in time, we had so much fun.


4 Wheeled bike!

With weak legs from pedaling so much, and out of breath we walked down the path towards Rome, that was when I saw it, the perfect spot, the perfect moment. I grabbed Rachel by the hand and led her over to a small bench on the eastern side of the Gardens, over looking Rome and the Plaza del Popolo. My heart was racing as I pulled the ring that I carried the entire trip with me out of my pocket.

“Rachel, did you have a good day today?”
“I had a wonderful day!”
“Would you like to have wonderful days with me, forever?”

We had traveled across the country, across the atlantic ocean, across Europe, and in the setting Roman sun, I asked Rachel Mendoza Dacanay to marry me.


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