What next?

After the engagement what next? That is the question. How long are you suppose to wait before you get married? That is another question. Well, first of all we had to change the ring, the diametre was big for my slender fingers. I made the announcement. It was exciting, friends and family were genuinely happy for us. They asked about the ring and if we have fixed the date already for the Big Day. Fix date? So fast? I was like, it is going to be something small, we’ve been together, cohabited (still cohabit :-)) and I am not sure how much of a difference it would make in our everyday life. For that reason, I was actually not in a hurry to fix a date.  I was told, even if it was going to be something small it was still going to be your Big Day! That was when I gradually realised what it was all about. So, during that Spring we officially started planning our wedding.

  1. Change my engagement ring.
  2. Fix date (the following summer, too early to plan for the summer of 2013)
  3. Budget? Make your wedding budget and stick to it. Be realistic.
  4. Start making inquiries (church wedding? civil ceremony? reception?)
  5. Wedding style? Small and Simple
  6. Since we were not getting married that summer, where were we going to visit for the summer holidays? Menorca.

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During our holidays in the epitome of paradise,  my husband made a decision to pursue his Masters he’s been procrastinating for so long. We were so relaxed and full of energy that he had the inspiration. Really? I have always encouraged him, however, should it be same year we are going to tie the knot? I encouraged him anyway. I previously had my post graduate degrees while I worked full time and I still remember how exhausting, time consuming and expensive it was and let’s not include planning a wedding to the list. In my mind, I knew we had to find our venue before he resumes classes. I was at the same time, sort of working on wedding songs, browsing wedding blogs, sites, liking them on Facebook, pinterest you name it.

PS: We stayed in a hotel apartment in Maó (capital of Menorca), hired a car to move around the Island.

The picture with the horse was in Es Mercadal (Menorca) during their San Martí celebrations.

Wedding advice from Mary*****

Once you are engaged start making wedding arrangements right away, if you are able to get married same year, great. If not, the next. The earlier you fix a date and start planning your wedding the better.

L’Aiguille du Midi

Back to our petit bois grand chalet, we celebrated our engagement with a delicious dinner and white wine to toast. It was as if we became somebody else. During dinner, we talked, we looked into each other’s eyes and smile shyly. It felt really special. I did not know it would change the way we felt about our relationship. In the beginning, I was somewhat not so interested in all the wedding and prewedding paraphernalia. Perhaps, I was? Without knowing it? We love each other so much and have been together and cohabit since 2009, though we have known each other since 2005 from our school days in the University of Barcelona.  Now, I must confess that all those wedding rituals were part of what really made those moment  special and romantic.

You might want to know what “L’Aiguille du Midi”  is please click here to find out. The last day before our departure, the waether was favourable for us to take the cable car. Yes! My husband later told me his plans, that he wanted to ask me to marry him 3842 metres high up in the Mont Blanc massifs, however, he was afraid that the bad weather will jeopardise his plan. Nevertheless, he was happy he asked me in Le Tour because it was more romantic, just us on the freezing street. We found more people with us in L’Aiguille du Midi. Anyways, we took the cable car all the same and the view up there was just amazing.

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That very day, we came down the bus came to fetch us to Geneva where we took our flight back home (Barcelona). Before that, I left a note at the hotel, to thank them for the pleasant stay. I remember wanting to publish it on Facebook, however none of our people knew about it yet and we did not want them to find out on Facebook. We called them up one by one to share the good news with them before making it public. It was awesome. (31st of March 2013).

Click here to read more.

I Said Yes!

My husband was restless, he was sort of unhappy that we couldn’t use the the cable car up to L’Aguille du midi due to bad weather. It was a cloudy Easter in the Chamonix Valley. I told him not to worry (I, who is a bit sceptical about heights), let us just visit the small villages cluttered on the valley, I am sure there are a lot to see. We took the free bus to the last bus stop Le Tour very close to the French border with Switzerland.

I would not stop wowing when we came down the bus, the houses there were like out of fairy tales. That day the snow and the sun agreed to be high, the snow a meter high above the ground and the sun high in the sky. Indeed, a freezing sunny day it was.

I increased my steps walking a little bit faster to explore the area,  making my way through the large pile of snow and at the same time  gazing at the smoke billowing from the chimney of the fairy tale houses. You can tell people are indoors peacefully enjoying the warmth of their homes. It was just us left alone on the street, making palm prints on the fresh snow. As I happily walked ahead of him, I noticed he was left behind, I called him, no response. I rushed back and saw him anxiously searching our backpack. I was sort of scared and worried I thought he was not feeling all right because he conjured up an image of someone desperately searching for their Epi-pen due to an anaphylactic reaction. He saw me and stopped, looking up with a grin and asked if I could lend him a hand him, I said “claro”, that is “sure” responding in Spanish. He said I should put my hand inside the pocket of a spare jacket inside our back pack, I did as he told me and took out a jewelry box. I looked at him wondering, I opened it and he asked if I will marry him. As a result, I froze,  I felt somewhat light-headed with a tingling feeling that went up my spine. My eyes wide open watching him. He was there waiting for an answer.  Finally, I said yes and it felt good. We were both very excited, though the ring was very big for my slender fingers, he decided to keep it so we won’t lose it in the snow. That moment was spectacular!

