Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Will You Marry Me?

G'day All

I have some very exciting news ... Yesterday I asked Hester to marry me and she said YES ... Yipeeeee. We are now officially engaged!!!

I told her that we were going to centre of Delft (Hester's hometown) to have dinner with a friend of mine. I also convinced her that we take pictures through the centre of Delft to show my friends and family the city she was born in.

Well the weather yesterday was not good, we had storms in the morning and crazy wind and rain all day. I was carefully watching the rain clouds as we enjoyed a "Booster Juice" and Apple Flap (kind of an apple pie). I saw thick black clouds approaching so I "suggested" that we go into the market square to take pictures of the church and town hall.

We got into the market square and I was getting her to pose infront of the different buildings as I took pictures. I suggested to her that we take a picture infront of the Church together and she agreed. This is where the action happens!!!

Instead of pushing the 10 second timer on my camera I put it on VIDEO and pressed record. I ran beside her and pretended to pose for the 10 second timer. Immediately Hester noticed that the timer light wasn't flashing. I tried to convince her that it was and still kept posing for the "PICTURE".

Well after a few seconds I dropped to my knees and took her hands. She said to me "What are you doing, get up" and tried to pull me back to my feet. I said "I am serious now" and then I proposed to her. Well of course ... she was shocked!! She looked around, laughed and then finally said "YES ... of course I will marry you"!!

The rest is history ... we laughed and cuddled and kissed and laughed and cuddled and laughed again. It was so amazing!!! After that we went out for a romantic dinner at an Italian resturant before Hester's parents joined us to celebrate in the city with drinks at a cafe.

It was such an amazing day and I am so glad that I can be engaged to my best friend and soulmate ... my fiancée

Check out the video and pictures below!!

Thank you everyone for your kind congratulations and well wishes.



The Proposal caught on Cam

Me Popping the question

A cuddle on a Delft Blue Pottery Seat

Hester with the Delft coat of arms

The Church which was the backdrop to my proposal

The City Hall

The ring I used for the proposal (we are getting a real one)

Celebrating with Hester's Parents later that night

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My German Vacation

G'day All,

Wow ... what a whirlwind!! I am back in Holland and have finally found some time to write a bit of a blog about my adventure. Without further ado I will get straight into it.

The path I took (2000 km)

On the 16th of June I picked up my "CRAZY CAMPER" from Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Oh boy ... it was crazier than I thought it would be!! It was painted VEGAS style and really got peoples heads turning, especially the police.

As I was crossing the German/Netherlands border I randomly had a nose bleed. Because I was running late I didn't bother stopping to clean it up but just kind let it dry naturally (disgusting I know). No longer than 10 mins after it had stopped bleeding a strange black car with dark windows pulled in front of me. Seconds later the car turned on a sign that said "Polezi --->".

I pulled over to find out that it was the undercover drug police. They suspect I was carrying drugs from Holland to Germany. I must admit it looked all very suspicous as I still had dry blood on my face, I was driving a vegas car with an Australian flag on the back.

Well I emptied all my pockets while they searched my bags and checked out the insides of the car. They came back to me and asked me if I had ever taken drugs in my life and I told them I hadn't. They were puzzled but convinced and they let me go again.

The Crazy Camper

Pfedelbach was beautiful, it is a nice little farming village surrounded by vineyards and fruit farms. It was very surreal to be at a village that my family lived in 144 years ago. I spent days just absorbing it all and doing my best to capture it on video and photo's.

Pfedelbach from Heuburg

I learnt some amazing things about my family and even visited some of the houses and places they lived and went to. It was fantastic!! I met a local historian called Mr Kruk who spoke no English but knew everything about Pfedelbach and many things about my family. Luckily local lady called Katja helped translate for me.

Later in my week there Katja and her husband Uli invited me to spend the day with them. It was great to meet some real Pfedelbachers and I had the best time with them. We enjoyed some local sights and ended the day with an amazing BBQ (enjoyed an amazing steak) with some other great local people.

I just spent the last couple of days just relaxing and enjoyed the village and the surrounding district. I made a trip to the famous Langeburg castle (relatives on the English royal family) with some Dutchies that I made friends with at the camping ground. It was really impressive and well preserved.

In the final days of my Holiday I made my way up to Berlin to visit a great friend Matthias Walter (we share the same name). I spent a couple of nights staying at his appartment and enjoyed some of the local sights, including the Berlin wall & Brandenburg Gate (remnants of Germany's past).

The Berlin Wall (Iron Curtin)

All in all I had a fantastic time, I am still disbelief that I have actually walked the same ground as my ancestors. It's been an experience that I will certainly remember till the day I die. I am in the process of putting everything together and telling the story to my family (stay tuned).

Hope this blog finds you well and I look forward to seeing my Australian friends and family in just over two weeks (its going so fast).

See ya


The outskits of Pfedelbach

Mr Kruk the local Historian

Pfedelbach's Wine Cask (3rd largest in Germany)

View from Waldenburg Castle

Australian Garden in Ohringen

Pfedelbach Castle

Evangelical Church Pfedelbach

Brandenburg Gate Berlin