Writer's Workshop: Best Gift

This week's assignment was pretty for me...the best Christmas gift I have ever given.

I don't know how long Dan and I had been dating by this point, but it was the second Christmas I had been living with him and his mother (yes I lived with my MIL for 4+ years...I would do it again in a heartbeat). I had finally gotten a "good" job, and found myself in the position to be able to splurge (just a little).

While at work one day I found flights to London for next to nothing, my friend convinced me to do it...over the next couple of weeks I planned a 7 day trip. We would fly to London, spend one night, then take the train from London, through Wales into Holyhead, where we would catch a ferry to Dublin. We then would have 5 days to explore Dublin before making the return trip to London and stay there for two more days. The entire trip (flight and 3 different hotel reservations) was ridiculously cheap, cheaper than most domestic vacations that I had looked at!

I still can't believe I pulled it off - he had no clue. I had to tell his entire family, some of the Dan's cousins/uncles were planning a trip to Las Vegas and I had to convince them not to hound him about it too much. And then of course he bought his father tickets to see Bruce Springstein for Christmas - the concert was on the day we were supposed to leave. Fortunately I managed to get everything switched with almost no fee, and because of the switch we ended up being there for St Patrick's Day. Either way I was a wreck, from October until Christmas Day I just waited, and drove myself crazy trying to imagine his reaction.

When Christmas finally came I was a ball of nerves. I made sure I saved his gift until last, I knew once he opened it we wouldn't be able to focus on much else. I had made an airplane shaped card for him and some fake tickets and put them in a big shirt box. Then I put travel guides in another box. I will never forget his face when he realized what I gave him. I wish I had managed to get a picture.

The trip itself was absolutely amazing. We met some amazing people while we were there, and just had a great time. We were also incredibly lucky, it was the first St Patrick's day in years (I think they said like 20 years) that it was not rainy and gross. The entire time we were there actually, it was unseasonably warm and sunny. The only bad part of the whole trip was that I got sick, very sick, and for our last day in London I could hardly leave the hotel. When we got home Dan had to take me right to the ER (really we dropped our bags off in the house got back in the car and went to the hospital - it was Saturday and I was too sick to wait)

We often talk of going back to London so we can see everything that we missed. We would also like to see more of Wales - we mostly just saw it from the train and it looked so beautiful. My real dream, though, is to be able to take my kids there some day and let them see this city that is so special to us.

We walked everywhere - our hotel was about a mile out from the main part of the city and we didn't want to take cabs.

Gravity Bar at Guiness

Dan and I with new friends, I wish I could remember all of their names - they were from all over Europe

Ha'penny Bridge over the Liffey (river)

Christ Church Cathedral

Dan at the St Patrick's Day parade. There were so many people that standing on the fence was the only way we could see anything. A lot of people actually brought step ladders with them and would put their kids up on the ladders so they could see - it was incredible.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that the following year we bought our friends plane tickets to Dublin as a wedding gift, so all 4 of us could go together. But I thats a trip for a different post.

Go check out Mama Kat to see what some of the other themes are and what other bloggers are writing about today!!


  1. That is completely awesome! You are SO good!!!

  2. Visiting from MamaKat's writers workshop posts...

    How great that you were able to pull of such a fantastic gift and trip! That is amazing! I would have cracked and not been able to wait until Christmas! I've been to Dublin so it was cool to see some of your photos ... took me back!

  3. I love hearing all about your trip to London. I would so like to travel the world, but we don't fly well around here, so North America is where we'll stay.
    I like how you told him. Awesome.

  4. That is just awesome. What a fun Christmas gift!

  5. Wow...how wonderful!!! What a beautiful country to visit!!!!

    Oh, and I bet your friends were shocked w/ their wedding gift!!

  6. Today is Georgie's birthday please go wish her a happy one!


  7. What a wonderful gift! I would love to do that for Jeff someday...throwing kids into the mix sure changes how you might go about jetsetting away, though, doesn't it? =)

  8. Wow! I would love to surprise Hubby with a gift like that! Thanks for sharing.

  9. That is a wonderful gift! Loved reading about it! I miss Europe so much... Ohhh how I yearn to return.

  10. For over 30 years I've been trying to surpise my husband with a trip. It NEVER works out! Something always comes up that foils my best-laid plans, and they aren't nearly as involved as your were! How wonderful that you were able to pull such an elaborate stunt. I dub you the Queen of Sneaky!

    HI! I popped over from Mama Kat's on my weeky random tour of posts. Yours is the first I've seen of a gift given instead on received. Thank you for sharing.

    If you have time (and a box of tissues) I invite you to toddle over to my corner of the blogverse and read about the Best Christmas Present. Ever.

    Have a great day!


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