Monday, April 18, 2011

VEGAS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I totally meant to post this the day after my last post, but I've been extremely busy with WAAAaaayy more important things... like THIS.  oh.. and work of course.  Is it weird that I now wish Chris rode horse around all day on a ranch with a cowboy hat and chaps and I could be his childbearing, homeschooling, cooking/baking Pioneer Woman? 

Anyway... VEGAS!  I guess the beginning is a good place to start!  It was after Chris' birthday last year that I suddenly thought...

next year is his THIRTIETH... that's big... that's like HUGE! 

So, of course, I had to do something equally as big and huge to celebrate it!  That's where it began... my scheming, dreaming, and all kinds of secret keeping plan for Chris' Surprise 30th Birthday Trip to Vegas! 

Of course I've never done anything on this scale before... I mean, in our relationship HE was always the one with something up his sleeve.  From his surprise trip to visit me on Beach Project the summer before he proposed to buying our first lil pup... the secret was always his.  This little fact had me riding a little high for a period of time, like I had the power!  But then also posed quite a problem.  How did I keep something SO big from someone I was always with... someone I shared everything with... someone who knew everything about me, including how to tell when I'm telling a little harmless white lie to try to conceal some sort of scheming that previously has always failed?  Not easily that's for sure.  I had to be sneaky.  Ninja-like.  And hide my phone... cause you know that nosey man is always up in my biznass.  Which is never a problem because, like I told you... ole buddy's the only one who ever has secrets around here, and he's lucky I'm not nosey. 

Well, maybe a little. 

Why Vegas you ask?  Well, number one reason is neither of us have been there.  Number two reason... well, becuase neither of us have been there.  I figured that was reason enough.  We made a New Years Resolution last year that we wanted to go some places we've never been before we decided to start a family, and what better place to start than... Sin City?  Seriously though, Chris enjoys gambling, and I enjoy seeing him do anything that he enjoys, and I also LOVE traveling to new places... so it was the perfect fit!  

I began emailing all our family on his side and close friends as soon as the thought of this trip entered my head as to give them as much time to plan as possible!  Of course a Vegas trip wouldn't be a Vegas trip without all your close friends and family, right?  The initial response was pretty good!  People were emailing me left and right expressing their interest!  And, I was finding all kinds of ways to keep this from ole buddy.  First, I was on a site visit for work and Delta was advertising a free round trip ticket to anywhere in the US if you signed up for their rewards credit card... SWEET!  Of course I signed up, and not at all so that I could go and buy those boots I wanted so bad without the spouse knowing...


Then my wonderful father booked the tickets for us and paid (for the time being) for the not-free one so the item wouldn't come up on our shared bank account info... bingo!  My boss had the great idea of paying me for my expenses in cash which I could then stash for spending money... genius!  It was all shaping up SO nicely! 

My major dilemma was where to stay?  Sooo many choices and such a wide range of styles and types of places with equally as wide a range of prices!  I obviously knew Chris would kill me dead if I spent tooooo too much money, but I didn't want our Vegas experience to be in some off-strip, roaches crawling on the cracked walls, horror flick, type motel. 

Goose bumps.

Picking a room was even more of a dilemma considering I have never been there.  How do I know where the best moderately priced hotels are that are also decently located?  Insert Knight in Shining Armor... more commonly known as Chase Hall, one of Chris' best friends from High School. 

Chase has been to Vegas. 
Chase also likes to stay in nice places. 
Chase also likes to gamble in those nice places. 
All of those things = players card. 
Players card = discount! 

We ended up at the Wynn, and oh Lawd if it wasn't the nicest place we have EVER. ever. ever. stayed!  Heaven!  The best part?  We paid the same or less as we would have at any of the more average casino/hotels!  SCORE!  Thanks Chase!  What we also love about Chase and his lovely wife (also one of my close friends) is they ended up being the sole couple who could join us on this momentous trip!  We would have loved everyone there with us, but understand it wasn't possible and there are certainly no hard feelings.  Not many people are as fantastic as Chase and Jessica and can up and go to Vegas for a dear friends 30th bday.  But seriously, we understand... and yes, you're still fantastic too... your own nonvegasbdaytripgoing way. 

On to the surprise!  I thought and thought and thought and thought about how I would actually go about surprising him.  Do I tell him months in advance and let him help me plan it?  No, cause 1. he would never allow me to go through with it (main reason it had to be a secret from day one) 2.  it would be way more fun to see his reaction if I sprang it on him later in the planning.  Do I tell him in just enough time to let him pack for himself?  I liked this option... cause I don't like packing.  But, I ultimately decided to spring it on him day-of, office kidnap style!  Obviously, this would be a bit difficult... but one of the only good things about the fact that every-other-week I have to work from 11-8 is that I would have a morning to pack without having to come up with an explanation for why I was staying home.  Our flight was scheduled for 4:00pm January 20th (his actual bday is the 25th.. which was a tuesday... lame).  So, I planned to pop outta bed the second he left for his 8:00 shift and get my butt to work packing, straightening things up, and leaving the instructions for the dogs.  Keep in mind these are all things HE normally does when we go on trips... freak out much?  Needless to say, I forgot a few things... like his belt (guys actually wear these to keep their pants up instead of just an accessory... what a concept), and his running shorts.  Thankfully I remembered all the major necessities so I was in the clear!  I was amazed I was actually able to get everything done and get out the door (looking decent I might add) in plenty of time!  I arrived at work right when he would expect me (calling him on the way as I normally would).  But, instead of heading for my desk I had a co-worker meet me with a camcorder in another office to get ready for the surprise. 

