I have an engagement ring! (Matt proposed with a plain platinum band since he knows how… particular… I am when it comes to jewelry.)
We went to AmericasMart on Friday because they were doing their Corporate Friday. Apparently everybody has heard of AmericasMart except for me, but if you’re not in the know, it’s the largest trade center for wholesale buying and selling in the world. Usually you have to be a wholesale buyer or seller and have a pass to get in, but some Fridays are Corporate Fridays and normal people can get in. You have to show proof of employment, which I found interesting - what if I were unemployed and rich and wanted to buy myself a shiny little pick-me-up?
It was a little overwhelming at first. There’s a whole floor devoted to fine jewelry. It looks like a mall if a mall only had stores and no kiosks or benches or advertisements or food. Following the always appropriate advice of Cher Horowitz, Matt and I did a lap before committing to a location. We started with an estate jewelry store, and visited four stores out of 15-ish before finding The One.
Since these are wholesale stores, most of the settings don’t have stones in them. It’s hard to envision what they’ll look like with stones, and made shopping a bit of a challenge. The upside is that I got to choose the exact setting and exact stone that I wanted - no compromising.
Once I found a setting I liked, the saleslady used the giant jewelry tweezers to put in all kind of diamonds - princess, cushion, asscher, emerald, and round. I’ve always loved asscher in pictures, but was surprised by how underwhelmed I was in person. It would probably look better in a simpler, more geometric setting, but the princess cut with all its sparkly facets looked perfect in my setting.
I was operating on four hours of sleep on Friday since I’d been up late packing, so I decided to sleep on the decision. I went through hundreds of rings on the internet on Saturday, including some that I’d bookmarked before, and compared everything to photos of The One. Nothing could top it.
Matt ordered the ring yesterday and had it sent to my mom to avoid paying Georgia sales tax. She’s bringing it down when she’s in town next week. For now, I’m compulsively looking at the photos she sent me.
Engaged! (Taken with instagram)
Back home with Silas. (Taken with instagram)
Dublin! Book of Kells at Trinity College, then the Guinness factory? museum? distribution center? whatever. This is a photo of Old Library at Trinity that I took before Ben told me I wasn’t allowed to take photos. They have a copy of every book ever published in Ireland.
The Cross of the Scriptures was carved around 900 and is decorated with biblical scenes. This photo doesn’t provide a sense of perspective, but it’s really tall. Definitely taller than I am.
We drove to Dublin today, stopping at Clonmacnoise, a monastery founded in the 500s. Ben says he’s monasteried out, but this was my first in Ireland and I loved it. Lots of interesting history on the early Christian church in Ireland (plus Vikings! Such assholes to those poor monks, though the English and even local Christians weren’t much better. Haters gon hate.). I took lots of photos so I’ll post a few.
We drove up the west coast of Ireland today and are staying in Galway tonight. On our way, we stopped at the Cliffs of Moher. AMAZING. My sad iPhone photos do not do them justice. 700 foot drop, 5 miles long. It’s where the Cliffs of Insanity scenes were filmed for The Princess Bride.
Lion at entrance to Ballyseede Castle, our hotel for the past two nights. (Taken with instagram)
Taken with instagram