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That’s Amore – Engagement Back Story and Video (Part II of II)

Almalfi CoastLet’s take a trip back in time to May 2009. On a leisurely Sunday stroll down Michigan Avenue, Ash and I found ourselves talking about our post round-the-world-trip lives. Among the obvious questions, we wondered what city we would call home. Then a round item that goes on a girl’s finger took over the circuitous conversation. Next thing I know, Ash had seemingly tricked me into a detour down Chicago’s most expensive street full of clothing, hand bags, and jewelery boutiques. There on Oak Street, Ash had designed her dream engagement ring after two hours. My mental camera took a flurry of photographs and visions of living like a pauper clouded my vision.

Our Vessel View from Positano from Harbour Bryce Showing Off His Abs

Throughout that Summer, I exchanged several emails with my Brother’s talented jeweler in the City of Seven Hills. During our Cincinnati farewell tour, I was able to sneak away for an engagement ring design meeting with Rachel. With the size four platinum setting and accompanying shiny stones created one month later, I patiently waited for the perfect round-brilliant diamond to present itself. Jeff (my brother) took a trip to inspect one potential winner in October, but it did not past muster. But in November, I smashed my piggy bank and purchased a stunning example of Earth’s toughest mineral. It has been said that once a man buys a ring, the proclivity to exchange it for a “yes!” is nearly insurmountable (seems like a fair trade). Gladly, I faced no such difficulty with the ring locked in the Franklin Savings & Loan safe deposit.

Capri's Tunnel of Love Cathy Reading the Inscription

Ash's Engagement RingEight months passed and my only route to see the finished product was a heavily guarded online photo. With the assistance of two covert collaborators (Sue, my mother and Cathy, Ashley’s lovely mom), a plan was hatched to discreetly ship the goods to Kansas then subsequently flown to Zurich, Switzerland with the Miller family. To mask Operation Taxes, all emails related to the mission were held under the subject of “Taxes.” This ensured Ashley’s prying eyes were never awakened. A white lie to throw Cathy off the scent was told when I informed her the extraordinary moment would take place in Greece. While in our villa on Italy’s Almafi Coast, I took possession of the ring and got my first look at it. I was blown away… it was precisely what Ashley desired. I couldn’t wait to pop the question!

I Think She Likes It! An Engaged Couple's Embrace

June 14th was a brilliantly sunny day along the Almafi Coast, perfect for an all day boat adventure to the island sanctuary of Capri. Once on board the 33 foot vessel, I alerted Captain Antonio and First Mate Barbara of my prearranged plan. A basket of shells was arranged with the ring box buried under the eight envelopes containing pictures with meaningful inscriptions. Barbara informed me that two hours would pass before we reached the natural rock feature, the Tunnel of Love. Nursing a few Peroni beers and my heart pounding, I did my best to absorb the beautiful coastline as the minutes ticked by. When the obvious rock formation came into focus, my nerves turned to excitement. Antonio, a masterful boat Captain, rocked the vessel into a shaded position just short of the watery tunnel. Barbara snuck around port side and delivered the goods. The Millers, Ashley included, were clueless to the gravity of the event ahead when the envelopes were disseminated. But once Kiley began reading her picture’s testimonial to love, the situation became clear. One by one, each Miller read aloud and as the final moment drew closer, tears welled up in my previously determined eyes. Once Ash fought through the terrible handwriting, my rehearsed speech turned into a jumbled mess of emotions. Then I spun around until I rested on one knee. With a flurry of tears and grins on board, Ash and I embraced for the first time as an engaged couple!

Braden's Dance with Death Capri's Blue Gratto Game Over

This video says it all:

The rest of the day was unforgettable including Capri’s luminous blue gratto, Braden’s tango with a jellyfish, and celebratory toasts!

June 14, 2010… the happiest day of my life.

- Greg and Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

1) Making such an important purchase of compressed carbon certainly takes reassurance that you have selected the right ring. If possible, find a confidant to view the ring before buying. My circumstances obviously required this assistance to the nth degree. Many thanks to Jeff and Kim for their invaluable help.

  • Debbie

    Thanks so much for sharing this via video with all of us! Awesome! Greg your Mom is so excited and what a great secret keeper she was! Safe travels…

  • Amy Balentine

    Oh I love this video. So wonderful. Ash's “holy shit” comment is totally appropriate. Job well done on those diamonds, Greg! ~Love, Amy

  • fofs

    Debbie – We are so fortunate to have had a helping hand (Barbara) to capture the moment on digital film. Four more months of safe travels! Thanks for reading along.

    - Greg & Ash

  • fofs

    Amy – Perhaps an appropriate viewing age ought to be applied to the video? Maybe PG-13? My money went a long way considering the “diamonds” are actually cubic zirconia…. just don't tell Ash.

    - Greg

  • Jkdietz

    THis makes me cry and laugh at the same time…must be anyone who marries a Dietz boy..my first reaction was holy **** too! They have a way of bring on big surprises! Love this video!

  • Steve

    That's what I'm talking about!! The exclamation point to an awsome experience. Congratulations to both of you. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Rachel Lozier

    Congratulations Greg & Ashley… what a beautiful way to propose. I can't wait to meet you, Ashley. You two make a wonderful pair!!

  • http://le-fabuleux-destin-de.blogspot.com/ Kristina

    what a beautiful idea!! and the ring is mindblowing! congrats to both of you!
    looking forward to hear more about your adventures!
    viele grüsse and greetings from switzerland, Kristina

  • fofs

    Steve – Thank you for the congratulations and we appreciate your readership!

    - Greg & Ash

  • fofs

    Rachel – You played no small part in it all… helping direct me (Greg) in purchasing the proper diamond and setting! We will be referring folks your jewelry store in the future, no doubt!

    - Greg & Ash

  • fofs

    Kristina – The idea took weeks to come together after contemplations in China, Hong Kong, Macau, United Arab Emirates, and finally in your current country of Switzerland. Ash and I enjoyed looking at your travel site!

    Cheers,
    Greg & Ash

  • fofs

    Kim – looking back I didn't realize that was my first reaction. What can I say, I was blown away! Glad you had a similar knee-jerk response. And I can't wait to have you as my sister :)

    - Ash

  • ericajoh

    Congratulations! Such a beautiful place to propose.

  • fofs

    Erica – Thank you very much! I would have to agree that it was a beautiful place to get engaged.

    - Ash

  • Nomadic Matt

    wow. wow. i love the look on ash's face. congrats you two! that's going to make the rest of the trip even more exciting! totally awesome. nice way to propose too Greg!

  • fofs

    Matt – You are correct, it does make the rest of our trip that much more exciting… exciting in a different way. We now get to look at bridal magazines in twelve different languages! Woo hoo.

    Hope you are enjoying life in the NYC.

    - Greg

  • fofs

    Matt – You are correct, it does make the rest of our trip that much more exciting… exciting in a different way. We now get to look at bridal magazines in twelve different languages! Woo hoo.

    Hope you are enjoying life in the NYC.

    - Greg

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