This part three of my Asperwhat28?! Being Creative Blog and it’s basically all about whether being creative is something that is well-known with people with Autism or is it just blown out of proportions…well you can read what happened in Part 1 and Part 2 right here in the two highlighted links. As for Part Three we sail overnight to Belgium and I begin showing Emma around the city…looking for an opportunity to pop the question, I had already thought of a place to do it and when to do so but I had to take the weather into consideration as well…it was sunny but it was forecast to rain in and out during the day as well so if another good chance came up, I would consider it greatly.
On board the ship was not that bad actually, it was really big for a weekend cruise, it had a casino, cinema, plenty of restaurants and bars so you wouldn’t get bored as you sailed to your destination but to be honest, getting wasted and eating all the food I wanted wasn’t on my agenda at the moment as we got on the ship, I had a job to do but one thing I wondered was why would it take ALL night to sail from Hull in England to Zeebrugge in Belgium? it’s not that far…what, did the ship just go in a zig zag line all the way? up and down, up and down or did we enter some kind of different dimension as we slept? I didn’t really sleep that night.
Emma certainly did though in the bedroom where the bed was folded into the wall and you had to unfold it…bunk bed…was fun for whoever slept on top bunk…that was me…I wandered about on the deck of the ship in the middle of the night…a weird experience when you’re in the middle of the ocean, it looked like we were moving fast enough and plenty of people were out and about having drinks or a smoke…I would end up having chats with many people, letting them all know of my plan…and just walking all about the ship for about 4 hours, I was nervous ok!
After a bus journey to Bruges the next morning, we set off into the city…although to be honest, I had no idea which direction to go into…well can you blame me? I’d never been to this place before, all I knew was where the location I had chosen to propose to her was…luckily I understand the direction signs enough to lead Emma to the center of the city and let me tell you…Bruges has a special place in my heart…I fell in love with this place…it is an amazing city to see and even though I would only be there for a day…I can easily say that it is the only city that I have visited where I haven’t got bored…once! Anyway, we were in Bruges and I wanted to propose to her and I had worked hard to get here so I couldn’t let it slip through my fingers!
To give Emma a day to remember, I paid for us to go on a Horse Drawn Carriage ride around the main parts of Bruges which didn’t cost an arm or a leg or anything! It was fun and we saw all the main tourist attractions and even saw the lake where my plan would hopefully come full circle! I hope anyway but at that time…I was deciding on where to take her next and that would end up being a chocolate factory…of course which was amazing… but the point is here that my attempts to not give anything away at all was working but I was running out of money fast…I only brought 100 Euros…I thought it would be enough for 1 day between us both…I never said this was plan was 100% perfect…this was a mistake caused by my misjudgment of how much I really needed but never mind, the day was amazing, we saw so many great sights as the whole day was wandering about, seeing sights and attractions and up to this point, it had only rained once! So far, so good then but as the afternoon went on, I knew that I had to propose in the next couple of hours or I would run out of time…however, it looked like it could rain again soon so I had to do it now or have either time or rain ruin it for me so I led her back to my choice…the Lake of Love or as it’s actually called Minnewater Lake although I was a bit ahead of her, that was planned…I lost her in a nunnery first and she sort of chased after me until we got half way across the bridge, I gave her a hug and got down on one knee…terrified that it had arrived at long last, she could either say Yes or no to me and I was prepared and she said
Yes! She nodded and said yes to me, meaning that all of that planning, keeping secrets and hoping paid off…I was so happy that she agreed to be my future wife, we kissed and I placed the ring around her finger…to a round of applause I might add…when we got back to the bus stop where our day had begun, all of the people I had spoken to last night all asked if she had said yes to which I got another round of applause!
To conclude, I set out with a plan on a whim…I didn’t think it would really succeed for many different reasons but as I have said, I overcame every obstacle and got hold of everything I needed to get to Bruges, give her a day to remember and finish it off by proposing at the Lake of Love as the sun set…it was perfect as far as I can tell and from what feedback I have received from everyone I have told in the few years after I did this, they agree, it was a fantastic plan…something outside of the box, mainly because it didn’t take me long to do or plan…it all happened in the space of 30 days so I have Autism and I was able to do that…despite all of the paranoia, obsession and worrying about so many things going wrong yet…nothing really did….best thing all I mostly did it all by myself…apart from people agreeing to not say anything to Emma, I did it all myself…so tell me…how creative was it?
