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Old 04-28-2014, 08:25 AM   #1
sleepydog25
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“Shhh, Be Veh-wy, Veh-wy Quiet”: A Sneaky Travelogue

The Intro

Hi. My name is Patrick, and I love to give surprises. My wife knows that. I also keep secrets wrapped like a mummy. My wife also knows this. Yet, knowledge of both didn’t help her see what was coming. . .not one little bit.

You see, she had a birthday coming up, a momentous one, though it was the number “that shall not be named.” (I’m also not stupid.) We found each other later in life, and I wanted this auspicious birthday to not be forgotten. It was days after Thanksgiving, and though her birthday was nearly five months off, I needed a plan, something to knock her socks off--something she’d never see coming (see above). My first thoughts were of a DCL cruise, yet we’d done two of those, and while we loved them, another cruise seemed passé. Given how winter seemed to have started early, naturally thoughts came to me about a few days on the beach in Jamaica, or St. Lucia, or you can fill in the blank. For a couple of weeks, that was my planned course of action, going so far as to check rates for specific days and costs for flights. I compared several resorts and narrowed the choice down to three. Something just didn’t feel right, however. We aren’t just sit at the beach all day types, and doing any sort of excursions and day trips or activities generally meant a bigger budget than with which I felt comfortable.

One day, we were watching a Disneyland special on TV, and it struck me like a lightning bolt—she’s never been to Disneyland! We are Walt Disney World vets, going on average a couple of times a year, and we even got married there. I was stationed in SoCal a couple of decades ago, and though things had changed tremendously, I could at least say I’d been to DL a few times. My wife had zip, nada, bupkiss experience with DL. The seed was planted. From that moment forward, I knew what her surprise would be. Still, just doing a trip to DL wasn’t good enough—it had to be a surprise. To pull it off, however, would require a great deal of behind-the-scenes planning, tight OPSEC /COMSEC, and the gracious help of a hand-selected few who would be sworn to secrecy. At that exact moment of epiphany, an operation was borne:
OPERATION OVERLORD. . .no wait, that was taken. . .
OPERATION DUMBO. . .no, that seemed, well, dumb. . .
OPERATION DISNEY. . .no, if the word Disney was breathed anywhere, it could be an issue. . . OPERATION “SHHH, BE VEH-WY, VEH-WY QUIET.” Yes! That’s it!! Unwieldy title, not real catchy, but perfectly captured the stealth needed and my general cluelessness.

If you’ve made it this far in the report, you deserve a pic or two, so here we are mere hours after I announced the trip to my beloved.









Oh, wait? Did I jump ahead too far? Never fear—I’ll go back and fill you in on the events leading up to these shots. For the record, just call me Sleepy and my wife, Luv. You’ll get to know us better as we move along.
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Last edited by sleepydog25; 04-28-2014 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:44 AM   #2
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Following Along!!
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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Oh, I see, not only are you a master sneakster, you are a master of cliffhangers ..... !

Lucky wife!!! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:28 PM   #4
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Can't wait to hear more! My DH is also a surprise man and it has led to some wonderful experiences and memories
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddie2 View Post
Oh, I see, not only are you a master sneakster, you are a master of cliffhangers ..... !

Lucky wife!!! Can't wait to read more!
I am all of that, Maddie: Sneakster, Mr. Surpriser, and always leave them wanting more. As for the wife, I think it's more that I am one extremely fortunate and blessed man to have her in my life. Her patience with and kindness to me changed our lives, and I'll go to my grave honoring that effort.

Thanks, luulu! I'll try to keep you entertained. . .

disneyhopeful: I do love surprises. Hope you'll enjoy the tale of this one. . .and it continues below. . .


The Background

We’re Disneyphiles, only we have always traveled to WDW; heck, we only live a “short” 10-hour drive away. On average, we travel to Florida twice a year, though I don’t always tag along (she has this whole girls’ groupie thing going on each fall). We even got married in the World last summer—the Wilderness Lodge to be exact.












