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Archive for May 2015

A proposal in Devin Castle - Bratislava, Slovakia

I have a few dozen deadlines and we have been lying low since we have gotten back from Europe.... but here's the big news I promised to tell, now that both our families are aware.


Engagement in Devin Castle
Look at my face haha
Deadlines can wait, I can catch up with it, my personal life comes first right now. 

How it Started:

Peter and I work for the same bank here in the US, and we met at work when we were still in the same team. For some reason we clicked, started dating, and here we are. I wasn't particularly keen on an office romance but whatever. 

How the Engagement Happened:

I had always dreamed of becoming engaged in a castle or a palace... I don't know, it's the princess in me that wanted that. And so when we were watching one episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Ted was planning a castle wedding with his wife, I blurted out loud: wow, I wouldn't mind getting engaged or getting married in a castle. 

Ladies take note: if you say something like this, even if it is just in the moment; your guy is listening and would remember what you said.

And so we went to Europe. I had always loved Europe: always, always, always. Ever since I lived in the UK, it had always been a place I could call home, a place that always fascinated me. 

We had been to multiple castles on our road trip: from Neuschwanstein & Hoheschwangau in Germany, to Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, to Strecno Castle near Zilina, Slovakia, to Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, and finally, to Devin Castle in Bratislava, where he asked me to marry him.

Devin Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia
Devin Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia
 Let's rewind here for a second folks and go to a bit of history: Devin Castle is near the border of Austria and Slovakia. It is also where the Danube and Morava Rivers meet. His dad explained that Devin historically was the start of Bratislava/Slovakia, so poignant.

We were on a terrace and I was out taking photos of the rivers, and of the castle, as you can see on the photo below (this was taken in a different terrace, minutes before I got cold and needed to put my Disney jacket on - Yay Disney)

Ruby in Devin Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia
Ruby in Devin Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia
When Peter suddenly went on his knees behind my back (after he took that photo) and prepared a short speech (which I will not share), asked me to marry him.

I said yes

My ring, with a shot of the Danube and Morava Rivers in the background
My ring, with a shot of the Danube and Morava Rivers in the background

Ugh, my hand looks wrinkly in the photo above so  forgive me, I didn't pack hand cream on this trip and it was cold. 

And there you have it, the story of our engagement. 

We took this photo of us together after it happened so we'll always remember. Unfortunately, it was a bit too overexposed:

Ruby and Peter in Devin Castle, Slovakia
Ruby and Peter in Devin Castle
So there you go.. the next few weeks/months are going to be funny/crazy - We don't know the date of the wedding yet, all we know is we're doing one in Florida, another one in the Philippines, and a mini celebration in Slovakia. And oh, we're all going to be doing it our frugal way as usual (should be a challenge too).

We came from two different countries and ended up meeting in the US. I hope you still join us on our crazy adventures as we embark on this big event.

Atlanta Georgia Travel Expenses

Apologies for our absence - Peter and I have been busy trying to recover from our Philippines/New York trip and just recently, over the Easter holidays, we came back from Atlanta! Aside from that, I got really busy with other projects, such as planning my Financial Independence and side hustles! Oh, and I finally finished this blog after our Europe trip. Busy, busy!

Zoo Atlanta by the fickle fan
Zoo Atlanta!
Why Atlanta?  Well, we had been discussing it for a while and we always wanted to visit this city because of its hustling & bustling activity. Plus, why not? It's only a 5 hour drive from Jacksonville.

Peter might be back to tell you more about our adventures, but so far here's a breakdown of our expenses. Everything in the breakdown is per person, split between two people (we're a couple)
  • Gas: our main form of transportation is driving. For 3 days of sightseeing & from driving from Jax to Atlanta 
    • $50.50 each 
  • Sightseeing:
    • $79 each for the Atlanta CityPass (to be reimbursed by Arrival+) 
    • $11 each for the Atlanta Skyview (via Groupon)
    • Total: $89
  • Dining: 
    • $ 80 - We had lunch at Golden Corral when we were driving to Atlanta, then ate at food trucks or cheaper food joints for dinner. 
  • Others (Souvenirs, etc):
    • $31.25 - That's a lot of money for souvenirs. It's mostly from me though. I got crazy at the World of Coke (its expensive but cute), and also had to get the quintessential magnets that I bring home to our souvenir pile. 
  • Hotel: 
    • $72 - For two nights (split with the boyfriend), at a Best Western near the airport. It was one of the cheapest we could get (was too cheap to use points to redeem for a short stay such as this). 
  • Total spent: $323.75 ($244.75 once the Arrival+ points kick in)
Spending $144.40 per day is not that great of a redemption, but I would still do it as it was a great weekend getaway from an otherwise boring week of staying at home. Then again, we could probably have made it a bit cheaper (ie used a cash back card to reimburse the Best Western hotel), but I used a different card to meet a spending requirement so missed that chance!

Downtown Atlanta by the fickle fan
Downtown Atlanta

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