Monday, October 20, 2008

The Surprise of a Lifetime!!!

Dane had been telling me for a few months that he was planning a surprise for me, but not to get my hopes up because it wasn't a big deal and that it was not going to be ready for a while. So I put it out of my mind (well, almost).

Thursday, Oct 16

At 6:30am Dane woke me up with these words, "Good morning sweetheart. Today is the day of your surprise."

A smile came over my face and (clearly not fully alert enough to realize what was coming) I thought "Well, this is going to have to be quick because I have Bible Study in a few hours."

Then he told me to put on some comfortable shoes and be ready to go in 10 minutes! I quickly jumped in the shower and then realized that my blow dryer, brush, makeup, clothes...everything was missing. [I realise that to some people this kind of surprise would be most unwelcome - no control, no hints, total trust - but, I love surprises so I never asked for details to be made known in advance.]

Surprise # 1: At about 7am, the doorbell rang and I opened the door to find Dane's mother, JANI (who I had just dropped off at the airport only days before following the True Woman conference!) holding a balloon as a wise Mayme does to ease the transition for my 2 year old son as he watched his parents leave in the car.

Surprise # 2: At this point I'm thinking that we must be driving to WI for a night in a cabin or something. The Dane snapped me out of that delusion when he asked me what was the best way to O'Hare AIRPORT!

Surprise # 3: We parked in economy parking and as we were waiting to catch the train to the airport Dane casually mentioned that we would be getting off at terminal 5. When we got on the train I looked up at the system map and saw that terminal 5 was the INTERNATIONAL terminal! (Please keep in mind that this is a complete surprise and I still don't know how long we'll be gone.)

Surprise # 4: Now I'm getting a little nervous as we pass the Korean airlines. I'm just following Dane (screaming on the inside with excitement) as he leads us up to the airline Mexicana. "We're going to MEXICO?!!!" I scream.

Surprise # 5: Dane tries to contain my awe as we have now attracted quite a crowd of onlookers as they realize what Dane is doing for me. He slips the lady our itinerary and she confirms, "You're going to Cancun?" "We're going to CANCUN?!!!" I scream again.

And 3 hours and 15 minutes later...we were in Cancun.

Surprise # 6: When we got to the Grand Solaris (our hotel) Dane asked the young guy checking us in if breakfast was included or if the hotel provided any meals. The guy looked at us like we were from Mars. He simply responded, "Sir, this is an ALL INCLUSIVE hotel." What??!! We have no categories for this kind of luxury. All we want to eat and drink 24 hours a day?? Finally I surprise for Dane too (apparently he did not realize this when he booked our hotel in a package deal from Travelocity).

Surprise # 7: As if it could not get any better...Dane got the BEST ROOM in the hotel!

We were greeted with towel swans and real rose petals all over our bed. There was a private jacuzzi on our balcony, the mini fridge was restocked daily, room service was complimentary and here is our ocean view!

Our first night we went to a private event featuring a PreHispanic dinner (including file mignon) and re-enactments of the tribal dances and rituals of the culture. It was at this dinner that we met our first friends of the trip, Dave and Jane. They were from British Columbia and we greatly enjoyed getting to interact with them throughout our stay.

Friday, Oct 17

Cancun is like a rectangle surrounding a lagoon with the bottom leg being a huge strip of hotels (much like Daytona). At the bottom right corner is the downtown Cancun for tourists. Today we ventured out of hotel to check it out. We hopped on the bus for 6.50 pesos each and ended up at the Flea Market. I LOVED the market, but Dane really disliked it. Bargaining and haggling is right up my ally (remember my love for garage sales?) and so I felt no pressure from the 150+ booth owners yelling to us with the same signature call, "Okay, my turn guys!"

Saturday, Oct 18
Since Dane had a food budget we no longer needed, we were able to go on an excursion. We both knew just what we wanted to do: SNORKELING! Through Aqua World we went on their Jungle Tour, which meant that we would drive a wave runner through the lagoon out into the ocean and snorkel for 45 minutes at the coral reef.
Sunday, Oct 19

Today we took full advantage of the hotel pools, activities, and the ocean. Dane took turns braving the waves (which were huge as we were in the beginning of hurricane season) and lounging in the sun by the pool. I had fun being carefree (read child free) and joined a water volleyball game. My team was awesome and I even had the game winning hit!

The losers had to roll in the sand like "Kentucky Fried Chicken"
(as our ref in the orange shorts called it).

Our last 2 nights we ate at the "fancy" restaurant, Marco Polo. Tonight Dane ate frog legs, sushi, and duck. I had file mignon.

Monday, Oct 20

5 days and 4 nights could we go home now?? What an incredible surprise that I'm sure will never be topped and no, Dane doesn't even have to try. And what a tremendous blessing to be gone for this long and not even have to think about Zachary as I knew he was having far more fun with Mayme than if I were there! THANK YOU MAYME!!!

We said goodbye to Mexico refreshed and recharged to finish 2008 well. It was priceless to be able to get away with my sweet husband and experience the love of our youth again. Thank you. Thank you, my darling Dane. You are precious to me beyond description. I love you.


Hauswife said...

W*O*W! What a blessing! I'm so glad you were able to take this awesome trip! What a treat!

Anonymous said...

awesome trip! and what a great way to do it. go dane!

danielle said...

stacey, this is the most exciting story i have read on a blog in a long time! how awesome is your husband!!! glad you guys had such a great time, what a wonderful surprise.

Esther Ortlund said...

awesome! it was so fun to read about your surprise adventure!! you both deserved a refreshing break


Coleman Happenings said...

I found your blog on facebook! It was great reading about everything that you did in Cancun- and how he woke you up...very sweet. I guess that you've got a keeper! Check out my blog at See you Thursday morning and enjoy your week!

Amy Coleman

Cathi_in_TX said...

Hi Stacey, I'm so glad to be able to read about your trip. It sounds like it was just awesome! I love keeping up with people by reading their blogs! Thanks for sharing. Mine is if you want to check us out!

abigail said...

well done, Dane! Sounds like you guys had an amazing time.

Nick, Annie, Aiden, Sophie and Clip said...

What a fun and exciting surprise! It was so fun to read all about your super surprise vacation and just enjoy it along with you, reading all of your excitement!
I'll try not to be too jealous! :)

Eric said...

Wow, that's great, Stacey! And so great of Dane to do that!

ErinOrtlund said...

What an amazing trip! I love the surprise of it--Mayme showing up with a balloon, not knowing your destination until you reached the ticket counter! How neat is that! Thanks for the trip report--sounds like a trip of a lifetime!