Thursday, September 20, 2012

Planning the Big Surprise

It all started a few weeks ago. I woke up thinking about my Grandma and her upcoming 90th birthday party.  I hadn't planned on attending but that morning had a feeling I needed to go. I let it simmer in the back of my mind for a few days before mentioning anything to Dave.

Par for the course when I mentioned it to him he immediately said I should go. He likes it when I spend money. Really what I mean is: when I mention I'm thinking about doing something that costs a lot of money he knows it must be important to me--because I never want to spend money--and he likes to be supportive of me doing things that are important to me. It took me a few more days to decide what to do.

After many days of waiting for that pressing feeling to disperse I gave in and spent a couple hours researching prices and airline miles and figuring out which would be cheaper to use. After finding that Hawaiian Airlines had the best prices and flight times to fit my needs I had to decide whether or not to use my miles or my moolah. I ran a simple cost analysis. I can't help it.

I've really been wanting to take the family to The Big Island (Hawaii). I've been saving air miles to take the family there. But now I needed to get to the mainland in the most cost effective way possible. I decided to build a little ratio to compare the $ cost of travel to the airline mile cost of travel. Then I needed to compare the Big Island travel ratio to the Mainland travel ratio. It turned out that my air miles had more purchasing power to the mainland. I bought my ticket with my miles.

A couple more days passed and Dave asked if I had called my parents and told them yet. "NO!" I wanted to surprise them.  He suggested I tell his parents. "NO!" I wanted to surprise them.

"Bad idea." he said. "What if they have other plans or guests when you arrive? What if they are going out of town? What if. . . ."

I simmered on that for a few days and decided he was right. I emailed my dad and my mother-in-law. They decided that they should know but that their significant others (my mom, my father-in-law) should be surprised. That made me happy. Arrangements were made and I shut my mouth keeping my own secret.

In the meantime I set out to make sure that the kids would be able to take care of themselves and their father while I was gone.  I made sure they each knew how to make a dinner.  I gradually transitioned the lunch-making to them by claiming I was running late for work and needed their help. I updated our family wall calendar so the kids would know at a glance where their siblings were.  I got all their google calendars updated and shared with Dave so he would know where they each were [supposed to be] just by looking at his phone.

A few days before leaving I made a few final arrangements.  I asked a friend to keep an eye out on my kids after school and to remind them to do their homework.  I reminded Dave to take a morning off to drive me to the airport. I told my neighbors and my visiting teachers that I would be gone and to keep an eye on the household. I printed out a detailed menu plan and assignment list for the week. I stocked my refrigerator. I made extra bread and lunch goodies to stash in the freezer. I got all the laundry caught up (at least what was in the laundry room).

On Tuesday morning I woke up business as usual.  I worked out and came home and got ready for my day but instead of going to work I packed my bags and tidied up the house. When Dave came home to pick me up at 9:30am the dishes were clean, floors swept, laundry folded, bed made, and I was ready to go.

On the way to the airport we stopped in at Costco for some Hawaiian Chocolates and fresh leis.  I had also brought a gallon size Ziploc bag of sand from Sunset Beach and some fake tattoos.

Check in was mostly uneventful. I did make the mistake of going through security near gate 60 and had to walk clear to gate 22. I was also stopped at the USDA Ag check for having plums in my lunch. They made me go to the back of the line, eat my plums and then I got to go through again.  I passed the second time.

The flight was easy and boring.  I brought a book, watched the stupid movie, read the in-flight magazine, ate the blah food and survived the bumpy landing and was so excited when I walked out the front doors of the airport and saw my dad standing and waiting for me.

A Success!

1 comment:

  1. You are so amazing, Dani! Your sons will have a hard time finding wives that can live up to the example of their mother. Thanks for letting me in on the surprise. I had so much fun even anticipating your visit. :)


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