A Weekend Proposal: 36 Hours in London

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At the Royal Observatory in Greenwich

Trip Report Index:

This is a more detailed account of our weekend trip to London in October, 2011.

Daraius:  I had arrived in London for my work trip a week earlier on Saturday.  On Sunday, I went to scope out the Royal Observatory (which was built in 1675)  in Greenwich so that I knew how to get there and to look for the ideal spot to propose to Emily.

The walk up a hill to Royal Observatory is very scenic and as you climb up, you can see St Paul’s Cathedral and views of the Thames river on either side.  It was very pretty and I hoped that the weather would be good when Emily visited the next week.

Emily Jablon:  We had breakfast in the hotel lounge and went to Marble Arch tube (underground) stop which was 2 minutes from our hotel.  We changed trains twice and I wasn’t sure if Daraius knew where he was going.  I was dying to get outside because it was extremely sunny and beautiful.  I always heard that the weather in London is dreary, but it wasn’t today.

We finally arrived and Daraius asked me to follow him.  We did stop at a Marks and Spencer’s Simply Food store to get some picnic supplies.  I had no idea where we were going, but enjoyed walking through the gardens.

After about an hour, we finally got to the destination: the Royal Observatory.  We saw the Prime Meridian, which is “0” degrees longitude, and is referred to as the center of the universe, and the center of time and space.

Daraius & Emily at the Prime Meridian

The Prime Meridian is where the Eastern hemisphere meets the Western hemisphere.  We sat in the Meridan courtyard and watched a very enthusiastic tour guide share the story of how the Prime Meridian came to be.  It was a hilarious show that I highly recommend watching if you visit.

While we were alone inside the observatory (picture below), Daraius said that this is where East (Daraius) meets West (Emily), and that this is the center of the universe and that I (Emily) am the center of his universe.  He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

I replied, “That was my hunch! Of course!”

Daraius:  I don’t remember her saying that.  Instead, I remember her squealing and then saying “yes!”

Emily Jablon:  Daraius wrote a blog post on the proposal so if you haven’t read it please check it out!

And just for fun, here’s a picture from the night we met (which was almost 5 years ago!)

The night we met!

After seeing and learning about the Prime Meridian, we took a boat back into London.

Daraius:  We could have taken a boat to Greenwich, but the boat ride was more scenic and would have signaled to Emily that I had something planned.  I tried to throw Emily off guard by taking the tube and train to Greenwich.

The Tower Bridge from the boat

It was past noon by now and we didn’t have much time to explore London.  I had bought Big Bus tickets so that we could hop on and hop off the bus and check out the sights in London.  Since this was Emily’s first time in London, I thought that taking a loop of the City while sitting in the top of the bus was just what she needed to get a feel of the city.

Emily Jablon:  We got on the bus and saw the Tower bridge, the Tower of London, The houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, and Piccadilly Circus.

Across the London Eye

We even went into a London phone booth and had a 15 minute photo shoot! 🙂

Emily in the phone booth

My favorite sights were the Tower Bridge and Parliament.

Outside the Houses of Parliament

On the way back, I noticed a lot of shops on Oxford Street but we only went to Hamley’s Toy Store because Daraius went there with his parents as a kid.  We felt like kids again as we explored 5 floors of toys!

After sightseeing, we went back to the hotel and I had a short nap while Daraius had an afternoon snack in the lounge.  We then left for another surprise Daraius had planned for me.

I also had a hunch about this one, and wrote down my predictions on a sheet of paper (per Daraius’ request).  We took the subway for a few stops, and then got off.  We went around a corner, and all of a sudden I saw a theater with the show “Wicked” playing.

I’ve always wanted to see Wicked!

My second hunch was confirmed!  Daraius teased me that he wasn’t going to surprise me anymore since I always seem to guess what he has planned!

I had been wanting to see Wicked for years now and thought it was sweet Daraius remembered.

Daraius & Emily inside the theatre

Wicked is about the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.  The show was very good.  The costumes and set changes were amazing!  I would definitely recommend it.

After the show, we went to dinner and we then went back to our hotel room where we packed and went to bed since we had a early morning flight.

It was a fun filled weekend (day!) in London and I’m so happy I went!

Daraius:  I’ve done and will continue to do crazy things to earn miles and points.  But experiences like this are what make it all worthwhile.  Emily and I will always remember this October weekend in London.

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10 responses to “A Weekend Proposal: 36 Hours in London

  1. Congratulations! I bet you’ve already started to plan the honeymoon!

  2. Wonderful and Daraius, take credit for the East/West line – you’ll never write anything better! 😉

    Seriously, the posting I wrote on FT that got the overwhelmingly most positive response was one in which I also talked about the true value of points and miles. It was about a trip to Spain with our oldest and his family. And as you wrote, I realized it was about much more than cents per mile – it was about creating a lifetime of wonderful memories for my wife and me and our kids and grandkids. Getting value is great and a passion for me, but losing out on a memory because you could have gotten a somewhat better deal is foolish.

  3. Sounds like you both were already working on being married – was it ‘That was my hunch. Of course!’ or was joyful squealing heard throughout the observatory? Maybe both! (see, I just made the compromise for both of you) Congrats to you both, fun story and nice job planning it all D!

    • @Kathy – Thanks! I’ve already got a few places booked. 🙂

      @Steve Schwartz – Scary to know that my best work is behind me, but I do agree with you! I completely agree with you – memories will last a very long time whereas a good deal will not last that long.

      @Steelsnow – Thanks for making the compromise and for your wishes. It was fun planning it!

  4. Congrats to you two!

  5. Congratulations to both of you, I hope my future wife will appreciate traveling and getting jet lagged etc.. 🙂

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