So as I'm sure all of you have heard by now, and I'm also pretty sure it's no surprise that me and Nick are engaged as of March 14th, 2009. He came to visit on the 13th, and about 24 hours later, I had a ring on my finger. It's absolutely beautiful and more than I ever could have asked for. I can't get an entirely clear picture of it, but I tried my best.
Anyways, after walking across the river and up about a million stairs, we reached Piazza di Michelangelo, which is where it happened. We were up there for probably 2 hours just walking around and relaxing and admiring the view. Then when we were sitting in this cute little alcove with fishies, and people started to dwindle away, and the church bells started to ring, he popped the question. I wasn't even sure if it was real at first because we always talk about it, but then he pulled out the ring, and my heart almost jumped out of my chest. I wanted to cry, and can't even remember if I did I not, because I was trying to remind myself to breathe. Everything that I've ever hoped and wished for came true in about 30 seconds. The chunk that was missing from my life was filled the second that Nick walked into it.
Traci Lynn Colby is going to be my new name. :o)
Our time in Italy was a blast, but I found my favorite place in the whole world, and that is Ireland. It was kind of a long journey to get there seeing that we had a 4 hour layover in Scotland, which turned out to be one of the most fun times we'd ever had together. We had a 4 hour layover and somehow still managed to almost miss our flight because they went and changed the gate without announcing it. I got this magazine there that came with a bag and a free candy bar and lotto tickets. Nick and I were thrilled to see that we could have possible won money because we got "3 kangaroos". All we had to do was call a number to see how much money we won. That should have been a warning signal right there, but us caught up in excitement called the number right away that was charging us about 1.10 POUNDS per minute, and by the time we got to the end of the 6 minute call, the kangaroos were the last thing to be announced only to show that we had won 10 pounds. hahaha As if we didnt lose enough money, we tried to win it all back by playing slot machines in the airport.
Needless to say, 10 pounds poorer, we arrived to Dublin in one piece. I was thrilled the second we stepped foot into the cab because not only was the steering wheel on the other side of the car, but our driver had the BEST Irish accent I have ever heard. We couldn't see too much at night, but he dropped us off at Maeve's school and she met us at the entrance. After welcoming hugs, congratulations, and catching up in her room for hours, we went to sleep. When we woke up, we grabbed sandwiches at her little school cafe and a much missed STARBUCKS. haha quote from Maeve. "They have sandwiches. Sandwiches are delicious. I've never had one here, but just in general". I love her. We ate them outside in this little courtyard and were pretty amused by a bird that we named Simon for about 20 minutes. When we got back to her room and were trying to decide what to do, we watched this animal show that had to be the most depressing thing ever allowed on air. Like every story about an animal, ended terribly. I was in tears at one point.
Nick and I packed up our stuff from Maeves and took a bus into the city center of Dublin where we then had to navigate our way to our hotel. I'm so proud of myself for be able to use a map. ha. We checked in, and then went exploring. We found the cutest park. It was soooo beautiful. It had a huge pond and a bridge and rocks and trees and fountains and gazebos everywhere. We were entertained by ducks for probably a half hour. There was one girl duck, and the rest were boys, and we stood there making up stories about them as we went along. The girl duck was me, and there was this one boy duck that never left her side, and that was Nick..then there was a really skinny one that kept sneaking up behind us, and he gave that one to Toph. The other two were Milky and Ian. But anyways, for legit 20 or 30 minutes we were going on and on and like making up scenarios for them.
We ate dinner at burger king, and then went back to our room to get ready for the night. Maeve and her three friends met us there and they came bearing gifts. Maeve is sooo sweet. She brought us champaigne, and wine, and chocolates and cookies as a congrats/birthday present! She is so cute. It was so good to see Maeve, I missed her terribly. We laughed A LOT, and sang "that's not my name" A LOT. The night was definitely interesting. Irish men are by far the worst about touching. They didn't even care that Nick was 2 feet away from me.
The next day was def. one of the best days of my life. We got on a bus and went about an hour south to Wicklow. We wanted to see Wicklow National Park which is where Holly and Gerry met in P.S. I love you, but we unfortunately only got to Wicklow Town. This was far more beautiful than I imagined. It was like the best of ALL worlds. Cute little town, right on the ocean AND in the mountains. Look behind you it's a mass of water, or look in front of you and you see miles and miles of rolling fields and mountains. This town is everything I wanted Ireland to be. I compltely plan on coming back and exploring more because I still want to see Wicklow National Park, Galway, the Blarney Stone, and so much more. Ireland is the best country that I've been thus far. I could have sat on the cliff for hours over the ocean, and staring into the mountains.
streets of Ireland
We got back, ate burger king again, and went back to our room, laughed over pictures for hours, listened to the live music downstairs, and went to sleep. Nick left at 5 A.M. in the morning, and had to leave in such a hurry that I thank God, didn't have time to cry. A few hours later, I had to get up and get a bus to the airport to leave for Rome.
I met mom and dad in the station, dropped off our stuff at the hotel, and went out to eat and then the Trevi fountain. I made a wish in it and got to throw coins over my shoulder, so I now have that too, to cross off of my bucket list. The next day we went to Vatican City which wasn't as terribly boring as I expected. Saint Peter's Basillica was really cool, and it was crazy knowing that we were liturally walking through a building full of tombs of past Pope's. We also got to see the Piate, which I am still awestruck that Michelangelo sculpted when he was 23. The sistine chapel, once we got there, wasn't at all what I expected. We had to climb up stairs, down stairs, through tunnels, through art galleries, long hallways, and lots of security, and it ended up being a very small room that didn't look like a chapel at all. The paintings were amazing and popped out at you, but for the amount of chlosterphobia I felt, I still haven't decided if it was worth it. We ate at this cute little hidden cafe, and then were so wiped out that we had to go home and nap before we went out again to see the Colluseum. That was crazy too. I didn't get to go inside, but I'm not sure that I would have liked to. It's beautiful from the outside, but I'd imagine it to be eery on the inside knowing that millions of people died in there.
We went to the cutest restaurant that night. The atmosphere is what made it fun.I loved the Italian music playing and our waiter loved his job and kept coming back to our table with a new prop every 5 minutes. He also brought us shots. The first one he gave me was cocacola, and I KNEW it didn't taste like anything. I said this to mom and dad, but when he came back i pretended like I loved it, and then he gave me another one, which sure enough, was much stronger. He thought he was hilarious. He was.
So back to Florence I am for the night, only to get up at 4 A.M. and be off to Germany. Last destination before I have seen every country of my heritage. I'm very excited. Post again in about a week :o)