Friday, August 7, 2015

Birthday Surprise

After being in Tahoe three of the four weekends in July, it only made sense for me to go right back out the first week of August.

Scott was turning 35, and I just couldn't let him celebrate alone!

I had been working on some surprises for months (as in, me coming out to surprise him), but he really threw me for a loop when both of his cars broke down the week of his birthday, and he made plans to bike to a mountain and hike all day.

Thankfully, with the help of some friends -- whose numbers I stole out of his phone the previous weekend -- I was able to pull it off.

I flew to Reno, rented a car, and drove to his house -- all while texting and FaceTiming so he didn't suspect anything.

This was my view on the drive:

I even held the phone in the same spot in the car so he wouldn't notice it wasn't mine.  Seriously, I went to lengths here.

All for this:

He said he had a pretty good idea I was coming.  Something about a lack of a FedEx tracking email and my alibi in KC being out of town.  Whatever, I'm not buying it.  I think I had him tricked.

We went right to dinner at Overland Restaurant in Gardnerville with his friends, Mike and Heather, who helped me with the surprise. 

Somehow, I forgot to take ANY pictures while there.  The food was tasty, the outdoor patio was perfect, and the company was excellent, of course. 

Between a slip-up by Mike and my big mouth, we managed to spill the beans on the rest of the surprises for his birthday (the following day): a helicopter ride and boating.

With the cat out of the bag, at least I didn't have to tip toe around anymore.  Secrets are not my strong suit.

I did, however, manage to pull off one big one and keep it until the next morning.  I got scuba certified last month - while lying to him about where I was a few times .  I showed him my certification card on his birthday and told him we weren't really just going to Cuba for vacation later that month.  We were going to Belize to scuba dive.  

He was so confused, he didn't even get it.  I had to spell it out for him before he figured it out. At least I won that one!

Anyways, after we got up and moving that morning, loaded up the paddle boards, and went to the lake for some fun on the water before the scheduled helicopter ride.

Only one problem: we forgot the paddles.  Paddle boards?  Check.  Paddles?  Still in the garage -- 45 minutes away.  And we didn't realize it until we pulled in to park at the lake.

So scratch that plan, we'll just have a nice brunch on the water instead.  Works for me!

We were still an hour early for our helicopter ride, but decided to go out to the private airport anyways and see if they could squeeze us in early.  

And sure enough, they could.

We walked right out to this little guy:

I know he looks excited ^^ but I'm pretty sure I was WAY more pumped about it than he was.

I mean, he's 35.  It's high time he had his first helicopter ride, right?

Our pilot was hilarious, and I -- well, I think WE -- thoroughly enjoyed the 30 minute tour.  

We went along the east shore first, up to Sand Harbor...

...and then circled back around and ended with an aerial view of Emerald Bay.

The views were all just incredible, but seeing Emerald Bay from a new vantage point was my favorite. ^^

So Scott has this thing -- a ritual -- that he does three sports or activities every year on his birthday.

Paddleboarding was supposed to be number one, but that didn't happen.  The helicopter counted, but we still had to get something else active and outdoors in before the boat that night.  

Enter rock climbing at Luther Spires for the win.  Which also included a little hike to and from the spot.

Let's just say I'm in slightly worse shape than Scott is.  The "easy hike" he spoke of definitely got my blood flowing.  I had to ask for a break twice!

We got there, got set up with lots and lots of ropes and clips and whatever else, and up he went.  Pretty trusting of him for never climbing with me before.  (And I haven't climbed in 6 years!)

The view from the top:

He came back down, and I was up next.

He made it look so easy.  How hard could it be?

Well, after being stuck on one ledge for about 10 minutes...and then another shortly after the first...I finally made it all the way to the top, too! 

This view was the reward:

We tried one more spot nearby.  Scott made it all the way.  I made it bout 5 feet off the ground.  I've got some work to do in the rock climbing department...

With both of us back on solid ground, we quickly called in a pizza order in South Lake, and race-walked back to the car.  The hike was a little easier going down. 

Our third activity for the day was meeting his friends on a boat for some lake fun.

The pizza (and beer) was a hit, the water was perfect for wakeboarding.  

Every one else was jumping the wake and looking like pros.  I was just happy I finally made it OUT of the wake for the first time!

And as if the day wasn't already amazing enough, the sun did this to top it off:

Tahoe sunsets.  They just never get old.  ^^

It was a jam-packed birthday and I was so happy I got to be a part of it. 

Even if I did have to get up at 3:30 in the morning to shower, drive to Reno, and catch my flight back home...

He's lucky he's cute. ;)

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