My husband Jim turned 40 this past week so I thought I'd throw him a surprise trip.
It was really hard keeping a secret for so long but I wanted to take Jim to the Grand Canyon for a grand birthday. He has a lot of great childhood memories going to the Grand Canyon with his family. I told him we would be going to Chicago but would also need clothes to go to a spa. It worked - he was completely surprised!
I think I slipped once about going to the airport but then I just started throwing out all kinds of weird clues to throw him off. I should also add... I didn't tell his family or friends in case they'd slip (sorry guys!) I only told a few people so I could get advice on where to go. It's hard to keep a secret that long!
Anyway, we landed in Phoenix on Friday and stayed at a condo in Peoria for a night. On Saturday morning I told him we had to head out first thing so we could be in Flagstaff by 9:30. Jim thought something was up...and it was.
We drove to Flagstaff to meet at a place called MartAnne's Burrito Palace (check the Yelp review!!) so we could meet our friends Craig and Nikki. We worked with them in Wilmington and now the two work at a TV station in Tucson. It was awesome because Jim walked in first and saw Craig... Craig smiled at Jim but then didn't know what to do so he looked away because it was supposed to be a surprise! It was classic. Love those two so much and it was great for them to be our Grand Canyon partners. We even hiked down for a bit but without crampons and hiking sticks, we stopped when it started looking a little treacherous.
Below is a pic Jim took with his smartphone. Can you believe how great it turned out?!
I also brought my selfie stick... and a bluetooth remote that helps you snap pictures on demand. I just thought this picture was funny because Craig has been using a selfie stick at work. I hope his boss is watching so he can do his next liveshot this way. Just kidding! Anyone who works in news probably has a strong opinion on this... so I'll just leave it at that.
But back to our birthday boy. I wanted to say a big thanks to our friend Angie who helped me make Jim's birthday a little more special. She had a ton of contact information and that made a huge difference. I wanted other people to celebrate Jim's birthday because turning 40 is such a big moment. I asked Jim's friends and family members to send a letter to him with thoughts, memories, wishes and advice.
I have been so surprised at some of the letters! As I type this, we still have a few to go. I have only allowed Jim to open a couple each day. Some of his favorites so far have been from his college friends writing about their shenanigans. It seems Jim has been really touched by these letters, so thank you to all who took the time to write. And by the way, this was the easiest gift -- I sent a self addressed stamped envelope to my work so Jim never knew until about it!
We also had a haunting experience at the Grand Canyon. I'll have to save that story for later but let's say we both felt it and got the hell out of dodge. I'll have to talk to Jim about sharing that story with you because right now he's not too keen on going back down memory lane. Eek!
As I write this, we're spending our last day in Arizona. Right now, it's 35 degrees and snowing up in the Grand Canyon area and we are packing up to head south to Phoenix where it's a nice 65.
Thanks to all for helping me pull off the big surprise. Jim has really loved it and this will be a great moment in our lives together. It's fun getting older most of the time-- sure beats the alternative!