Loek and I got engaged in April while I was in Holland. We had talked about wanting to be engaged before I made the big move across the ocean, so I had an inkling it was coming. Before I left, both Loek and my mom were acting a little suspicious. I spent the entire time in Holland waiting for it to happen.
On Saturday the 9th, we decided to go to the Keukenhof. The Keukenhof is this huge flower park in Lisse, the town where Loek grew up. It is a popular tourist attraction in Holland that is only open from the beginning of April until Mid May; when the flowers are blooming of course. (Seriously, it is beautiful.) It is also the most crowded of any place I went in the Netherlands. In my mind when we were traveling to the Leiden Train Station where you catch the bus to the Keukenhof, I thought that this would be the perfect place for Loek to propose. Then I saw the crowds. For those of you who have actually known me for a long time should know that I have no problem with being the center of attention, but I am very much a private person, unless you know me very well. So the thought of Loek proposing in front of all these strangers, made me very nervous. But still, the Keukenhof is beautiful. We spent about 4 hours walking around the park, I ended up lobster red!
Flowers at the Keukenhof
After we finished looking at everything, Loek announced that it was time to leave. Leave! Maybe I was wrong, it doesn’t happen often. Loek then informed me that he wanted to show me more of Lisse. We had already been there earlier in the week to see his parents, but had really only seen the street where their house is. Loek took me up the street to the opening of the forest. The trees were pretty spaced out and while I have an obsession with trees, after the beauty of the Keukenhof, this forest was slightly disappointing. After about 5 minutes, we came to a clearing where there was a quaint little farm, complete with ponies and two giant pigs. I remember thinking to myself at the moment we came upon it, that it was an odd place for a farm to be, in the middle of the wood. We walked a few minutes more and suddenly standing in front of us was a small castle. Kastel Keukenhof and we had the grounds all to ourselves. Loek suggested that we sit and rest on a bench for awhile. It was there that he got down on one knee and proposed. That’s right at a castle! Apparently, I asked Loek if he was serious. It all happened really fast, but was the best moment of my life thus far.
It seems that, Loek and my mom had been conspiring because he had asked her permission to ask for my hand. A few weeks before I left for Holland, my mom and I went ring shopping just for fun. I had seen the perfect ring and my mom had apparently taken a picture of it and sent it to Loek. My mom went back, got it and sent it to him. I mean he paid her of course. Now let’s talk about this ring.It is a cushion cut peridot, my birthstone, surrounded by small diamonds. It is unique enough that I love it, but also not very ostentatious. Which is good because, the Dutch are not very ostentatious. I love it. And, it didn’t break the bank.
I am very excited to be getting married to quite possibly the sweetest man on the planet who I know loves me, . Loek and I have not started wedding planning yet, because we have so many other things in the immediate future to figure out. All I know is that it will be taking place in Holland, and I promise to keep you updated on the plans as they unfold.