The Best Day Ever

I want to tell you all about the best day ever. Do you have a best day ever? A day when everything, in spite of all odds, somehow turns out perfectly? My best day ever is the day Mr. C proposed to me. And it wasn’t just about being engaged, it was everything else in the universe aligning to make the most amazing, absolutely perfect day.

But first, let’s start at the beginning.

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One day last February I was home from work and wistfully scrolling through images of Versailles on my computer. I was showing Mr. C some images and talking about how much I wanted to return to Paris. I was trying to convince him that we should visit Paris in November when I knew we’d have a week off for Thanksgiving break. Suddenly Mr. C bent down beside me. He had a puckish twinkle in his eyes. “What if we went to Paris for spring break?” My heart stopped. I stared at him for a moment. Mind you, spring break was only around four weeks away at this point. The idea of hopping on a plane and making a spontaneous trip to Paris was both exhilarating and terrifying. Really only terrifying in a very mundane adult sort of way: How much would it cost? Where would we stay? Can we really do this? Should I feel guilty about spending this money (when I really need a new car…)?

Now, to be fair, it’s a little cheaper for us to travel than for most people. My dad is a pilot for Delta Airlines and I fly standby for a discount. The catch is that I only get on a plane if and when there is an open seat. I have higher priority than Mr. C, who flies on a buddy pass. Buddy passes are like the dripping pond scum of the airline world. Buddy passes are practically useless these days if you don’t want to spend hours or even days waiting in the airport to fly somewhere. This makes planning vacations very stressful. So while flying to Paris would be relatively inexpensive, we also might never end up in Paris—or we could end up in Paris a day or two behind schedule. This in turn makes it nearly impossible to make hotel reservations. It is always a gamble.

I spent the rest of the night thinking it over. A few months earlier Mr. C and I had had “the talk.” You know, the one where you talk about getting married. We’d also recently been scouring both the internet and local antique malls for the perfect antique engagement ring. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to go. The idea was taking a deeply rooted hold in my mind. I could be in Paris in a few weeks! I could see Versailles again! I was giddy with excitement. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night.

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In a few short weeks we were off to Paris. It was our first international trip together and Mr. C’s first international trip ever! Due to some airline miracle we had zero problems getting there and we arrived at Charles-de-Gaulle, the most ill-conceived airport in the world, on March 12th. I had checked and rechecked and triple checked the Paris weather for weeks. I felt like an outdoor wedding bride as I obsessed over weather forecasts. Paris is a walking city. You spend a lot of time outside, especially on the grounds of Versailles and the Petit Trianon. A few days of bad weather could make the whole trip quite miserable. But the weather was perfect. It was a little humid and chilly, but it did not rain. The sun was shining. The sky was blue. The cherry blossoms were in bloom. It was Paris in (almost) springtime.

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And then it started. When would he propose? I mean, he was going to propose, right? We were in Paris, the most romantic city in the world. If it wasn’t happening there, then it wasn’t happening. But it didn’t happen at the top of the Eiffel Tower. It didn’t happen on a sunset boat cruise on the Seine. It didn’t happen on the Champs Elysees as I greedily consumed my Ladurée macarons, or at the Louvre, or in the lovely Jardin de Tuileries. I was beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, I had gotten my hopes up about nothing. Maybe Mr. C really did just want to go to Paris for the fun of it. I started to feel a little bit silly.

On our last full day in Paris, we visited Versailles. It was my second time at Versailles and I came prepared. I had read not one, but two different biographies about Marie Antoinette. I read a book specifically about the history Versailles. I also somehow convinced myself that I needed a giant Versailles coffee table book which I studied carefully for days. As soon as we made the decision to go to Paris I booked a special tour of the private apartments of Louis XV and Louis XVI. They only offer these tours to prearranged groups who have purchased tickets in advance. I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity! In fact, if you have a chance to go, make sure to check the Versailles website to see what tours they are offering. You get to see parts of the palace that are inaccessible to other visitors.

