A Great Engagement on a Great Wall… Welcome to China!

Waking up in Beijing was a little surreal because it signaled the beginning of a new continent, and here we were, in the captial of the largest country in the world, China. We were also excited to get into the city because we were going to be meeting up with our friends from our Africa trip, Ai and Dan. They are a great couple to travel with, and they are doing the same journey around the world, with just a little bit different schedule than us. It was a little overwhelming at first with thousands of people heading in every direction, buses, cars and scooters weaving thru the congested traffic and all of this happening under a thick blanket of smog.  At first we didn’t realize much of it was related to all of the coal power plants surrounding this enormous city.  I really couldn’t imagine how someone could live under such a constant haze.

We started our visit with The Temple of Heaven.  This was our first day walking around, enjoying the history China has to offer. A pleasant surprise was that the temple area had a park on the grounds, where there were locals dancing, exercising, doing Tai Chi, and playing with some sort of ribbon wands. We were very surprised to see all the active elderly people in the park. The architecture of the temple was a beautiful sight, with vibrant reds, greens, and blues, all accented with gold leafing.

Like a cross between hackey sack and badminton

The ribbon wand wavers

Some of the ornate embellishments on the temple of heaven, standing in front of the Temple of Heaven

The painted dragons inside the temple were beautiful

The next day was 10-10-10, which is an important date because I was born on the 10th (in April), and it was my soccer number  for many years, so it was a special date for me as I will only experience it once in my life.  We headed over to a section of the Great Wall by Badaling, which was a little more touristy, but it allowed us to spend plenty of time there because we took the train instead of joining a tour group.  We were joined by Ai and Dan and ready for a great day.  The air was cool and crisp along with the overcast haze that never seemed to leave. I knew the Great Wall was very large structure but I didn’t think it was going to be so steep. If you didn’t wear the correct shoes you’d be slipping and falling on your butt!

Dana, Ai, and Dan peeking through the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall sure is long.... and steep!

After a tiring few hours of walking along the wall and through the outpost  towers we decided we would start heading back to where we started from and grab some lunch. That’s when Adam pulled me to the side and wanted to show me something he made for me on our iPod. It was a cute video of our dogs running around with a great song in accompaniment, it got to me cause if you know me you know how much I love my dogs and I got all teary eyed, because I miss them A LOT. Adam told me that I wasn’t supposed to cry. That’s when the end of my video was coming to an end and the words “Dana will you marry me?” came up and Adam had a ring in his hand. My heart stopped, I wiped my eyes and said, “Really?”, like it was a joke or something. I couldn’t believe it! Of course I said yes.  I’ve been waiting for this day for so long and here it was . I was so wrapped up in site seeing and going to the Great Wall I was distracted with my favorite number being 10, and not thinking about the actual day. Adam had done a great job and I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal, and with our new  friends there it made it even more special.

So Happy!

Adam's Grandmothers ring he used until our travels allow for a real one at the end

When we returned to our hotel I called my parents right away, not thinking that we were 13 hours ahead of them, and ending up calling at 4 am (Chicago time) My Mom picked up and like any mother would do, asked me what was wrong, and if we were OK. We were better than OK, I was on top of the world!

The Great Wall proposal

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14 Responses to A Great Engagement on a Great Wall… Welcome to China!

  1. Bruce Johnson says:

    A Special Day indeed!

  2. Katherine says:

    I overwhelemed with joy for the two of you. What a great match! Best Wishes and can’t wait to celebrate with you soon enough.

  3. Jere Brokaw says:

    Congratulations to the two of you! Adam, it must have been killing you traveling all this time trying to keep the ring a secret. Great job!

  4. Judson Englett says:

    Congrats on the proposal. We are all excited for you guys. BTW do you have to order Chinese food in China or just Food? Have a great one. We’ve enjoyed the journals.


  5. Marian Liardo says:

    Love the prosposal!!!! Congrats you guys. A friend of mine actually posted your story on her facebook. Miss you both.

  6. Dr. Lynne says:

    so exciting for you guys!! That was the date the baby was due but she came on the 13th so you’ll have your special day without sharing!! Congratulations to you both. I am so happy that you have this amazing time together. Can’t wait to see you when you get back…whenever that may be! 🙂 Be safe. Big hugs. Much love.

  7. Rachel Driscoll says:

    Jim and I are thrilled for the two of you. We will have to return the favor with breakfast a BYO Champagne toast! Love you both!

  8. Jim and Rebecca says:

    Congratulations. What a great story.

  9. Debbie Meyer says:

    Congratulations on the engagement! Adam told me a while ago the date he was going to propose but he didn’t tell the details. Such a wonderful story!

  10. Jeff and Monica Egger says:


  11. John K. Carpenter says:

    Congratulations!!!! I was guessing you’d pop the question in Paris but the Great Wall is an awesome place for engagements! again congratulations!!!!!

  12. Heather A. Beck says:

    four weeks. I walk away for four weeks and this is what happens (and I actually had to like…sign IN – I commented so much before I didn’t have to!!!). D, girl you know how much I followed you from the start. I fall off for a few weeks and I miss this AMAZING story. so happy for the two of you, love.

    what a beautiful journey.

  13. Sandy Case says:

    just read the engagement blog!!!!!! got tears!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg! you’re engaged! Adam, it must have been so hard keeping the ring a secret for so long!!!!! it WASN’T on the LIST of things u packed!!!! thanks for all the blogs and pictures, they’re wonderful !! You’re Living the Dream!!!!

  14. Courtney Bacon says:

    Congrats! I’m so happy for the 2 of you. I had your blog saved under my favorites and check in on you guys often. Safe Travels!!


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