Sterling and I have been together for over five years now. So it wasn't surprising that the issue of marriage has come up a time or two. Since Sterl had finished undergrad, it had become more of a hot topic. When we were on vacation, we had a reasonably long conversation about it. She suspected that I would try to propose while we were in Europe. I already had a plan to do it, but tricking her into thinking otherwise was too much fun to pass up. I proceeded to convince her that I was planning on a generic fancy dinner type proposal and that I didn't even have a ring yet. But of course that was a lie. Since it seemed to get harder every day to conceal the big ring box I had in my pocket the whole trip.

A few days later on July 6th, we set out from Munich Germany. We were heading on a day-trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. I was pretty nervous, but I don't think Sterling had any idea. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the train ride through the Alps was gorgeous. Once we arrived at the castle, there was a hike up to it. It was tiring but we made it. We went on the tour of the castle and every moment of the tour I was waiting for the chance to go out on the wall or on a balcony with some amazing view. As the tour bore on, it seemed less and less like that was going to happen. I was starting to freak out. But finally, near the end of the tour, the guide let us wonder a bit to a cafe and gift shop. The cafe happened to be next to a balcony with one of the most gorgeous views of the nearby lake and mountains. This was it. So as we walked out on the balcony, I asked Sterl to take a picture of me. She did and I then went to take a picture of her. I told her the light was wrong and knelt down pretending to find a good angle. She briefly looked away at the lake and when she looked back, I had the ring in my hand and I asked her to marry me. At first she didn't know what was happening. She thought it was a joke. After saying, "What are you doing?" and after a few long seconds of realization, Sterling said "Yes" with a big smile, long embrace, and in front of one of the most amazing vistas I've had the pleasure of seeing.

We received lots of congratulations and stayed for a while holding each other while smiling and laughing. The tour continued on a little bit from there but neither of us had any idea what the guide was talking about. We even had a carriage ride away from the castle. All in all, I don't believe it could have gone more perfectly. The next few days were full of happiness and excitement. It was the best vacation of my life.