photo of Finding Our Feet in Dublin

How to: completely surprise your girlfriend with a weekend away

Last Friday was my birthday. To be honest, I wasn’t hugely excited. But the OH was taking the day off and I was looking forward to just spending the day together and chilling out (and hopefully a lie in!).

Little Miss kindly slept in until 6am, at which point I shook the OH. He dutifully got up, not forgetting to say ‘Happy Birthday’ as I was already falling back asleep.

30 minutes later he and Little Miss were standing at the foot of the bed singing Happy Birthday.

When I saw the time I was nothing less than horrified. No birthday lie in?! What is this madness?!

“Nope, come on, get up, busy day.”

Cue disbelief and near refusal to get out of bed.

“There’s coffee, come on.”

Waiting on the dining room table were my cards. The first, from Little Miss, read:

To Mummy,

I think you and Daddy need a break! That’s why I’m going to stay with Dodo, GrandPam, [my favourite Uncle] and [Auntie Chatterbox] for the weekend!

You’re welcome!

Love you Mummy,

Little Miss xxx

My first thought was, ‘so I don’t get to spend my birthday with Little Miss…?’

Which the OH had already considered; I couldn’t lie in so I had some time with Little Miss (and to pack) before we left mid-morning for a mystery weekend away. His parents were collecting Little Miss at 9:30 and we had to leave at 10:30.

Packing instructions: wrap up warm, comfy shoes for the day, something nice for an evening out and bring a swim suit.

At this point I thought, right, we’re going to Iceland (somewhere we’ve talked about going in recent years but thought wasn’t appropriate with a baby or toddler).

So we had breakfast together, Little Miss and I read some stories and had a play. When GranPam and “Dodo” [Grandad] arrived, she was thrilled to see the back of us. (And by the sound of it, that sentiment continued as she had a blast this weekend, not missing us one iota, even sleeping through the night until 7 or 8am! Fingers crossed that will carry on now we’re home….)

GranPam gave me two cards, both with Euros in for the weekend – aha! A clue! Only at this point, she says, “something to spend in Dublin.”


“Oh, no, I didn’t end up booking Dublin. I went with the other option in the end.”

I can’t quite believe the OH managed this but he played it so coolly I actually believed my mother-in-law had the wrong destination. I don’t know whether to be impressed or concerned by his lying skills.

So off we went to the airport. 

En route, the OH suddenly said, “oh, did you pick up your iPad from it’s hiding place?” Rats, no. (We’ve had to start hiding the iPads from Little Miss as she’s now officially obsessed.)

At the airport, I was forbidden from looking at departure boards and the OH kept hold of my boarding pass. As we queued up for the gate he said, “OK, you can now look at the board.”


“I thought we were going to Iceland! Awesome!”

Five minutes later;

“I’m actually kind of glad we’re not going to Iceland. It would have been really cold-”

“Oh no wait, our gate wasn’t 44. I meant 42…”


As we approach gate 42, I spot the destination;

“Oh! Oh. Oslo…?” (Not going to lie, this would have been totally left field. Maybe the Northern Lights?)

One minute later;

“No, not Oslo, come on.” And off we go again.

Finally, we queued up at out gate; I wasn’t allowed to look at the board.

When we sat in our seats, the OH presented me with my iPad (more sneakiness!), loaded with a list of articles on our destination, suggestions of what to do, where to go, where to eat, etc and more cards from my parents with yet more Euros.


He said he had booked nothing but a restaurant for dinner that night for my birthday. The rest of the weekend was our’s to organise together. And Dublin did not disappoint.

Safe to say, he totally blew me away; I had absolutely no idea what he was planning in the run up to my birthday- much to his relief. But can’t help but feel I need to raise my game for his next birthday. Thankfully I have a whole year to plan!

(I don’t actually like Guinness… the Whiskey tasting was much more up my street.)


2 thoughts on “How to: completely surprise your girlfriend with a weekend away

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