Ever since we first got married (18 years ago), my husband and I have switched off who plans our anniversary celebration. He has the even years and I have the odd. We live in a small town about 150 miles south of Anchorage, Alaska and it takes about 2 1/2 hours to drive there from our home.
We met in high school there and most of our relatives still live there today. Anyway, the Friday before our 10th anniversary, my husband suggested that I pack a suitcase as we were going on a little trip. I asked what type of clothes to pack and he just said, “Whatever you think you’ll need.” That wasn’t too helpful, so I packed everything from a bathing suit to jeans and a T-shirt to evening wear.
We made the drive to Anchorage with our then 7 year old daughter. The first stop was my parents’ house. We visited with them for a while and then my husband told me to say good-bye to our daughter. I kissed her, told her I loved her, and then we left. The next stop was my in-laws’ house. We visited with them for a couple of hours and then my brother-in-law and his family stopped by to visit, too.
After a while, my husband and his brother took off on a “secret mission” and were gone for about 45 minutes. After they returned, we hung out there for about another hour and a half before he told me to say goodbye. By this time, I was a little confused. Several weeks earlier, we had talked about driving up north to Denali National Park, but it was getting too late to be driving that far, so I didn’t know what was going on.
Eventually, we ended up at the Ted Stevens International Airport. Then I started to get excited… we were actually going out of state for the weekend, but I didn’t know where! When we parked and left the vehicle, I wondered what happened to the suitcase that I had packed. Evidently, that had been the “secret mission” earlier… to check the luggage in ahead of time so I wouldn’t know where we were going.
We got all the way to the gate before I finally found out where we were going….Las Vegas. But what I didn’t know was that it wasn’t just for the weekend. My husband had spoken to my boss and prearranged it for me to have the entire week off from work!
Our daughter spent three days with my parents, two days with his parents, and two days with his brother and his family. The constant change of scenery made it easier to keep her from getting homesick while we were away. It was an incredible trip, and we have been back to Las Vegas three times since then.
I haven’t tried to top that one yet, but I do get to plan our silver anniversary celebration (if our daughter doesn’t beat me to it).
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