Monday, June 25, 2012

Jeff's Post-Anniversary Surprise

When I made my 101 things list, one thing I added was taking Jeff on a surprise trip. I'm not great at surprises and secrets. I tried to do this for his birthday but my cover was blown. Thankfully, he didn't say anything until after the fact, but it did make it that much harder.

 For several months now, he has been talking about wanting to go visit Vicksburg, MS. He has been once when he was younger but said that family trip left a lot to be desired. I have never been. I knew we were probably going to do this at some point this year, but when I saw a great deal on Groupon, I couldn't pass it up. Originally I had planned to wait a little while longer, but since I'm not good with secrets and was out of good ideas for his anniversary gift, I figured I'd make this work.

The actual surprise part involved a fair amount of sneaking around on my part and putting some things off to the last minute, but I sucked it up and did it. The biggest challenge was getting him into the car! Originally I had planned to kidnap him from work at lunch time, but since he is no longer on overtime and had taken off work the past two Fridays, I decided not to push it. Instead, we agreed to grab an early dinner when he got home from work. As soon as he got home, I was already waiting for him with the suitcase hidden in my car and the dogs all squared away. After he changed clothes, we headed out and I decided not to say anything and see how long it took for him to ask questions.

We got about halfway to the interstate when he started to name all the places we WEREN'T going for dinner. Then he started guessing sort of ridiculous places (like the concession stand at the local water park) but finally I decided to tell him. Since I was still driving, I had him reach into the back seat and retrieve the bag I had stashed with some candy, a Mississippi map, and a book about Civil War road trips. I had a printout of our groupon tucked into the book at the page about Vicksburg. We stopped in Meridian for dinner and I let him drive the rest of the way. We got to the hotel and checked in. As soon as we got to our room, his first comment was "Let's hurry and catch the shuttle to the casino." We played a few slots and had a snack before heading back to the room.

Saturday, we headed out to the Military Park. We stopped for breakfast on the way out there and spent the better part of the day out at the park. When we got done, we headed out to cemetery in search of the marker for "Old Douglas," the Confederate Camel. We didn't find it, it started raining, and there were lots of people driving 90 miles an hour on lawn mowers right where we were, so we decided it wasn't worth continuing the hunt. After that, we drove around downtown and stopped at a little museum and soda fountain that was the home of the first Coca-Cola bottling operations. After that, we headed back to the hotel and watched a little bit of a movie that was on TV before we went over to the buffet at the casino for dinner. The buffet was generally disappointing, and if we'd had to pay full price for it, I would have been peeved. Even with our groupon credit it was kind of disappointing. I honestly prefer Golden Corral. Oh well, we'll know for next time! After dinner we lost the last of our casino credit on a slot machine, and then headed back to the room. We watched another movie, then went to bed.

We had thought about doing a little more sight-seeing but it was rainy and we decided to just take the long way out of town instead. We stopped outside Jackson for a late breakfast/early lunch at Cracker Barrel. I honestly can't remember the last time I went to a Cracker Barrel on a Sunday but it was really nice since we got there before the after church crowd started swarming. We got home around 3pm and enjoyed a lazy afternoon at home with the dogs.

It was a wonderful weekend and I can't wait to have another one! We saw most of his family last night and most of them knew about it or heard about it, and a few people said something to Jeff about "next time tell us when you're doing something like that!" and Jeff very honestly replied "I didn't know what we were doing until we were part of the way there!" That made me feel good and made me want to do more things like that in the future!

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