Surprise Party Capture

A surprise party can be tough to pull off, especially when you have people coming in from all across the country AND social media exists.  In an age where everything is tweeted, instagramed or posted on Facebook, it's almost second nature to "snap, edit, caption and post" without giving it a second thought.

Last week, my dad, Carol and I I flew to Colorado for a 36-hour trip to surprise Michael on his 30th birthday.  We landed in Denver, drove to Colorado Springs to check in to our hotel, dropped off our bags and went to see some sites, before the surprise later that night. Starving, we asked where we could get the best bison burger in town, and our hosts suggested a local spot at the base of Pikes Peak. Off we went.

Wines of Colorado is beautiful -- situated at the base of the mountain, we chose a seat outside next to swiftly flowing creek and each ordered a burger. They were delicious, as in, "we almost went back the next day for another one" delicious!  We jumped back in the car to explore the Cave Dwellings and drive through the Garden of the Gods (this was where it was most challenging NOT to post something to Instagram -- it's gorgeous!) before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the party.  We came across a charming drive thru coffee spot called Dutch Brothers coffee, sadly only available on the West Coast, but a place we'll go back to when traveling again.  My iced Americano hit the spot.

We arrived early to the party, so we sat and talked about the day's sites and our plan for the next day. Seated around tables of the Golden Bee, about 50 people waited to surprise Michael and Nicole for their 30th birthday celebration.  Again, how we all managed to keep it quiet is beyond me.  I started second guessing myself -- worried that Michael would suspect something. "I usually call him on his birthday," I thought, but I didn't this year, out of fear that I'd say something that would ruin the surprise. But, when they walked through the door, the shocked look showed that they didn't know a thing -- making the quick trip completely worth it.

Before we flew out the next day, we took a drive up Pikes Peak, climbing to 14115 feet. The air was thinner and we felt a bit woozy from the altitude, but the drive was gorgeous and the view was unlike anything I'd seen before, with a combination of snow, greenery and red rocks dotting the skyline.   Below are a few, fun photos from our quick trip: