Falling in Love Story

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Seattle to Italy

This is a true story as related by one of their friends from the Tuscan villa.

Elizabeth and Paul first met at a local coffeehouse in Seattle, Washington. It was instant attraction. Because Elizabeth had lost her husband after a long illness less than 2 years before, she was very cautious about any relationship. She wasn’t over losing her husband-actually she believed that she might never really be over it because they had a wonderful marriage that had lasted over 25 years. She had started dating casually, but that was just for companionship and friendship. But Paul was different. There was a spark between them that felt like the old spark that she had had with her husband. She didn’t feel guilty for feeling that spark because she knew her husband would want her to enjoy life and her grown children felt the same way.

Paul was still trying to come to terms with his wife leaving him after 28 years of marriage. It was a shock to him and he still didn’t quite understand what happened. He also had started dating but had not found anyone he could relate to in any meaningful way. With Elizabeth, he felt that he could talk forever. They had so many values that they shared and so much to talk about.

Elizabeth had already made plans for two weeks in the Tuscany area in Italy. She and her mother, Martha, had rented a villa in an estate that was converted into several small two bedroom apartments. The estate was stone with terraces, and beautiful landscaping, and was only 30 minutes from Florence. It had always been her dream to visit Tuscany.
Paul and Elizabeth had been dating for 6 months when she asked him if he was interested in accompanying her and her mother to Italy. Allen thought it would be wonderful to see the area with Elizabeth and her mother. Paul had become very fond of Martha.

In the next two months before they left for Tuscany, the subject of marriage was frequently brought up and discussed in terms of values and goals. They met each other’s grown children and friends. Then came Tuscany!

The three of them had a wonderful time exploring Tuscany: the beautiful vistas of sunflowers and vineyards, the walled medieval towns, the wines, cuisine, museums, and easygoing way of life. Evenings were spent in conversation with the many people from Europe and America that were staying at the villa too. Paul and Elizabeth grew even closer.

In the middle of the second week of their trip, Paul made plans for the three of them to visit Venice. They took the train from Florence to Venice and then took a water taxi to their hotel on the Grand Canal. That evening Allen rented a gondola for a cruise down the Grand Canal. As a surprise, he also had a singer and a musician on the gondola. As they drifted down the canal in the evening the lights twinkled from the mansions and the restaurants. Elizabeth thought it was very romantic as the musician played and the singer sang romantic Italian love songs. Then Paul totally caught her off guard! He got down on one knee and took her hand in his. He slipped a gorgeous diamond ring on her finger as he asked her to marry him. Elizabeth was smiling and laughing as she said yes. It was the most romantic thing that had ever happened to her and it came as a wonderful surprise! It was special that Martha was there too to give her blessings.

When Elizabeth and Paul returned to the villa the next day, they shared their good news with all their new friends. At dinner that night, a toast was made to their upcoming marriage. Elizabeth looked like she was walking on a cloud. In the next days they shared their dreams and plans for the future. When to have the wedding, where to go on their honeymoon, where to live after they were married-those were just some of the decisions that they began to make together. One thing they would never forget was the night they got engaged on the Venice Grand Canal!


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