1948113_10200853741260817_305398386_nShe said, “Yes!”

Holy schlamoly! My baby girl is getting married! Where did the time go?

It seems like only yesterday, uh, last week, last month a short while ago that I had been asked the same question – 

This is where the picture gets all wavy with the *Twilight Zone theme song* in the background and we time travel to 1980 the evening when my husband proposed.

Picture this:

Two extremely young lovers exit their run-down quaint hotel onto a cobblestoned street. Greeted by fragrant herbs and fresh-baked pizza wafting on a mild Roman breeze, they take a moment to marvel at the sun slipping behind the distant hills. The flaming neon streak that separates the sky from the earth calls to the crescent moon rising in the east, “Follow me. This is the way home.”

With rumbling stomachs, the couple laughs at the thought of the sun and moon talking to each other. As nighttime descends, they stroll past ancient ruins on their way to dinner.



 They meander the city’s broad avenues and wind down narrow passageways. Only once they have paid tribute, a coin each, to a time-honored legend which promises a return to the Eternal City,


Fontana di Trevi

do they find their destination…

With dinner ordered, they gaze into one another’s eyes  take in the romantic surroundings: red-and-white-check table cloths, bulbous balls of cheese hanging from well dusted rafters accompanied by hocks of prosciutto and lengthy chains of soppresata and pepperoni. The flame of a candle shoved into a basket bound chianti bottle (remember, it’s 1980) offers a moment of focus for the young man as he dabs a fine film of sweat from his temples with a white cloth napkin.

The primi piatti is served.

Before the first mouthful, a lilting voice breaks the silence, “Mi scusi.”

POP goes a cork.

SPLASH – Champagne swirls into fluted glasses, its twinkling bubbles making up for the invisible stars from earlier that evening.

The couple’s simultaneous “Grazie” brings a smile to the waiter’s face. He nods with a “Prego” and returns to the kitchen.

You can imagine the rest- except that I did not say yes. Instead, I stammered, “I, I, I, do love you, but, ahh, ask me again in three months.”

I know. You must be shaking your head and saying, “How could you?” But I hadn’t seen it coming. I was shocked. It seemed that Trevi Fountain lore actually had something to it. Ron should have thrown three coins in the fountain to ensure marriage. Although, maybe he went back without me knowing because I did say yes a few days later and in 1981 we were married.

Fast forwarding to 2006 – we revisited Rome for our 25th wedding anniversary, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the single coin toss. Of course, I insisted upon going to the restaurant where Ron proposed. Women are sentimental. We remember things in great detail. Men do not. The entire time, Ron is convinced we are on a fool’s errand wild goose chase we will never find it, but then, he gets lost in a paper bag.

I guide him through the alley flanking the left side of the Spanish steps.

Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna

At the end, we turn left onto the via Margutta – an extremely long block. The Osteria is still there, mid-way on the left hand side. I am sure it’s the same place, even though inside it has changed. Sporting a modern decor, Roy Lichtenstein type prints adorn the walls. Ron insists it’s not the place. He’s so adamant that I almost begin to believe him. We take a table anyway and I sit with my back to the wall. After ordering, we sip a Montepulciano and talk about that night.

Suddenly, he laughs. “Oh, this is definitely the place.”

I pick up my glass, give it a swirl. “So wtf what changed your mind?”

“Just turn around…”

And there, hanging above me, the universe confirmed my excellent sense of direction

I love you

Well, now that my daughter is engaged, we’ll be dress shopping soon. Once that’s done, I’ll have to tell you about finding the dress for my wedding – an Italian connection of another kind. For now though, why don’t you join me in toasting the happy couple.


At the Rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts


About Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner

I am an adventure seeking ponderer of the mysteries of the universe, writer of children's books (represented by Stephen Fraser of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency), and lover of anything involving armor, archery, or swashbuckling.
This entry was posted in ADVENTURES, EVENTS, FAMILY, HUMOR, ROAD TRIP and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Petra Bardon says:

    Congratulations to you and your family. What a happy occasion.


  2. Congratulations for your daughter!
    And loved reading the story of your proposal.


  3. Sue k says:

    Good one Donna, very romantic.


  4. This all makes me cry…tears of HappyHappyHappiness! And the picture on the wall gave me a super chill down to my toes!


  5. Vic says:

    Actually, I think I said, “What???? How could you?” or “You didn’t give him an answer?????” or “Get out!!!!”.
    Great post! Your descriptions of the surroundings were wonderful! How do you know the knotted rafters (knotted?) were well dusted? Did you get up there and check? No wonder Ron was sweating? He thought into the future and worried you would make him climb up to dust the rafters (knotted) in your house!
    I’ve heard the story before but your words and pictures made it even better!
    Good luck to the happy couple!


  6. Corinne says:

    How Romantic!!! Love you guys even more.


  7. vesna says:



  8. Lyn says:

    What a wonderful story, Donna. The sort that makes you go, “ohhhh, that’s gorgeous.” And super congratulations to your daughter and her fiance (and to your whole family). I love the picture of Lady and The Tramp. I love that movie, and that is my favourite scene 😀


  9. Love that story, Donna! I can so see the two you wander these Rome streets, then and now. And yes, congratulations to your daughter and her future husband!


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