2) Paradise in My Eyes

Last summer, I decided to plan a week long vacation in Orlando, Florida for my then boyfriend and myself. He has never been on a plane or traveled too far out of our home state of Pennsylvania. I had the whole week planned out step by step except for the very first day. Our hotel gave us one extra night and offered to fly us in one day early. I just ran out of money and couldn’t afford to do anything that first day.

I talked about going to Discovery Cove for months before the vacation. It is a paradise in my eyes, where you swim with the dolphins and snorkel with stingrays and fish. I just couldn’t afford to go. A lady I worked with bragged about this place every time I saw her. She even brought pictures in to show me how me how great it was, and I couldn’t tell you how much it got under my skin. I went home every night to complain to Steven (my fianc) about this woman and how she kept rubbing it in my face. He just thought it was funny. Little did I know, he had a good reason to laugh about it.

We left for our vacation at the end of July, but it started off pretty rocky. Our flight was supposed to leave at around 8pm, which meant we would arrive around 10pm in Florida. Our flight was delayed multiple times, and we didn’t fly out until after 11pm. Steven was not happy with the situation, and constantly worried if we were ever going to get on the plane. I told him that we didn’t have to be there at a certain time, because our first day was going to be a relaxing day at the hotel.

After arriving at the hotel between 1-2am, we asked when our luggage was going to be delivered to our room. The hotel was to transport the luggage from the airport and deliver it to us. They said we wouldn’t receive it until 7-8am. The problem was, Steven finally told me he had plans, and we needed to leave our room at 7am.

Luckily, Steven woke up very early that morning, after no sleep, and dragged our suitcases up to the room at 7am, and we left only about an hour late.

I still had no idea where we were going.

We took a bus and arrived at Discovery Cove. I was soooooo excited and I couldn’t believe he did this for me. I was on cloud nine the entire day.

Our time came to swim with the dolphins, and it was absolutely incredible. The instructor picked on me constantly because I was the quietest person in the group. It didn’t surprise me when he picked me to do the very last stunt. I was pulled forward and told to take the toy from the dolphin as he swam over to me. The dolphin swam over with a buoy in its mouth and I noticed that something was written on it. I grabbed it and read it" Looking forward to spending today and everyday with you. Love, Steven" I was extremely confused and turned to Steven.

He got down on one knee in the water and proposed to me in front of everyone. Of course I said "yes," and we walked out of the water, where a guy was standing with a little treasure chest with the ring in it. Steven got down on one knee again on the sand to put the ring on my finger. Everyone was standing around watching and clapping, and I was still speechless. They caught the whole proposal on tape and gave us a complimentary DVD.

I couldn’t ask for a better fiance’ or proposal. I never expected a thing that day and never saw it coming. Just being there was a dream come true.


Proposal Story By:

Melissa Altice and Steven Luckenbaugh Jr.

Hanover, PA


The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, is one of the worlds top diamond experts, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred The Diamond Guy
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