When we planned our first trip to Europe in 2016, we had no intention of going anywhere other than Germany.
The main point of the trip was to visit Lindsay’s cousin Lauren and her husband, Alex, who live in Dusseldorf. Truthfully, when we showed up, we had no plans other than that. Once we were there, Lauren and Alex took us all over Dusseldorf and to Cologne for a day. We also decided we would venture to Heidelberg and Munich on our own, but other plans would be made, too.
See, everything is closed on Sundays in Germany. Everything. So, often Lauren and Alex will drive into the Netherlands into a town called Maastricht on Sundays for shopping, sightseeing, and a quick escape. That’s exactly what we decided to do on the first Sunday we were in town. I had zero expectations for this little side trip, but was excited to cross another country off my bucket list.
The city of Maastricht (on the Maas River) was so quaint and beautiful. We loved wandering the streets with Lauren and Alex, grabbing drinks and bites to eat here and there, stopping in shops, finding little alleyways and interesting sights. What Lindsay didn’t know at the time was that there was a reason for all the shops we were going in and out of.
This picture of us by the Maas River was taken right before a very important moment in our lives––but Lindsay was absolutely clueless about it. Soon, we all kept walking along the river to a spot where we could go down to the banks and there was also a bridge (below) that you could walk under.
All the way to the right where that graffiti is will always hold a special place in our hearts…and Lindsay had no idea that was the case when she took this photo of it. There, under Wilhelminabrug, Mike pulled out a lock from his pocket and asked Lindsay to put it on one of those railings with him as a love lock––he had just learned about love locks the day before when we were in Cologne. Lindsay hesitated, because she’s a goody-goody and there were no other locks on this bridge. Were they breaking a rule?! Heaven forbid… 😉
But Mike convinced her to do it and then they threw the key into the Maas after it was on the railing so no one could ever unlock it. It was then that Mike got down on one knee, pulled out a second key, and told Lindsay that key was hers to keep forever and asked her to marry him. Lindsay was in shock, but said yes! He put a (key)ring on it!
As it turns out, Mike had decided before we left the States that he was going to propose on this trip… he just had no idea how. He had already talked to Lindsay’s parents to get their blessing. He talked with Lauren and Alex the first night we were there after Lindsay passed out in bed and told them he needed their help. But on day 3, that Sunday, he still had no idea how or when he was going to do it. He went for a walk that morning and came across a lock on a bridge near Lauren and Alex’s house and remembering the thousands of love locks we’d seen the day prior in Cologne, he knew that was how he wanted to propose.
But remember… everything is closed in Germany on Sundays. So he told Lauren and Alex his plan and enlisted their help in finding a lock once we got to the Netherlands. At one point, Alex excused himself to go buy floss––yes, floss. And Lindsay didn’t think anything of it. They had just moved into their house and everything was in boxes. So needing floss was reasonable! Turns out, he was going to buy a lock.
“Did you get your floss?” Mike asked when he returned to the cafe where we were having drinks. “Sure did,” Alex said. Lindsay was clueless.
After leaving the cafe, Lauren and Lindsay stopped in a chocolate shop and the exchange between the men happened. From there, it’s history.
Before leaving Maastricht, we stopped in a store for some champagne, cheese, crackers, and dinner supplies. When we got back to Lauren and Alex’s, we celebrated and called my family. The rest of the trip was spent as a newly engaged couple!