The Best Kept Secret

Therapy is going well… thanks for asking. But I’m not here to elaborate on my mental issues any further; sorry for the heavy post last week…

I’ve actually been planning something spectacular for 10 months and felt the need to keep it private… for reasons. But not anymore. I’m going to share with you all how I’m the greatest daughter there has ever been how my family and I planned a vacation getaway for mom as her Christmas gift this year.

To be honest it was my brother’s idea. He’s the only one in the family who’s been cruisin’ before. He suggested it a couple years ago, but Fella and I were in the middle of planning our wedding and honeymoon, so funds were pretty limited. Then in March of last year I reached out to the big bro and asked if he was still game. He said yes and we started researching.

We planned for the 3 of us (me, the husband, and the bro) to go with mom to make it that much more fun of an experience. Dad doesn’t do big bodies of water, particularly if he can’t see land, so he’s staying home with the pups.

We booked and paid for the cruise in May of 2019, so I had to keep our secret from my mom, my best friend whom I share everything with, for 7 months and I tell you what-it was not easy, but totally worth it.


I like to think of myself an awesome gift giver. This year along with the cruise, I gifted Fella a pet camera for the house, so he can look in on our babies through out the day. It even has a 2-way audio connection, so we can talk to them and confuse the hell out of ’em. He’s borderline obsessed with it, checking it multiple times a day and even on our way home together, he’ll pull it up to see the dogs’ reactions of us pulling in to the driveway.

I also gifted my dad (who turned the big 6-0 on December 30th) a 6 month subscription of Scotch of the month club. I ordered it through Taster’s Club and they offer curated bottles of any type of alcohol from around the world. Dad likes his Scotch, but his favorite, an 18 year old bottle of Macallan, can run upwards of $280 a bottle. My hope is that he finds another Scotch he likes that doesn’t cost as much, but is still as enjoyable. I also got him custom etched glasses that has the year he was born and says “Aged to perfection.”

And my brother…? He’s a dooms-day prepper. Judge if you want, but he’ll be ready for whatever comes, whereas the rest of the world will not. To add to his stash, stock, armory… whatever you want to call it, I got him night vision binoculars. I know; I’m a great sister.

So obviously I couldn’t just have mom unwrap a piece of paper that says she’s going on a cruise. That wound’t be fun. So instead I put together a scavenger hunt and this is how it went:

1. The first present she opened was a pair of slippers and a blanket with a note that read:

Wrap up warmly

your next gift is outside

for this is where your luggage will hide.

(psst… check your trunk)

2. She then went out to her car where I hid a new travel bag for her in her trunk with another note that read:

For your travels

and over night ventures

this little weekender bag is all yours.

But for your next hint

check the room with no doors

for a message in a bottle.

Hurry, don’t dawdle!

3. She then made her way back into the house to the sitting room where she has a collection of cobalt blue bottles. She found the one with the last note that read:

Looks like you’ve found the last clue

for the main present that awaits you.

We love you so dearly and want you to know,

so to the bathroom you must go.

We know this sounds strange, silly, and gross,

but we promise you’ll like this one the most.

In the bathroom, I had set up a blue light that spins and when shone onto a surface, looks like water. Then in the bathtub I placed a blowup cruise ship with the cruise itinerary next to it. Once she read through the trip’s details, she came out of the bathroom in tears and gave us all the best mom hug there ever was.

There truly is no one more deserving of an amazing vacation than my mom, and I’m so excited for her to experience this new adventure, but also… I’M GOING ON A FREAKIN’ CRUISE! We’re heading down to the Bahamas during Spring Break with stops in Princess Cays, Nassau, and Freeport. We’ve already booked our first excursion for Nassau where we’ll be swimming with dolphins then enjoying the rest of the day on a private beach. Just typing that out relaxes me…

Have you ever been a cruise? Have any tips for a new cruise-goer? Let me know!

19 thoughts on “The Best Kept Secret

  1. Aww this brought a tear to my eye, what a wonderful thing to do for your Mama. I am so so excited for you guys and I hope (know) you’ll have the most magical time. Can’t wait to read all about it, treasure every moment ❤️ the other gifts sounds awesome too, how wonderful! Thanks for this post hun, it’s so joyful and uplifting! Enjoy your cruise ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How Fun! I went on a cruise to Mexico when I was 13 and a smaller one in my 20’s. My BFF and I would like to do that in a few years, money permitting. You are a very thoughtful gift giver. Good Job.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww that is so sweet! I’ve been on a couple of cruises now and I would definitely suggest eating that the restaurants at night – not the buffet. I find the buffet always has the same food and you kind of get sick of it after a while. Definitely go to the entertainment at night on the ship – some of the best shows I’ve seen were on the cruise.

    Lastly – just enjoy yourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The week gone by — Jan. 26 – A Silly Place

  5. Aw wow, this was so sweet!! I love that you turned it into such a fun scavenger hunt. I’m kind of like your dad & may be scared to ever go on a cruise but, they always look & sound like a blast. You really are the gift-giving queen. The glasses you got your dad made me giggle– “aged to perfection” lol, too adorable! & the pet cam! I need one. I’d totally watch them & become obsessed with it, too. 😂

    Hope you all have the best time on vacay! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

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