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The tours were to begin at 9:00 am, but we were running a little behind schedule. I remember sitting on the train from Paris to Versailles and staring at my watch, silently sweating despite the chilly morning air. We weren’t going to make it. We’d never get there in time. When the train finally stopped at the station we sprinted off for the palace. I will forever remember the morning that we ran halfway across the town so that we would not miss a tour of Versailles. Mr. C was running behind me laughing, “We’ll make it! We’ll make it!” Turns out we burned off those buttery morning croissant calories for nothing! The main palace gates didn’t even open until 9:00 am and the tours started 30 minutes afterwards. We made it in time after all!

The tour began and as I was floating through the glowing, gilded rooms of the private apartments, I knew it was an awesome day. Maybe the best day ever. Surrounded by history, touring the palace with my very best friend beside me–it was absolute heaven. It was also a beautiful, uncharacteristically warm day, the nicest weather we’d seen all week. We even had the rare opportunity of seeing the royal opera which is often closed for performances. Everything was perfect.

After the tour I wanted to view the rest of the palace, but it was packed with tour groups who arrived via bus in droves for a quick morning visit. Instead we decided we would visit the Petit Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet before the crowds shifted out into the gardens.

E-5

On our way to the Petit Trianon, out in the parterre near the Fountain of Latona, I noticed a young couple trying to take a “long arm” picture of themselves and I offered to take the photo for them. Mr. C then asked if they wouldn’t mind taking a picture for us. Actually he said, “Could you take a couple of pictures?” I passed my point-and-shoot camera over and moved into position beside Mr. C. Suddenly he got down on one knee and pulled a ring box from his pocket. I froze. Everything suddenly felt like it was moving in slow motion. I keep thinking, “is this really happening?” I mean, I knew it could happen, I thought it might, but it really was happening. Mr. C opened the box and inside was a gorgeous antique ring, so delicate, sparkling like mad in the morning sunlight. I can’t really remember what he said, I was too shocked. The girl with my camera was snapping away, a crowd of French school children were cheering. Everything was very surreal. We were at Versailles and it was the most perfect day and the man I loved was on one knee with a delicate, elfin antique ring presented before me. I said yes.

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E-6

Then it was suddenly very awkward. What had just happened? There’s a sort of strange, quiet moment afterwards where the enormity of the moment begins to seep into your consciousness. We embraced, he slipped the ring on my finger. I thanked our makeshift photographer profusely (she even took a bit of video, with zero prompting from us!)

We spent the next 20 minutes walking through the gardens leading to the Petit Trianon. I was still in a daze. I couldn’t believe what had just happened and I couldn’t keep my eyes off my gorgeous new ring! Finally I got my senses together and we rented bikes and rode around the gardens, visited Marie Antoinette’s hamlet and the Petit Trianon. It was my first time visiting the Queen’s Hamlet (it was closed the first time I was at Versailles), so being there was exhilarating. I’ve already shared my intense love for the Queen’s Hamlet in a wedding inspiration post, but I have to reiterate what a special and magical place it is. Please visit it if you are ever at Versailles! We also rode the bikes around the entire canal. It took us a good 30 minutes or more, but it was one of my favorite parts of the day.

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Before I knew it, it was already two o’clock and we had yet to eat lunch! Luckily we were able to grab a table at a restaurant located on the grounds of the palace. We sat outside near the waters of the canal. It was just another puzzle piece in our perfect day!

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To spend such a magical day in Paris, at Versailles with the love of my life, and to get engaged in a place with so much history—I really have no words for it. I was 100% happy and content through and through. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. It’s now filed away into my extremely happy, peaceful memories which I draw strength and happiness from when times are bad. Which is silly because life is actually really, really amazing.