It has been a dream of ours to take a trip out to California to check out the DLR, but the cost was always prohibitive given we had to fly. For the price of half of one ticket, we can do a roundtrip drive to Florida, so seeking out the West Coast wasn’t in our immediate plans. And that’s what made my decision for a DL trip so perfect—she knew that it wasn’t planned at the earliest until the summer of 2016.

I’m not one to let major occasions slip by unnoticed (“do unto others what you don’t want done unto you” ), so I wanted to do something memorable and unexpected for Luv’s milestone. Jewelry and a lovely dinner at a topnotch restaurant would have been good, but that was too easy. The idea of a trip kept circling my brain drain which is why I began looking at the Caribbean as a destination. Yet, when the notion of a DL trip sparked my thoughts, I knew that was the way to go. . .only how to keep it from my wife who does the majority of our Disney planning? From my old days as a SAC missile combat crew member rang these words: run silent, run deep.

With a plan in mind, I knew I’d need the cooperation of one very important person—Luv’s boss. I called said boss one day after Luv had left for work and queried whether five days off from work was doable. Gotta say Ann (the boss) was extremely generous, and the first words she spoke put my mind at ease, “Of course! You just let me know when, and I’ll do the rest.” Ann also assured me she wouldn’t breathe a word of it to Luv who that very day was going to ask off for her birthday. Little did wifey know that it mattered not whether she took off that day or not.

For the next few months, I did what I could to allay any suspicions Luv might have. I hinted at dinner plans for that upcoming night; I used a different browser to do all my online planning; I used a secondary email account for all reservation confirmations; and I used a credit card still linked only to my name. And. I. Didn’t. Breathe. A. Word. To. Anyone. Else. Not my 13-year old daughter (she would blab in a second!). Not my co-workers. Not my family. Not even my best friends. No one, save Ann the boss. She was my only link. I thought about having her silenced, but then my right brain told me that would be a) stupid (someone has to give Luv the time off, duh) and b) illegal. Hmph.

And so it went for about four months. A few people wound up having to know something, such as the secretary for the school district where I substitute teach so she wouldn’t try to pencil me in on any of those days. I did wind up telling my two best friends something was afoot, but I didn’t relinquish where or when, just that secrecy was of paramount importance. Both being ex-military like me, they understood the need for tight lips. There were no slip-ups at Luv’s work, though I called Ann a few times to give her timing updates. There were no leaks of any kind. Of course, I did have worries: money, weather, money, airline snafus, money, secrecy, and did I mention money? Seriously, I had planned for the expense of this trip, but I couldn’t help but think on occasion, “wouldn’t a smaller trip be just as good?” Of course not! Luv even had a family issue that I was afraid would cause us to call off the trip but that passed, too. I was golden, ready to spring the news at my choosing. . .

Wednesday, 2 April, Luv quizzically says to me, “Babe, do you have a dinner reservation for Wine Country Trattoria on my birthday?” Thankfully, my back was to her as I was reading. I blanched, swallowed hard, and thought, “What the *^$#!” I had been compromised. . .
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
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Ahh what's next?!
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
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This is going to be a fun one...
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:31 AM   #8
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OMG how could you stop there!! Can't wait to hear more!!
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:25 PM   #9
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Talking in your sleep???
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:15 AM   #10
sleepydog25
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You’ve Got to Be Kidding!

It’s amazing how quickly one can digest information and begin thinking about how to realign a plan gone awry. Within three seconds, I had what I thought was a way out, outlined my next few statements, then paused for effect with an absent-minded, “What, dear?” She repeated the question and my reaction was immediate, “What?!” I pursed my lips and let out a defeated sigh.
“No. . .but I did have one there.”
“You did?” she questioningly replied.
“Well, I tried to keep it a secret because it’s an old plan that I had come up with but discarded due to cost and the family issue. Great! Now what I have planned for you won’t seem quite so special.” And with that line, I appeared genuinely upset. . .because I was!! Holy mother of purple-speckled butter beans! What-why-when-HOW did this happen?!