This was my review I wrote the day after the journey on Trip Advisor
The mini cruise from Hull to Bruges was all part of my plan to propose to my girlfriend on our 2nd year anniversary, she thought we were going to stay in Hull for the weekend at the Premier Inn and she was more than shocked when I told her the truth.
Our check in was quick and easy and we were asked if we had any alcohol in our bags to which we said no but my bag was the only one searched where as my girlfriends was not but I didn’t think much about it although I was glad I hid the ring I was proposing with in my toothbrush bag just to be safe. We waited in the waiting area and it only really had a few vending machines so we didn’t have much to do well, as Emma went to the toilet I snuck my ring back in my bag. It didn’t really matter that there wasn’t much to do because my girlfriend was to busy coming to terms that she was going abroad for the weekend and not staying in Hull.
We boarded the ship and for the price that we paid or should I say, I paid we could understand getting a small cabin but we were happy with it and made do. We got changed and As we went to the buffet restaurant and got our starters, the ship slowly left the docks and sailed off into the night. The range of food was excellent, they had a cold and hot area for food and it was the best sunday roast meal that I have had in a long time, the turkey was excellent and melted in my mouth and I now feel kind of sad that it wont be the same turkey at christmas time back home, the potatoes and Yorkshire Puddings were excellent as well. A staff member made a rose out of napkins and gave it to Emma which was fantastic, they often offered to carry her dishes to the table for her and always had smiles on their faces, it really made the trip more enjoyable.
The shops were great, and they also had a cinema and casino on board. we bought a couple of board games to play in our room before heading down to the Piano bar for a few drinks before heading back for a good nights sleep or should I say my girlfriend did, I couldn’t sleep…I had a lot on my mind as I was going to propose the next day in Bruges, I had butterflies in my stomach as I quietly left the room at 1am and went for a walk along the deck. I’ll never forget looking up at the starry sky, thinking about what it was going to be like when I proposed. I remember another passenger asking me what I was thinking about and when I told him, he said I should have no worries since everyone else who knew back home believed I could pull it off but it sometimes feels even better when even a stranger believes in you.
Anyway back to the trip, Breakfast was good but I preffered Dinner but it’s still high quality but they do have it very early….ours was at have 6 local time so I’d set the time before u go to sleep the previous night or u’ll be confused when you wake up to find its half 5 U.K time. we arrived in Bruges early in the morning and getting off the boat didn’t take so long, just quite a queue to get through. The buses were outside and we easily got onboard one, before heading to Bruges which looked amazing as we entered it. Leaving the station we got dropped off at, we both headed into the city and were amazed by its small cobbled stones streets and chocolate shop after chocolate shop….after chocolate shop. If you love chocolate then come here during your lifetime, you’ll not regret it.
We went to a Chocolate museum that did demonstrations of how they make there chocolates and free handouts, a win. Afterwards we went to the city center and got into a horse and carriage and was taken about the city’s main landmarks and given an audio tour as well, our driver was very friendly and even had a small friendly Jack Russell. It involved a short break at Lake Minniewater, the lake of love. Emma liked it as the sun reflected over the water but I loved it…it was the place I had earlier chosen as where I would later propose to her.
After our tour we went for lunch at an Italian restaurant where I tried Belgium waffles and needless to say….best dessert ever….100 out of 10. The afternoon passed by and we had explored virtually the entire city and had fallen in love with it, after a little shower, the skies cleared up and we could see the sunset in the distance, i knew it was time to finish off my plan. I led her back to the Lake of Love and onto a bridge in front of the orangey sky and told her how much she means to be and that my life would feel empty if she was not in it. That’s when she got the biggest surprise of all as I got on one knee and asked her to marry me, which she said yes but was at a lost for words at first and admitted that our one day trip to Bruges was better than our 2 week holiday to Tenerife.
Bruges was the greatest day trip we have ever had and shall never forget it. P and O cruises made it all easy with their friendly staff and excellent facilities although I will suggest they give passengers more than one pillow to sleep on.
None the less, I look forward to travelling with P and O again someday and I would recommend them to everyone I know.