And that was my best day ever.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Camel

Location:
Athens, GA
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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comments

  1. Member
    shaynapunim 654 posts, Busy bee @ 6:17 am

    Your best day ever sounds PERFECT. :D

  2. Member
    dlbaqua 837 posts, Busy bee @ 6:21 am

    What a sweet, sweet story!
    Congratulations and beautiful ring, too!

  3. Member
    mssquirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 6:39 am

    Wow! I love this. Talk about everything you love colliding into one day! Also, I am so glad you guys made it okay…my dad is also a Delta pilot so I completely feel your pain about being a non-rev. I loved your dripping pond scum reference haha. We hardly even bother with buddy passes anymore…

  4. Member
    lealorali 4827 posts, Honey bee @ 6:51 am

    I am crying. Bawling. On my hall duty. Omg.

  5. Member
    LissaBeans 340 posts, Helper bee @ 6:56 am

    I love this, Miss Camel! The way you describe everything really makes me feel like I was right at Versailles with you – although your perfect day probably wouldn’t have been so perfect if some random girl from the Internet was tagging along :) what a wonderful story!

  6. Member
    ItalianTraveler 57 posts, Worker bee @ 7:01 am

    Miss Camel, you are one lucky girl!!!! I can just image it!! I have been to Versailles myself, I even lived in France for 3 months, and it is my favorite place on earth. I even went back to Paris after I was engaged to see old friends. I would have loved to visit Versaille again, but I didn’t have the time (plus, it definitely would have been more special if my fiancee/now husband had been with me!). My husband’s brother-in-law even tried to convince him to follow me to Paris and propose at the Eiffel Tower!! But he decided to do it before then :-) I feel connected to you with your love of Paris and Versailles that matches my own, and love reading your post! Best of luck to you and Mr. Camel!

  7. Member
    raisedonrobbery 1059 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:15 am

    This is seriously like a fairy tale. Probably the most cutest proposal EVER! I was grinning ear to ear while I read your story!

  8. Member
    Perfpersnickety 44 posts, Newbee @ 7:35 am

    Again you have managed to bring tears to my eyes. Your best day ever was truly the best day ever. I am so glad all stars aligned for you making your day even more special. I love you writing style and find your blog posts extremely delightful to read during a hectic day at the office. thank you for sharing!

  9. Member
    LondonLover 41 posts, Newbee @ 7:43 am

    Beautiful! My wedding theme is Versailles so I loved reading this. Can’t wait to read more about your journey, congratulations!

  10. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:47 am

    That is truly the best day ever. What a wonderful story!

  11. Member
    mswallaby 2061 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:56 am

    AWwww!!! How romantic! I am in love with Paris too. You two sound just like Mr. W and I – he proposed in New York when we were on a trip there for New Year’s, and I kept thinking at each place – ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza, at the top of the Empire State Building, at midnight on New Year’s – is this going to happen? And when it did happen I was still surprised and so, so happy :)

  12. Member
    mrsea 22 posts, Newbee @ 8:03 am

    Such a beautiful story Miss Camel! You’re such a great writer. Gave me goosebumps :) Thanks for sharing!

  13. Member
    debeachgirl 742 posts, Busy bee @ 8:10 am

    What an amazing day and story. And how perfect that you asked them if they need a photo taken, just in time for them to return the favor.

  14. Member
    Miss Ariel 83 posts, Worker bee @ 8:26 am

    This sounds like such an amazing day Miss Camel. The whole story just feels so magical. And I absolutely love the photo of your ring witb all the macaroons.

  15. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:38 am

    OMG. What a perfect engagement story that’ll make your daughters and granddaughters swoon with jealousy.

  16. Member
    MissCanyon 212 posts, Helper bee @ 9:38 am

    Best. Proposal. Ever!!!! What a great story.

  17. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:39 am

    That really does sound like the best day ever. Now you’re making me want to go to Paris again!

  18. Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 10:26 am

    awww im smiling as i read this. versailles is the perfect place for a proposal – and how suave of him to wait until he could get pictures! i love that it was private and public at the same time, sorta.

