Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Surprise Florida Trip: The "how"

We're back!

Let's back up a bit, shall we?
January is a good place to start.
I told M sometime in early January that this year I wanted to make Valentines Day* about HIM. Since my birthday falls on Valentines Day, it's usually all about me. Not by demand, necessarily, it's just the way it's worked out in the past.

I wanted to plan a weekend away, and after looking into alternate destinations (we've been to Naples 3 times, including this trip now) I decided it was more cost effective on such short notice to go back to Naples.
A bonus about going to Naples, and mayyybeee a large reason why we keep going back, is the fact that my aunt and uncle have a condo 3 blocks off the beach. And when I say condo, I really should say a bed and breakfast, because omgosh is it nice. Not to mention any piece of food my aunt touches turns into magic. Seriously.
Here's a peek at our digs:
(heeyyyyy handsome ;) )

Anyway, now that the obvious is out of the way, let's go back to the "how I did it" part.
First, I told M he needed to take a half day the 14th and all day the 15th off work. I told him we had "events" we were doing. I never let on this was a full weekend thing, or even that we were leaving town.

I had asked him twice if he had off President's Day. He said "yeah, I think so" which should've been code for me to dig deeper with someone else, but I took his word for it and bought our plane tickets.
We'd be leaving the 14th at 4 p.m. and coming back late the 18th (President's Day).

I then started to have some doubts as to whether he actually had off President's Day, so I facebooked a coworker of his whom I'd met several times. That's when the bomb came: nope, they did NOT have it off. Lovely. I then took it upon myself to email M's supervisor and see what could be done. I filled him in about my plan and asked if he could help. He replied and said that M only had one meeting scheduled for that day so he'd gone in and blocked off the rest of his calendar for a "strategy summit." He said he'd have to think up some creative lies to tell him as the day got closer because, as he put it, M is an "inquisitive little bugger." :)

The wrenches just kept coming, though.
While at my CLE in late January I got an email from M's sister to M, their dad, and their other sister informing us she'd be back in town and wanted to get together the weekend of the 15th.
I took M off the email and replied, letting them in on the secret as well.
In actuality, it served as a nice distraction. I let M think his dad was staying at our place and we'd be spending the weekend with them, which further confused him about what our plans were. M's dad stays with us often, but, M had no idea that he wouldn't be seeing him. 

In a cosmic act of redemption, I got an email a week or so before we left informing me that their new CEO had given them President's Day off anyway. Oofta, one less thing to worry about!

February 14th rolls around.
I took the day off, so as soon as M left for work I sprang into action. I hustled around and packed BOTH our suitcases (a much more difficult feat than anticipated, since I couldn't find M's rolly bag suitcase..and had to borrow a friend's at the last minute.) I had planned a lunch with friends (the first time I've spent my birthday with friends since my 21st. A sad consequence of having a V-Day B-Day when all the rest of ya'll are busy "not" celebrating* ;-).

I left M explicit instructions to NOT MOVE when he got home. I had set out a change of clothes and told him to sit on the couch and go nowhere else. My fear was, he'd start to discovery missing toiletries, items moved, and become suspiscious. (I found out later he disobeyed my orders and went to grab a jacket to shovel, only to find it gone.. and then took a shower, and wondered where his brush went. Men, sheesh.)

I met up with Molly and Sarah at Salut in St. Paul, and had a delicious birthday lunch. 

I got home from lunch, and tossed our suitcases from my trunk to M's trunk before heading inside. I knew he'd be home from work by then, and I had transferred his clothes into the suitcase I borrowed from Molly in the Salut parking lot.

I went inside and found M in the living room, along with a dozen roses (that would later get shoved in a closet to die because the cat eats EVERYTHING and M had no idea we weren't returning for 5 days). He'd also framed and matted my law school diploma, which I thought was very sweet. Lastly, in his card, he told me we'd be going to Dock 86 Monday to pick out a new couch for our living room! Once again, poor guy had no idea that wouldn't be happening either. At least not Monday!

I told him it was time to go, but we needed to stop for gas first, and that I'd tell him at the gas station (I wanted to film it and either he or I needed to actually drive to the that's how it went down.) Here's the video, which I absolutely adore: 

He was SO funny the whole drive there, asking dozens of questions, and repeating "This is nuts. This is insane. I can't believe it." over and over again. Haha.

I had worked it out with his sister, who was flying into the airport Thursday night a few hours after we left, to leave M's car in short term parking so that she could pick it up and drive back to our place to watch TJ for the weekend. It all went so flawlessly (well, except for the part where she couldn't find where we'd left the spare key with the car, but thankfully she'd only been looking for about 10 minutes by the time we landed and got cell service again), and we were on our way to Florida!

Tomorrow I'll post the actual vacation recap, since this is already obscenely long. Totally unrelated, but I appear to have come down with some kind of head cold. My body clearly saw the weather back home and said "nuh uh, that ish ain't happenin" and gone on strike. Mer. 

*[For all of you reading who think Valentine's Day is dumb, or refer to it as a Hallmark Holiday, or brag about how you 'don't get into V-Day' and were all super low key about how you celebrated (you STILL celebrated it): I'm onto you. Also, if V-Day is so fabricated, what exactly is the point of St. Patrick's Day. Hmmm? And the refrain of 'I show my significant other love every day!' (insert googly eyes) makes me yawn. Where's the chorus on Mother's Day? Father's Day? Thanksgiving? ALSO things you can do year round. derka der. (drops mic.) Don't get me wrong, if celebrating it isn't your jam, fine. What irks me are those who go so far out of their way to make it known.]


  1. Love this! That video is so adorable! Love the 'whoop' @ the end! I want to do this someday for my hubby...just plan a surprise trip! Very difficult with his type of work though...always having to train and meetings. Can't wait to hear all about the vaca!!!

  2. OMG I love M's reaction!!! That's priceless! Amazing!!

  3. i love this! his reaction was adorable. glad it all worked out and can't wait to hear all about the vacation!

  4. This is too adorable! I would love to do this some day for Micah. How amazing!

  5. How fun! I planned a surprise trip for my husband's 30th birthday but did not pull it off nearly as well as you did!

    Also, I totally agree with you on people who make a big deal about NOT celebrating Valentine's Day. Good for you, now shut up about it/

    1. What a sweet gesture, Kelly!! I love that you went ALL OUT! :)

  6. I LOVE this!!! So sweet. You seriously did a great job of planning. I don't know if I could keep it secret I would be so excited!! But seriously brilliant. And I love the video so funny.

  7. Oh my goodness this is one of the cutest things I've ever seen! That video is priceless. I hope you guys had an absolutely amazing time!

  8. You might be my favorite blogger because of that little P.S. at the end there. I mean... that is something to me that steals the goodness out of valentine's day. All the snarky comments everywhere you look. Rude! And i don't get the "i would rather my man do something nice for me just because, not because he is obligated to!" Brad gives me flowers on Valentine's Day b/c he wants to! He's not obligated to! Grr.

    ANYWAY - i LOVED the video in this post! Y'all are cute! He is like 'WHAT????' LOL! So cute! Love that you talked to his boss! So cute! Glad y'all had a great time!

  9. Also, i love how you are giggling in the video! Like just so excited!! :)

  10. Super cute! The video is the best. I don't celebrate Vday OR St. Patty's day. Haha. Ok, but I do celebrate Mother's Day and Father's day ;)

  11. that video is adorable! such a good wifey already :)

  12. this was SO sweet! you are queen of surprised! oh and M looked ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED before you shared your plan! hahahahahaha i feel like his heart was beating a mile a minute, wondering what the heck was going to happen next. "whoop."