This story was written by Alan and Mae-Ling together...
Due to their long distance relationship between California and Hong Kong, Alan and Mae-Ling had already begun planning their wedding before the formal proposal. However, both knew Alan would "pop the question" for real once Alan had acquired the engagement ring and when he had an opportunity to see Mae-Ling in person.
The perfect opportunity came about as Alan and Mae-Ling were planning a trip to Europe to visit his father who would be attending a conference in Budapest. Early on Alan suggested travelling to Paris so that was Mae-Ling's first clue that something was brewing... The second clue came just before the two left for Europe when Alan asked Mae-Ling to pack a nice dress.
Alan finally revealed himself on the first day he and Mae-Ling arrived in Paris. After checking into their hotel in the morning, Alan said, "We have to be back here by 6 o'clock because we have to somewhere at 7 o'clock."
Playing along without asking any questions, Mae-Ling acknowledged Alan's request, and they proceeded to explore the streets of Paris for the first time together. It was a hot but beautiful day in Paris, and the couple strolled past Notre Dame, Le Louvre, Palais Royale, and into the beautiful French gardens. Later in the afternoon, the two returned to the hotel and dressed up for the evening.
Alan experienced a bit of frustration in his planning when he realized the address on Rue de Rivoli was actually a 13-block walk as the blocks were numbered by 10s and not 100s. Tired feet and a little sweat were soon forgotten when Mae-Ling was completely surprised to find the destination to be the Tourist Excursion office and not a nice restaurant as she had thought. The mystery of what they were going to do that evening continued as Mae-Ling and Alan were escorted into a private mini-van.
|Just as they were driving past the Eiffel Tower, Alan teased, "When should we go
And suddenly, the van made a U-turn to drive back in front of the Eiffel Tower to park! From this point, it was even more red carpet treatment as the driver whisked Mae-Ling and Alan past all the people waiting in line to go up to the Eiffel Tower.
They dined on the first level of the Eiffel Tower at a restaurant called Altitude 95. From the warm pastry seafood appetizer to the decadent chocolate cake dessert, the meal was absolutely wonderful and complemented by a stunning sunset.
Yet the proposal had not happened...
At this point, Alan was beginning to feel a bit nervous because it was just past 9pm, and he only had about 10 minutes before they had to go back down to meet the driver and proceed to a show.
The two decided to walk around the promenade, and during this time Alan was very focused on looking for a photographer. First, he spotted a woman with several cameras hanging around her neck so he thought, "She'll take a good picture".
Mae-Ling suspiciously watched Alan as they posed to see if this was the "Moment". However, Alan did not fall to his knees. Unbeknownst to her, Alan decided it was the wrong moment because there was a possibilty a group of people would walk right through the picture at the time he wanted to propose.
So then Alan began searching for another photographer and simply said to Mae-Ling, "Let's take another picture."
Mae-Ling thought she'd "play" with Alan now so she responded, "But, Sweetie, we just took a picture?!"
Alan was too distracted to respond and just continued to drag Mae-Ling around in his desperate search for the right photographer. Finally, he spotted an older French couple sitting on a bench so he asked the man to take a piture of them. Just before he was about to take the picture, Alan raised his finger and said, "Wait a minute. I have an important question to ask my girlfriend."
At this point, Mae-Ling started jumping up and down with joy!
|Alan reached into his right pocket and pulled out the black velvet ring box. As he was opening the box to show Mae-Ling the ring, the French woman started frantically waving her hands in a downward motion, prompting Alan to get down on his knees. Alan obediently followed the gestures and got down on one knee, smiled up towards Mae-Ling, and asked the simple question, "Will you marry me?"|
|Instead of responding immediately, Mae-Ling hugged Alan, turned to the French man and said, "Take our picture! Take our picture!"|
|After the Kodak moment, Alan placed the ring on Mae-Ling's finger. He was elated to hear Mae-Ling exclaim, "It's so big!" Then, Mae-Ling realized she hadn't answered the all-important question yet and asked Alan to repeat it.|
"Will you marry me?" asked Alan.
"Yes, I will." Mae-Ling replied teary-eyed.
The French woman came over and hugged Mae-Ling, tears in her eyes as well. Mae-Ling proudly showed her the ring, and the two women kissed each other, as the French do, on both cheeks.
Then Alan said, "Show the man your ring."
But the old man had no reaction. C'est la vie.
The evening concluded with Alan and Mae-Ling watching the famous Lido show on the Champs-Elysees with a bottle of champagne.
|And they lived happily ever after.|