This is the story of our engagement (by Jason)...

After a fantastic 9 months of travelling around the world, we saved the best for last. Our final destination was Slovenia. We camped in its capital, Ljubljana, for a couple of days and then on May 26th, 2008, we headed north by bus for a day trip to the beautiful lakeside town of Bled. Bled is nestled in the foothills of the Alps. A cliffside castle overlooks the small lake and there is a church nestled on an island in the middle of it. The scene was beautiful!

Nicole had suggested that we bring a picnic lunch to eat by the lake, which I of course thought was a great idea. We found a nice spot on the grass and then, fortunately for me, Nicole had to go find a washroom. Equally lucky, it took her a good 15 minutes to find one. This gave me plenty of time to make the ring (of course I didn't bring one on the trip and I had no chance to buy one). I searched around for a nice little flower and the best I could find was a buttercup. There were many, so I was able to play around with them to see what I could do with it. Their stems were too thin, so I found a plant with a thicker stem and tied the stem into a reef knot to the size of a ring. I then attached the buttercup. It was perfect. I hid the ring in my bag, unpacked lunch, and Nicole was none the wiser when she returned.

We enjoyed a nice lunch with the company of two ducks. The male duck ran off at one point to scare off a couple of other Mallards and then flew right back in front of us, always protecting his girl by being between us and her. It was quite cute. After a while, Nicole wanted to carry on for our walk around the lake. Normally, I would be the one urging to carry on, but not this time. I wanted to sit a little longer. Eventually, I built up the nerve and rose to one knee, starting with "so..." and ending with "will you marry me." She said yes! It was very nice.

After walking around the lake, we ate dinner at a nice restaurant in town. We ended up talking with a few other patrons and had to let slip that we just got engaged. An older couple even bought us each a congratulatory glass of blueberry ice wine for dessert. Most people at home weren't surprised that I asked Nicole while on the trip but I'm glad that I was still able to surprise her. Afterwards, we realized that Slovenia even has "love" in its name. Perfect.