Monday, October 13, 2008

The Big Surprise!

Well the surprise is over and it went flawlessly and was so much fun!!

Here's how it went down--Don turned the big 5-0 on Monday and I had done some birthday festivities for him (the suckling pig, and a getaway to our weekend house, some presents, etc.) so he thought the party was over, but little did he know, I had more up my sleeve!

I had made reservations at a fancy hotel/spa type place that's about a three hour drive from us. I made arrangements for the pet sitters to come and I secretly packed and hid the suitcases in the car the day before--Don had no idea! I filled the big boys in on the plan a little ahead of time--mainly because I was afraid they'd really complain about the long car ride.

So yesterday morning I told Don that I thought we should go out to breakfast--I told him there was a new place I wanted to try. So I started driving (and driving and driving...) and he kept saying "Where is this place?" I just kept saying stuff like "Oh we'll be there eventually." LOL--it was so much fun!

We got to the resort place and he still thought I had driven all that way just for breakfast! As we were walking in I told him that it was a surprise and that we were staying! I told him about the hidden suitcases and the pet sitters, etc. He was SO excited!!

We were all starving so we had a nice lunch at one of the restaurants there and Don kept marveling at how I had kept the secret (it wasn't easy!!).

The room wasn't quite ready so we walked to this nearby design center where they had all these cool model bathrooms set up. It was really good for us to look at, as we are planning this huge remoldeling job and the architect is always asking me questions about bathtubs, etc. and I'm always saying "I have no idea!" So it was good, becasue we did get a lot of ideas, and the kids thought it was cool to see all the crazy bathrooms.

But the best part of this place was a "museum" they had in the basement that had all kinds of antique bathroom fixtures. The kids called it the "Toilet Museum." And, course, they did have a lot of toilets--so that led to lots of "Mommy take my picture on this toilet"...

Gooser on an aqua-colored toilet.
Group toilet pic!
Even Pickle got in on the toilet action! Here she is showcasing a lavender-colored toilet. Do think that toilet color will ever come back into fashion? Probably not!
And here's the matching lavender tub:
I call this The Wall O' Toilets!
I told the kids--"Don't tell me I never take you anywhere nice!"

OK--enough toilet talk! After that, we checked into the room--and was it NICE! I had splurged and booked the "Presidential Suite" so it had a huge living room and dining room with firelace, a big master bedroom and an amazing bathroom with what might be the biggest tub I have ever seen! Check it:

OMG was it nice! The kids actually put on their bathing suits and went swimming in it--LOL! At one point, all five of them were in there.
So after we checked in, we took the kids to the (real) pool and swam for awhile and hung out in the hot tub there. It was very relaxing and it was great to see Don having such a good time.

Then I surprised him again by telling him I had booked some babysitters to come so he and I could go out to a fancy restaurant. The kids were excited because we let them order room service and they had a great time with the sitters--they watched Iron Man and played Scrabble.

Here's Patrick relaxing in front of the fireplace.

While we were getting ready, there was a knock on the door and a hotel employee brought us a beautiful plate of fruit (no pic--kids devoured it!), Champagne on ice:

And a flower arrangement! (I brought it home.)

Then Don and I had one of the best meals ever! I'm still thinking about it... We decided to do the "tasting menu" with wine pairings and it was fantsatic! Things like squash blossoms stuffed with duck confit and creme bruleed foie gras. There was pork belly with lobster and Arctic Char. It was all crazy good! And the wines were so interesting--there was one wine paired with the foie gras that actually had the bouquet of bananas! I've never had anything like that before. Oh, and the dessert was passion fruit mousse with beads of pinapple in it. And homemade chocolates! I'm hungry just writing about it.

Then I surprised Don again with a horse and carriage ride around the town. That was so much fun! It was a beautiful old carriage with red leather seats and there were nice wool blankets to cuddle under. Here I am with one of the horses.

I hate this pic of me but the horse looks cute!

This morning, we had a great breakfast--one of those extravagant buffets which the kids love. Pickle was on Cloud Nine because of the all-you-can-eat bacon!

And here she is with her "coffee." It's really water, but she calls it coffee!
And here's Gooser with a giant plate of food.
The hotel had a beautiful rose garden and I tried to get some pics of Pickle amongst them--but it wasn't very successful. I got one though... not so great but at least it shows off her supercool Rolling Stones dress!
Then we took the kids to a nearby pumpkin patch where they had a lot of fun activities.

Pickle feeding a llama:
Various kids on various ponies:
Here I am with Pickle on (yet another!) horse and carriage ride.
Then we headed off to check out an historic site that had tours led by people in costumes of an interesting old inn and some other cool things like a blacksmith's shop:
And an old saw mill. Check out the fall colors!
Here's a pretty creek by the mill:
And I tried to get some more pretty fall pics:
There was also an antique car show nearby and I saw this bizarre gear shift knob:
Which is right up my alley because I have a "thing" for eyeballs!