Being the kind, generous soul my wife is, she immediately began to put my mind at ease. “Oh, babe, I’ll love what you are planning just as much. This would have been nice since it meant we’d be at Disneyland, but I know we’ll have a great time whatever you’ve chosen to do instead.” I continued to act down in the dumps for another 10-15 minutes, but climbed out of my gloomy demeanor as I told her that our new plans would be enjoyable just not as enjoyable. At that point, I believe she swallowed my story. At that same point, I was seething inside because I still didn’t know what the H-E-double toothpicks had happened! A cat peeing on me wouldn’t have caused me this much consternation. (How’s that for a mental image, eh?)

I’ll skip through all the worrying I did that day about whether my plan had been compromised in some manner and cut to the chase. By now, the inquisitive among you must be wondering just what happened. I still don’t know for sure, but here’s what happened. You see, we have a couple of trips planned for WDW in Aug and Sep, and in case you don’t know, the World has all kinds of circus hoops to jump through these days, and they’ve coyly (and blandly) named the three-ringer “My Disney Experience (MDE).” In short, you now open a free account—sweat, ire, frustration, and anxiety are not monetarily measured—that allows you to make/change dinner reservations, secure FastPass+ rides, and bling out your MagicBands (also known as PITA bands). Somehow, someway, the reservation I’d made for WCT at DCA on Luv’s birthday had trans-migrated onto the WDW’s MyFreakin’DisneyExperience website for a brief moment. (Yeah, I’ve got’yer experience for you right hee-uh! ) Fifteen minutes later, it was gone because I checked. . .and I checked every stinkin’ day after that, too, just in case another reservation were to pop up. Lyi—er—misleading Luv about one dinner seemed to work, but if they kept cropping up for each day of the planned trip, she might figure I’d done a bit more work than I’d let on. However, nothing again ever appeared. I am still at a loss for how this happened. I even called DL Dining and they hadn’t a clue; in fact, the CM thought I was daft, I’m quite certain.
“Sir, are you on some type of medication?”
“No! Seriously, three months of planning nearly went up in smoke,” I stammered.
“Smoke? Ohhhh, I get it now,” she calmly muttered. “Sir, do you live in a state where that is legal?”
“Listen, don’t you have some sort of computer upgrade being done that sent a hypersonic, warp-speed, fiber-optic glitch to MyDisneyExperience?” I insisted.
“Sir, you’re beginning to worry me now,” as her voice lowered. “Are you alone? Do you need me to call someone? What year is it?”
“Never mind,” I said and hung up. To this day, I have not discovered how that tidbit of information ever got on MDE. Next thing you’ll tell me is that Kirk’s dad actually died and Khan is still alive. Hmph.

Next up: The Reveal

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Old 04-30-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
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Looking forward to seeing her reaction. Nice save on the reservation glitch!

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Old 04-30-2014, 02:56 PM   #12
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What a Save!!!



Ready for some more!!
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:41 AM   #13
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Honestly, all my DLR reservations have been showing up on MDE since last year's Disney Half Marathon... so you might want to keep a close eye on that!
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:46 AM   #14
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.......besides .......




now I know how to spell "Veh-wy, Veh-wy."
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:20 AM   #15
sleepydog25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
Looking forward to seeing her reaction. Nice save on the reservation glitch!

PHXscuba
Thanks! It immensely helped that my back was to her allowing me time to scramble for a response. I figured flat out denying would make her more suspicious.

luulu: Thanks and working on the next installment.

sunflare: Actually, I'm strangely relieved to hear that someone else had issues.

knewton: I might have grown up on Bugs, Daffy, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Elmer, et. al. Thanks for tuning in!
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