Back in the day, when Mike and I were dating, we used to surprise each other with trips! And after a year of being married, we became that boring old married couple. (Or maybe we already were!)
Mike does so much for me, between fixing up our house and making me furniture, so I really wanted to do something nice for him. Normally, I would paint him something or make something, but he is an incredible artist and can make anything.
Mike's family is scattered across the country and he doesn't get to see his family that often. He was always telling me about his uncle who lived in Montana who does a lot of woodworking. Since Mike has gotten into woodworking in the past few years, he had been wanting to go out to visit him. We talked about it for years, but we never made it out there. So, I figured I would take it upon myself to plan a trip for him to see his uncle.
I was talking to one of Mike's sister's about my plan when we were discussing going to Mount Rainer together. We figured out that it could be a good opportunity to meet up with them since we would be closer to the West Coast. I told her about my plan to surprise Mike, and we decided we would combine the trips.
So, for Mike's birthday, I told him that he had to wait for his present. We actually don't exchange gifts for Christmas, birthday's or other holidays. We give each other experiences or go on trips, rather than buying each other something. Don't get me wrong, I buy Mike presents, but they never make it to the day that they were intended for. I get too excited and have him open them as soon as they come in the mail! But, I really like the way that we don't just buy things for each other. I would rather save and go on a cool trip and see the world. That's definitely more important to us to go on adventures.
This trip was nothing different. There were so many times that I wanted to let him know about it, but I managed to keep it a secret for months somehow! I had some help with his family to help coordinate the trip, and somehow Mike didn't have a clue.
So basically how I broke our trip down to Mike was asking him to go to a design event with me in Portland, Oregan. (I wanted to give him a place with the same timezone and climate, so he would know how to pack.) Since we would be so close to Mount Rainer, we would go hiking and camping for the other days that we would be there.
How did it go down? Well, we got to the airport and I told him that we weren't actually going to Portland, we were going to Montana. It was so nice to see how excited and surprised he was!
We started in Glacier and camped there for a night. We did some of the trails and hiked around the park. It was so beautiful and all of the trees were amazing! It was definitely a very cool National Park.
The next day after we did a full day of hiking, we drove to Mike's uncle's home a few hours away. The next day we drove to Yellowstone and did that National Park. Instead of camping, we opted for the cabins.
So after Yellowstone, Mike was under the impression that we were going to fly into Seattle to go to the design show. We did fly into Seattle, and we spent the night at my cousin's apartment and hung out with them the first day that we got there. Then, I mentioned to Mike that I had to go to one the hotel's to check in for the show. To his surprise, I walked out with his sister and brother in law!
It was really funny to see his reaction because he was totally taken back. He really didn't have a clue what was going on, and I'm surprised I didn't ruin the surprise earlier. We spent a couple days with them at Rainer and did some hiking.
All in all it was a great trip! I'm so glad that I got to surprise him, but more importantly, happy that he got to spend time with his family. I do think I'm done planning trips by myself for a little bit though because that was a lot of coordination!