updated 06/30/2014 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/01/2014 AT 10:10 AM ET
Andi Dorfman is the Bachelorette!
After a dramatic exit from Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor, the assistant district attorney, who lives in Atlanta, is searching for love once again on ABC’s hit franchise. Andi, 27, will be blogging for PEOPLE.com every week about the men, the dates and the difficult decisions she’ll make on her road to romance.
So check back each week. You can also follow Andi on Twitter.
What a stunning country. I had never been to Belgium and I didn’t know what to expect, and let me just say, it ended up being my favorite country of the entire journey. Belgium is such a beautiful place with so much history and charm.
The pressure was on that week because it was the week before hometowns. Even though there were no roses handed out during the one-on-one dates, there was still a lot of pressure because I needed to decide which relationships I wanted to take that next step with.
Marcus Is a "Total Gentleman"
I chose Marcus for the first one-on-one date of the week because I always have such a great time with him and I wanted to show him a date that didn’t involve rappelling down 30 stories! Also, Marcus spent some time growing up in Europe, and I thought he would be the perfect person to show me around the beautiful city of Brussels. I always liked that Marcus was so well traveled and I wanted to see what a date with him abroad would feel like. I also wanted to get some clarity about him thinking about leaving at one point in the journey.
We took in all of the sites, including the world famous Mannequin de Pis, and he was a total gentleman. I love a man with an appetite, and Marcus definitely did not disappoint. We had the most delicious mussels, waffles, chocolates, French fries and, of course, beer. You could say we basically ate our way through the city of Brussels! My favorite moment you didn’t get to see was when Marcus went and bought postcards. We spent some time writing to our families, which I thought was the sweetest idea!
Later that night, we dined at an ultra-fancy palace. I really loved my conversation with Marcus. I have always been impressed and enamored with Marcus’s ability to be vulnerable and wear his emotions on his sleeve, and that night was no different. It took a lot of courage to open up about his past, and I remember thinking about how strong Marcus was. I didn’t want him to think that I would ever judge him because he didn’t have a picture perfect family. Marcus has been through and has overcome so much in his life, and it has made him into this amazing man. After that date, I felt so much closer to him and I knew I really wanted to go to Dallas to meet his family.
Nick Sneaks Over
I have to admit, I had been waiting for a guy to sneak over this season, and it hadn’t happened yet, so I figured it wasn’t going to :(. But when I least expected it, there was a knock on the door and it was Nick! It was so cute to see how nervous Nick was when he knocked on the door! I was completely taken by surprise, but I loved it! What I liked most about it was that all Nick really wanted to do was go for a walk. He didn’t feel the need to sneak off into an ocean or go to a hot tub.
Walking the streets of Belgium with Nick was so romantic. It was such a rush to know that we were just out on the town. Nick really made me feel special that night and he definitely brought the passion. Although we had a great time, I will say that I felt a little guilty knowing I had just come off a great date with Marcus and had another date the next day, but nonetheless I loved Nick’s effort!
Gaggle of Geese in Ghent
I was excited for my second date with Josh. He and I did not have the best time in Italy, so it was crucial before potentially meeting his family to really see where we stood. I knew that Josh loved to eat, so I made sure to let him enjoy some of the staples of Ghent. (We actually do eat on dates, I promise!)
My favorite part of the date was definitely the goose parade. Once a year, a gaggle of geese come from Holland and march their way through the town and we were lucky enough to be there when they did. The entire town gathered to watch the geese march in a line to music. It was absolutely hilarious and Josh and I laughed so hard the entire parade! What you didn’t get to see was this totally quirky gin bar in the city of Ghent. They have hundreds of flavors of gin – ranging from watermelon to banana to even cactus. What’s better is that the owner is always in a bad mood and has a chart in the bar that indicates just how bad of a mood he’s in that day. Thankfully that day he was happier than normal! We had so much fun in the town of Ghent!
We enjoyed dinner in a castle that evening! I know what you’re thinking: “Palaces and castles, how romantic,” right? Honestly the town of Ghent at night was the most stunning place I have ever seen in my life! The best part of the date was definitely when Josh told me he was falling in love. I was completely shocked!
I wanted Josh to just open up and tell me how he felt, but I knew he is much more reserved with his feelings than most of the other guys. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least. I remembered that Josh promised that the next person he says he’s falling love with will be his wife. So for Josh to put himself out there like that, and to say he’s falling in love, it was so huge. It really meant a lot to me, and I felt like Josh and I took a huge step forward that week and I was excited to meet his family. Between the conversation, the enchanting performance by American Young, and that kiss against the castle wall … it was all very fairy-tale-esque!
Nick Is Ready for Marriage
I met Dylan, Nick, Chris and Brian at these old ruins in the countryside. Again, another beautiful spot in Belgium! I’m telling you, this country was as picturesque as it gets! We rode bike carts through the country (well I rode, they pedaled, haha) and we arrived at a monastery. What a sacred place! We had to abide by some strict rules, which included no kissing or affection within the walls. Certainly not the easiest rules to follow when you’re this far into the journey!
I took Chris to the pottery room where the monks make vases, cups, bowls and much more. Chris and I were terrible at making the pottery, but we had so much fun doing our very own Ghost reenactment. I really loved seeing him all playful, and thankfully, that room was outside of the walls, so we shared a sweet kiss!
I had great conversations with all of the guys, and ultimately, gave the group date rose to Nick. Nick had been so open with me, both on the night he snuck over and that day at the monastery. Here he was, this skeptic, who was now telling me he was ready for marriage.
I felt so good about our relationship and I remembered how special I felt getting that hometown rose last season and I knew I wanted Nick to feel that same way. It was so sad to watch the other guys leave the date, but dinner with Nick was so great and we ended the night with fireworks, which for me capped off a great week of dates!
"I Just Didn’t See Futures with Dylan and Brian"
This rose ceremony was by far the most important one yet. I have such a strong sense of family, and I really valued the idea of meeting someone else’s family. It was important for me to give roses to the guys that I could really see a future with. I know how it feels to expose your family to all of this, so for me, if I didn’t see a future, I didn’t feel right meeting a family.
The time with each guy went well – until Nick swooped in on Brian’s time. I have to say, I was a little disappointed in this “move,” but I also understand that at this point, time is crucial, and a rose, while important, isn’t nearly as important as building the relationship. I have to give major props to Chris for pulling me outside at the end of the night and going in for a kiss! I loved when a man takes charge and Chris continued to do that!
I said goodbye to Dylan and Brian that night because I just didn’t see futures with them. It really is an embarrassment of riches because both Dylan and Brian are stand-up guys who showed me nothing but the utmost respect and willingness to be open throughout all of this. It’s something that I will always appreciate from both of them.
Next week is the week I personally have been waiting for this entire season, HOMETOWNS! I can’t wait for you to see what kinds of dates the guys plan for me, but more importantly, I can’t wait for you to meet some truly amazing families!
Thanks as always for reading and tune in next week!