Romance in the air on MCCC Europe trip

Joshua Lewis went to one knee to propose to Avery DeSloover at sunset at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Another summer has passed, and another group of MCCC study abroad students went to Europe.

About 75 students in two groups visited 12 cities in eight countries over a span of 18 days.

But this year’s trip had something the other years did not – two wedding proposals.

MCCC student Jacob Goins proposed to long-time girlfriend Kelly Reaume in a gondola on the canals of Venice, Italy.

And Joshua Lewis proposed to his girlfriend, Avery DeSloover, at sunset by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Goins and Reaume lived a block away from each other for years and even attended the same middle school. But they didn’t meet until a mutual friend had a going-away party on April 5, 2011.

“He swears he tried to talk to me before and that I gave him dirty looks,” Reaume said.

“Obviously, I don’t remember any of that.”

Since the party, the couple have been dating for almost four-and-a-half years. They count the day they met as their anniversary date.

“He never officially asked me out at any point,” Reaume said.

Reaume was excited to be traveling to Venice during the 2015 Study Abroad trip. While on a gondola ride through the Grand Canal, Goins popped the question.

She said yes.

“I had mentioned how cool it would be if he proposed in Venice, but then he shot the idea down with a lot of valid reasons,” she said.

Lewis and DeSloover were witnesses, sharing the gondola ride. It turns out, everyone on the trip knew about his plans to propose.

“I was totally oblivious,” Reaume said.

The couple plans on having the wedding on Aug. 20, 2016.

Lewis and DeSloover met at Redeemer Fellowship Church and have been dating for two years, but Lewis has known he was going to propose for a year.

The couple went for a walk near the Eiffel Tower, where Lewis planned to propose at sunset.

“I thought I was going to be really smooth, but when the moment came, I got nervous,” Lewis said.

“My arms and legs were shaking, and I was stumbling over my words, even though I was nearly certain she would say yes.”

The big day is set for June 4, 2016.

English professor Bill McCloskey, who was one of the leaders of the trip, thought the proposals added a nice touch.

He said he had a great time with students, who all enjoyed the extra romantic touch.

“They were all very good about keeping the proposals a secret,” he said.