Now, the following part of the plan I cannot take credit for... nor will I, cause it still makes me tear up a little bit thinking of the sheer terror he experienced as a result of this plan.  His boss, also a good friend of ours, decided it would be funny (relative term) to act like he was in trouble.  He went to Chris to tell him "we need to talk.... in office (insert number) with Human Resources".  Um... YIKES!  Of course, Chris hadn't done anything wrong, but that doesn't keep you from freaking out while being taken to a separate office to meet with your boss.. and his boss... and HR!  Of course what he didn't know was that my co-worker, the camcorder, a sign I made the night before at work reading "welcome to fabulous Las Vegas" on it, and I were waiting for him on the other side of the office door. 

Now, I had prepared myself for a less than jumpingupanddownscreaming response.  Let's face it... he's a man.  But... I would have hoped for a little better than this:

Me: "SURPRISE!!!  We're going to VEGAS!!!!" (imagine me in all my I'm-Gwen's-daughter-spazz-out-glory)
Chris:  "What?"
Me:  "We're going to Vegas for your birthday!" *Holds up sign thinking maybe this would help*
Chris:  "Wait, like now?"
Me:  "YEAH like NOW!  I packed your stuff it's all in the car and we're headed to the airport from here!" *smiles and nods trying to encourage a bit of excitement*
Chris:  "But, I have a deal I need to turn in..."
Waw waw... oh salesmen.
Me:  "Well, you have time, we don't have to leave here until 12"
Chris: "Awesome... is it just you and me?"
Me:  "Yes, is this a problem?"  (good thing Chase and Jessica saved the trip... apparently just the two of us would NOT have been adequate)
Chris: (foot in mouth) "Not at all, just wondering!  Where are we staying?"
Me:  "I've got secrets, you'll have to just wait and see"

Ole buddy does not like surprises and not knowing the plans... precisely why I did this!  I'm his wife, I have to like build character and stuff like that.

So, long long long story even longer... he ended up getting really excited once he realized he was 1. not getting fired, or even meeting with HR at all, and 2. we were actually leaving for Vegas... like now!

Here we are at the Atlanta airport - We got there pretty early, but it was nice to hang out and talk about all 30 years of his life and how much we had to celebrate.  Oh, and I got to fill him in on some of the scheming... that was fun :)
Here is the Vegas airport
I knew we had a fun night planned ahead, so naturally, that required a bit of fuel :)

Possibly the MOST fun moment of the trip was when Chase and Jessica made their appearance (cause remember, dude was bummed it was going to be "just us" which he later explained it was only cause he'd always been gambling with the boys, etc, etc.  Yeah yeah)  I had made reservations for us to eat at a swanky casino steakhouse and let Chase and Jessica in on the plans.  So, they snuck up behind us at the table where Chase said to Chris from behind "good luck with that ace sir".  You shoulda seen him!  It was like he was 5 again on Christmas morning! 

Dang... maybe Chase should have been the one in the office holding the sign...

It was such a happy moment for me!  All that planning, all that stressing and all that worrying was worth that one moment!  He was SO excited!  Needless to say we spent the rest of that dinner talking about how we got the room, who else wanted to be there but couldn't and all the awesome plans we had for the rest of the weekend.  Sweet success.  Best best part of all?  I got wife-of-the-year award from the hubs!  Seriously, he couldn't stop thanking me all weekend for planning the whole thing... I

Here's a pic of the crew shortly after the sneak attack.
The bday boy and his bff.
The girlies.
This is what you get for your 30th bday at swanky casino steakhouses... one bite of cake.
The bday boy with his one bite of cake.
Back in our room... my unsuccessful attempt at photographing the lights from our room.
The next morning we headed out for a gourmet McD's breakfast... that's how it's done... Vegas style.

This is the other part of our hotel (Wynn-Encore) Oh, and me and the bday hubs and my gourmet, Vegas, McD's coffee.
After walking a gazillion and a half miles on the strip.  SO many things to see!
Ready for the Jabbawockeez?  We are!
What a show!  Too bad we couldn't document it (no pics allowed).  I'm telling you... a trip to Vegas would be worth just getting to see this... they were awesome entertainers!
Ready for a night out!

Sorry for the lack of photos... promise I'm getting better about that!  It was a very memorable trip, and we had a fantastic time!  Even if you don't like gambling... Vegas is a site to see!  On a serious note... as a believer, it was a bit overwhelming to see glimpses of the dark side of Vegas.  Maybe I'll save that for another post. 

Just so you know... no crazy secrets up this girls sleeve for at least a good ohhh month or two ;)  I think I'm addicted! 

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