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Our Arrival

Our bus came to a halt in front of a hotel covered in snow, Hôtel & Chalet du Bois, Les Houches. Although, previously booked by us, we had no idea that it was not, actually, in the city of Chamonix as we have assumed. We were, most especially my husband, somewhat upset. However, the driver insisted that according to our booking details this is the hotel in question and there is no other Hôtel & Chalet Du Bois in the Chamonix Valley. Moreover, the city of Chamonix is only 5 km away. Of course, (thought my husband with a wry expression) 5 km away on a glaciated alpine road covered in snow. Who would walk that road? Anyway, we had no choice but to get down of the bus and figure it out with the hotel. They were, as it happens, expecting us with a warm welcome.  Well, we narrated our dilemma to the attentive receptionist, who was nice and eager to help. However, all effort made that late evening to find a solution proved abortive.

The helpful receptionist said we should calm down, we are here anyway and let’s try to make the best of our holidays, we should not let this ruin it all. So, she gave us two keys and said we should go and have a look at the two rooms indicated on the key holders and feel free to choose  which ever we felt like. No extra cost apart from what we have already paid for. The first room was a normal double-bedded (small) European room and the second room was a (duplex) chalet that left us gaping in wonder. We immediately decided to stay put and spend the night in the chalet. I was so excited, to stay in the two storey wooden house, with a private entrance and long double cornered balcony that overlooks the massifs of Mont Blanc. We immediately drifted into a cheerful mood. Who wouldn’t?  Not only did they offer us the chalet they also invited us to a delicious dinner. Truth be told their kindness and empathy left us open-mouthed, it really helped us see everything in a different light. We were excited indeed, we were also told that there are free buses that shuttles the Chamonix Valley. The next day, we (actually I) discovered the city of Chamonix with the free bus as explained to us and I realized that as a matter of fact, I prefer this small alpine village, Les Houches, to the crowded city of Chamonix with all those skiers carrying their skiing equipment as if fleeing from a war zone.  If we should visit again, chances are that we would lodge in the same hotel or simply stay in one of the less crowded villages in the  Valley. At this point, I still had no idea about his engagement plans.

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My husband was so anxious to take the cable car up to l’Aguille du Midi, however, it was closed beacuse of the cloudy snowy and rainy weather. He was worried because it seems that the bad weather was going to jeopardise his plans of asking me to marry him 3842 metres high. Of which I was absolutely oblivious of.

The Journey

We took a flight from our city Barcelona (Spain) to Geneva (Switzerland) where we were to take a bus to Chamonix and we took the opportunity to visit Geneva. Even though it was rainning and cold it was no excuse to visit this city of Romandy. We bought an umbrella and pretty much visited everywhere. At this point, I still had no idea that he was going to ask me to marry him.

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After visiting the city of Geneva, we hurried up to the bus station in order not to miss our bus. I enjoyed the trip from Geneva to Chamonix, lush pastures with green hills and valleys dominated the landscape, the high mountains were covered with snow. I sat near the window and would not stop gazing outwards. My husband was happy watching the expression on my excited face. Finally, night fell and we arrived.

The Engagement

My husband loves and practices alpinism, he loves climbing glaciated mountains just the way I love reading books. I enjoy listening to his freezing adventures, sometimes a bit worried about the dangers involved in trying to make it to the glaciated peak. However, I have ended up liking this leisure activity, let me say I am a bit into it now 🙂 and  I promise to tell you all about it later.

In 2010, he was so excited about climbing Mont Blanc. He made it to the highest point 4810 m, the highest mountain in the European Union, when he came down, he gave me the gift you can see below.

Peak of Mont Blanc 4810 m high

Peak of Mont Blanc 4810 m high with the Nigerian flag

I was excited about the picture, I am still, and proud. We believe it was the first time (ever) in history, the Nigerian flag has been taken up this high, to the peak of a glaciated mountain (at least) by someone who is not a Nigerian. He said to me in Spanish “darling you need to see this for yourself, it is heaven”. I promised to go with him. However, we kept on procrastinating until 2013 Easter Holidays. He organised the trip and said there was no need to physically climb the mountain as he did with his friends (quite dangerous) neither did we have to sleep in the refuge. We used the cable car up to L’ Aguille du Midi 3842 m high (not bad, right?) and slept in a hotel in the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley. I had no idea he was going to ask me to marry him.