Planning a Surprise Trip

Sunday April 22nd ~ San Bernardino Mountains

Although we have had a break from traveling the past two months, we have still stayed busy with doing some needed clean-up, repairs and decluttering at our tiny cabin in the mountains. We have had this much-loved home for nineteen years now and have done almost nothing towards maintenance and updating since then.

It was time!

But, now that project is well underway, the Travel Gods have been rattling their sabers at us, and we are preparing to get back on the road.

I have mentioned briefly in the past that we have another couple who we take turns planning surprise trips for each other. It was our turn to plan a trip and we are long overdue!

So, what are our surprise trips like????

They have been varied and have included a day trip to a museum, a hike in a park, visiting a historic site, a long weekend get-a-way to Palm Springs, Carlsbad Flower Fields, week in Sonoma, Indoor skydiving, hot air balloon trip over the wine country, Anza Borrego National Park, a fabulous stay in Warner Springs where we had spa treatments and took a thrilling flight in a glider and Salsa dance lesson, a Murder mystery train trip, three days in Death Valley where we (accidentally) hit the 100 year bloom, Bryce and Zion National Parks, and so much more.

How do we plan them?

Simply taking turns, or whenever the mood strikes, one of the other of us decides it is time. The planning couple will formulate an idea of where to go, when, and for how long. The next step is to confirm with the other couple that they are free on the suggested date(s) and block the time on our calendars.

The planning couple is then responsible for making any reservations and/or booking the tickets, establishing the itinerary or any logistics.

Then the real fun begins…

Giving out clues…

The destination or plans are kept a secret for as long as possible, but of course to keep up the suspense and to entice some guesses, the planning couple prepare/deliver some clues. Sometimes this is as simple as including key words or clues in an email, or sending a clue each week in the mail, or even pieces of a puzzle to be completed.

What we did this time: 

I made up a list of words that start with each letter of the alphabet and then did a word scramble with them. For example, here was clue #1:

Clue #1 – A is for:
  1. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                   netvudrae
  2. _ _ _ _ _ _ _                           mianlsa
  3. _   _ _   _ _ _ _ _                   clataear
  4. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _     momdoactcican
  5. _ _ _ _ _ _                               vaecti
  6. _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _      ulsllacineiv
  7. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                       tiuteald

I did this all the way through from “A” to “Z”.

They are currently on the “K” letters, so I don’t know if the clues will get completed before we leave next weekend, lol.

I think perhaps I made the clues a little too hard this time, but sure have had fun with all of it.

What they know so far is:

  1. We will be gone for two weeks, leaving next Saturday early morning from our business.
  2. We are taking a road trip in Ellie Mae (our RV)
  3. We have provided them with a packing list of what clothes to bring, camera, etc.
  4. We will be visiting at least one National Park
  5. There will be a lot of photo ops
  6. What day we plan to return

Beyond that, it is still a mystery.

Hope you will follow along with us to find out where we go and what fun adventures we have planned.

Michael, Laura, Joanne, Tim

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the opportunity to share special moments with friends who we have known for 30 years. Half the fun is in the planning, and the anticipation for the other couple of finding out the where, and what details, and solving clues.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in Planning our escape, Reflection and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Planning a Surprise Trip

  1. Asif says:

    Brilliant!… Looking forward to see where you and your friends visit next.
    With your permission, I may have to borrow this idea for one of my trips in the future !



  2. Merrill says:

    That sounds like so much fun. And you are blessed to have good friends who like to travel!


  3. Jane Fritz says:

    Love, love, love this surprise trip idea. I’ll have to give this some serious thought! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  4. Cameron Boquet says:

    Oh, the anticipation! Know you’ll have a fun tour; enjoy!


  5. Gaye O'Brien says:

    I guess you won’t need your passports. Looking forward to your posts.


  6. Mila says:

    Oh, that means it would be not less surprise for us too, – your virtual companions!!
    I am so thrilled and happy always to go with you, Joanne and Tim, whenever you take us !!
    Have an enjoyable, wonderful trip !!


  7. Christie Brown says:

    This sounds so fun!! We’ll be in Idaho in August (Pocatello and Boise). By chance, will you be in the area?


    • Hi Christie! The only plans we have at the moment for August is a trip in the middle of the month to go to Southern Oregon for my 50th class reunion. Will you be dropping down to Southern Oregon, or even Southern California? Would love to see you.


  8. tippysmom2 says:

    That sounds like such a great idea! Looking forward to finding out where you are going and traveling virtually with you! I am horrible at unscrambling words. I have not clue as to what any of the ones you posted are. LOL


  9. joliesattic says:

    Neat, though my brain momentarily shut down at trying to figure the first one out, not wanting to work that hard I guess, when suddenly there it was.


  10. Widdershins says:

    What a wonderful treat! 🙂


  11. Laura Urban says:

    Michael and I are so excited for this trip! We have been the best of friends for 30 years and love traveling with Joanne and Tim. Now that we all have retired, we look forward to many more surprise trips!! Love you both. Happy trails to all of us!!! 🚍🚗⛱🚤⛰🌅🌄🔭🛏🔦📸🛣🛤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jane Sturgeon says:

    Wonderful…what a brilliant idea and with beloved friends too. ❤


  13. Maxxtrails says:

    What fun! I’m looking forward to following along 🙂


  14. What a marvelous idea and such a blessing to have friends like this!!



  15. Glenn Lamb says:

    What a great idea. I will certainly keep in mind for some of our best friends in the future. Look forward to seeing where you end up!!


  16. lulu says:

    What a very fun idea and especially so since friends are involved.


  17. gretchenwing says:

    Wow, fun! I don’t think our friends trust us that much. 🙂 But we have always done surprise trips with each other. Keep that marriage fresh!


    • HaHa, if you want to try this with friends, you might want to just start with a day or weekend trips. We have done week long trips with this couple, but this two week itinerary will be our longest jaunt together. But yes, I too love it when my husband plans a surprise get-a-way for us…


  18. Sounds like a lot of fun, Joanne. A neat thing to do with another couple. –Curt


  19. curvyroads says:

    That sounds like fun, although those clues may be on the edge of too much work. 🤣

    Looking forward to learning the surprise destination!


  20. Aunt Beulah says:

    What fun! I am looking forward to traveling along with you.


  21. Ellustar says:

    Reblogged this on SEO.


  22. Tonya says:

    Any new updates this 🙂


  23. michaellesser says:

    A very interesting story!!


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