Ever since we started planning our travelling again, I knew I was going to propose to my girlfriend, Emily. We have been together now for eight and a half years, so it was probably about time!
I’d spent hours looking for the perfect engagement ring and days stressing about where and when I would do it. Keeping it a secret from everyone except family was hard.
Carrying a ring around whilst travelling is obviously rather risky, so I wanted to propose early on.
It was hard enough getting the ring through airport security at Heathrow, as I was carrying it in my hand luggage – thankfully she never saw it. I had to discourage Em from going in my backpack for the first week, but she never suspected a thing.
I decided in the end that I wanted to pop the question at the Belvedere Castle Terrace in Central Park.
On the morning of 28 April, we went to the 86th floor of ‘Top of the Rock’ (Rockefeller) to see New York in daylight. It was a bit cold and windy at the top but the views were worth it.
Afterwards, we made the short walk towards Central Park, grabbed a New York bagel along the way and then cabbed it closer to where I knew the Belvedere Castle was near.
We walked towards the castle and then climbed up the many spiral steps in order to reach the top. The views were stunning and I knew straight away that this was the spot I was looking for.
We took some photos of Central Park and then I snook off to position my phone and camera a short distance away. Em had always said, if I could, she would like me to record or photograph the occasion in some way for us to look back on in years to come.
By now, it was just the two of us alone – it was as good a chance as any. I had in my head what I wanted to say to her beforehand, but I became shy when (no exaggeration) around 10 people walked through onto the terrace.
Eventually, after a minute or so, I got down on one knee and asked the question… and thankfully, she said YES!
I’ve never seen Em look so happy in the moments that followed. She jumped around like a child and had a beaming smile on her face for the rest of the day.
We walked to a quieter area in Central Park. Em then rang her family to tell them the news and I did the same. We then Facebook video called our friendship group who all shared the same shock and excitement. This was some of their reactions – (unfortunately not everyone could join at the same time).
I had a couple more surprises up my sleeve for the rest of the day. Shortly after, I told Em we needed to make our way Downtown to Pier 6 – she had no idea why.
I had booked for us to go on a helicopter tour of New York – the views didn’t disappoint!
We then made our way back to the hotel we had been staying in…but I had one more surprise. I’d booked for us to have two nights at The Knickerbocker hotel.
A bottle of Prosecco was ready waiting in the room when we checked in. I really tried to pull out all of the stops.
In the evening, we ate at an Italian a few miles out of New York.
It’ll be a day we both never forget.
On our last day in New York, we visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum and Brooklyn Bridge. It sounds awful to say this, but I think the 9/11 Museum is one of the best museum’s I’ve ever been to.
In the evening, we went to watch New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden in the NHL. The atmosphere was better than what it was at the D.C United vs New England Revolution MLS match in Washington…
Similarly, to the football (or soccer as American’s know it!) – the match ended 3-2 to the Rangers.
Follow this link to read about more of our USA adventures.
Next stop, Chicago!
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Alternatively, you can follow Emily on her travelling TikTok account at @emstraveladventure.