Travel

The way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach …

Conch

After five years of late-night, cooked-to-perfection quesadillas, being the taste-tester for countless culinary experiments and plenty of breakfasts in bed, Dave finally realized he couldn’t live another day without making an honest woman of me—and locking down a lifetime of home-cooked meals.

And when it came to the proposal, Β he knew he couldn’t go wrong by throwing cheese, crackers and champagne into the mix.

He did it on the first day of our vacation in Anguilla—a trip full of romance, empty white sand beaches, rum punch and amazing food. I am one lucky girl.

We started The Day off with something I’ve been looking foward to the entire year, since I last experienced them on our first Anguilla vacation:

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The BEST PANINI in the WORLD, courtesy of The Cafe at Veya. Seriously. It’s all about the bread—but sorry, I’ve been sworn to secrecy when it comes to the details. Anyway, they are a little piece of gooey, crispy, salty, cheesy, eggy heaven. And, as Dave can attest, I could sit at The Cafe all day, basking on the peaceful, sun-drenched patio, sipping diet cokes and eating paninis for breakfast lunch and dinner. Seriously, they’re that good.

Cafe at Veya

Bellys full of panini, we had a fabulous beach day.

Anguilla beach

He later told me he’d been dropping hints all day. With his choice of t-shirt:

Dave at Veya

And when he pointed this out, and insisted I snap a picture of it:

heart tidepool

I remained completely clueless.

We came back to our gracious host’s abode (Neal, owner of the Cafe at Veya of Best-Pannini-in-the-World fame—my dad’s best friend and pretty much a second dad to me) to take little Lola for a late afternoon walk on the beach. But Neal was acting funny and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it …

… so we set off for Long Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (lots of “Best in the World” distinctions on this island).

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We strolled along with Lola, lost in our own little piece of paradise.

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Right before we reached the end of the beach, Lola bolted. The ensuing chase led to an idyllic patch of beach in front of a multi-million dollar villa, complete with a beach-blanket set up with two chairs, a bucket of champagne and a cheese and cracker platter. At this point I started to get nervous—there wasn’t a shadow of doubt in my mind that we were crashing some millionaire’s romantic rendezvous. Lola came bolting out of the bushes like a bat out of hell and went straight for the cheese platter.

“DAVE! OMYGOD, GRAB HER!!! S%#@*!! SHE’S GOING FOR THEIR CHEESE!!!!” He stood there with an indecipherable look on his face. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting for him to react while I screamed “LOLA, NOOOO!!!” Dave grabbed me by both shoulders.

“Relax! It’s OK!”

“WHAT?? What are you talking about?!?”

“It’s OK, because I put this here.” (with the help of his accomplice, Neal)

He then dropped to one knee, and the rest was a bit of a blur—a happy blur compounded by several glasses of champagne. This was my view from the beach blanket as we sipped champagne and talked weddings.

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We returned to the Casa de Neal where I, high off post-proposal adrenaline and plenty of bubbly, drunk-n-Skyped several friends and family members to share the news.

Sand dollar

*Swoon*

OK, I’ll spare you anymore mushy details. Stay tuned for another post on the best Anguilla has to offer: Veya and a few other of our favorite island spots.

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