I also got these cute little animals for my cute little animal collection:
And then we came home (sniff, sniff).

Sorry--this blog is about a mile long! We sure packed a lot of fun in this weekend and I think I achieved my goal of making a memorable birthday for Don. Thanks for reading!

P.S. There is a cool costume giveaway on Grosgrain. Check it out! I would LOVE to win this for Pickle!!



Mamahut said...

Wow, not in a wierd way but I wish you were my wife. How fun that all looks. I would have been in heaven at the toilet museum. I love old toilets!
btw my birthday is in may...

Ronda's Rants said...

I'll second that...Will you marry me Jennifer? That looked like a wonderful trip...I am glad you shared with us...Happy Birthday...Don! 50 is great!

Missy said...

Wow! What wonderful planning & what a great surprise for your husband. You did a super job!!!!

Becky said...

That must of taken alot of work!! how cool!

Where in the world did you find the Rolling Stones dress? My husband loves them, and it would crack him up to get one for Summer!

Shannon said...

Wow. You guys take the most amazing trips and do the coolest stuff!

LOL @ the "wall o' toilets"!!!

I loved reading all about your weekend... glad you all had a great time and that Don liked his surprise!

Kori said...

Oh what a wonderful time you guys had.

Jo-Jo said...

Your husband is very lucky to have you as a wife!

Lori said...

How many people can say they have a picture of all their kids in a lavender bathtub?? You done good!

I'm sitting here drinking coffee looking at a picture of Pickle drinking coffee. I call that a good start to the day!

Jen B. said...

What fun! Glad you have such a fantastic weekend!

CaraBee said...

Wow! What a great trip! A house we lived in when I was a teenager had a bathroom with all bright aqua fixtures: toilet, sink, tub. It was so ugly, it was cool. We rehabbed that bathroom pretty quickly but I always wondered what happened to them. Maybe they went to live in a museum?

Jenni Jiggety said...

Seriously...I need to go to that toilet museum! LOL!

What an awesome surprise weekend!

Ann said...

I'm blown away at what you've accomplished! What a terrific weekend!
I have to say, that wall of toilets is a site to behold.
(Now, if you do want to have the "Life of the party" button I've found you save the picture to a file then add a picture to your sidebar then copy/paste the link. Does that make sense? )

Susie said...

What a GREAT get-away!! I think you should get Wife-of-the-Year for that one!!

Anonymous said...

I love it! After reading all that I feel like I was there with you...well, you know what I mean. What fun!!!!

Hey, if you and Mamahut go on a trip to the toilet museum in May...I wanna go too! My birthday is in January....but I can wait til May! Its a little bit nicer weather then :)

Aleta said...

What a cool surprise! How fun! Don't you love giving and receiving surprises? Just for the look on the other person's face and the fun of arranging it. And that tub - wow! Nice. The toilets - couldn't get over that wall of toilets. Hilarious (almost scary).

Looks like you and your family had a lovely time!

Jennifer said...

Thanks Everybody! It was SO much fun to surprise him!

OK Mamahut--I'll start planning your birthday party at the toilet museum! Karla--you're welcome to come!

Becky--I got the dress at a kids boutique called "Madison and Friends"--they have an online store you can check out.

Ann--I will try again w/ the button, but I fear I'm too dumb!

Linda S said...

Sounds like Pickle needs to come visit me and our horse, Frosty!

Looks like you guys had a great time! I'd put the tub shot in with the Christmas pics...but not sure which season?

steenky bee said...

Those squirrels at the end are too funny. They look slightly rabid. What a wonderful weekend. I'd love for you to plan my fun for me! I'm not letting my husband read this post because it will make me look horrible. I'm all, suprise honey! I ordered pizza for your birthday, can I borrow the checkbook?

Hey, didn't you used to have a picture of you kissing a pot or something as your avatar? I told you I've read you before. The redhead in the picture totally threw me off. I wish we lived closer, we would totally hang!

Robin said...

OMG. I love the wall-o-toilets! What a great shot! Too funny. Thanks for sharing.
:) Robin

Karen said...

What a wonderful present for your hubby !!!!

My middle son would have loved that toilet museum. he had quite a fascination with toilets when he was younger. Every town we went to, he wanted to try that toilet. said he was going to write a book about them when he grew up!!

Great photos..

Kelly said...

Wow! what an incredible all did SO much!! I love all the looked like everyone enjoyed themselves!

and once again...Happy Birthday, Don!!

Aubrey said...

OMGosh. What a wonderful celebration! Happy 50th to Don!

noble pig said...

Oh my goodness what a birthday! It's wonderful that you venture out with five kids, so fabulous! Thank you for sharing it with us, now I want it to be my Birthday!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Wow, this looks like a great time! Y'all are such a fun family. I'm happy now that I got my Pickle fix- love that girl!!