  19. Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 11:22 am

    That is such a great story! I love that it was special for you and personal, and those macarons are making me drool!

  20. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 12:05 pm

    I don’t even know where to start with this. First of all, you look amazing in these photos. I love your cardigan and dress, I love the coloring of everything, I love how happy you look. All of it. Awesome photos for an awesome day. Second of all, I LOVE that ‘strangers’ were involved and that the school children were nearby reacting! Third of all, I love how you wrote this. I really felt the romantic and sweet vibe from everything. Yay, Mrs. Camel! I’m so happy for you and Mr. C! :)

  21. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 12:05 pm

    Ahhh, correction: MISS* Camel! I swear I know the difference!

  22. Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 1:27 pm

    I almost cried. You weren’t kidding. It sounds like the absolute perfect day.

    (Did he plan to ask some random people to take pictures or was that spur of the moment?)

  23. Member
    Scc6a 961 posts, Busy bee @ 1:57 pm

    Awww this brought tears to my eyes! Paris is such a special place to me, too — my husband proposed in London and the next day we went to Paris for what he dubbed our “engagemoon,” so I totally understand how magical it is to be in the city and at Versailles in the glow of a new engagement. I love that you got photos of the big moment too! So amazing :-)

  24. Member
    Miss Care Bear 193 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:39 pm

    I loved everything about this post. From the lovely Laduree Macarons to the smile on your face. I love Paris too, and I loved the way you told the story. What I love most is that Mr. C thought to get pictures for posterity! I really wish I had photos of my proposal in action, though we were alone in a hotel room at the time, so it might have been creepy to have somebody randomly snapping away :)

    Vive l’amour, mademoiselle chameau :)

  25. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:25 pm

    It sounds glorious! what a great story Camel, Mr. C got a real Home run there.

  26. Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 5:06 pm

    @Miss Blue Whale: It was totally random! I always try to be a good Samaritan and ask to help traveling couples get a non-”long arm” photograph and I guess it finally paid off!

    @Miss Care Bear: Aw thank you! I’m so surprised how many people were moved by this entry. I’m glad I could relive this day by writing it all out though, especially when it is a tough time of year (with my students in the middle of big state testing).

    @Scc6a: “The glow of new a engagement” — that is such an awesome way to describe and it and SO true. Unfortunately we went home the next day but I was able to keep on glowing for the next few weeks!

  27. Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 5:14 pm

    @StephK527: Thank you, thank you!! The dress is kind of weird but I just had to wear something cute and fun for the day. It has little Eiffel Towers and French cafes all over it. The cardigan is from Target and I bought it when I was obsessed with that mint color. What am I saying? I’m STILL obsessed with the mint color. I can’t wait for spring to pull it back out of the closet!

    @LondonLover: Yay another Versailles lover! When is your wedding? I’d love to see your inspiration or any projects you’ve completed!

    @Miss Squirrel: Woo hoo! Delta kids in the house! What does your dad fly? And yeah, we gave up on buddy passes except for international travel. Mr. C just got a Sky Miles credit card so we can start buying him tickets with me flying nonrev.

    @Perfpersnickety: I’m so glad you liked it! But I didn’t mean to make anyone cry! Thank you for your comment, stuff like this totally makes my day.

    @ItalianTraveler: Versailles is seriously one of the coolest places on earth, and I feel like I’ve been a lot of different places. I’m glad you love it too!

  28. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 8:28 pm

    I love it! I have been before, and I know the feeling that it gives you. To be there with your love and officially declare commitment to each other must’ve been magical.

  29. Member
    bracelet 1419 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:36 pm

    Awwww… wow!

  30. Member
    cicijapan 263 posts, Helper bee @ 5:27 pm

    Gorgeous pic! I love the ring in the macaroons. I also had a random person photograph the proposal – its so lucky!

  31. Member
    krislynn_sd 72 posts, Worker bee @ 7:28 am

    Ms. Camel I seriously just cried! How amazing and beautiful!

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