So I've been planning, for the past 3 months, to surprise my wife for our anniversary in November.
What I had told my wife was that we needed to take a vacation around Thanksgiving and drive up to Indiana to spend Turkey day with her parents. We'd spend about a week there, catch up on old times, etc, etc. I had hoped that this carrot would be enough to convince her to ask for 4 days off before Thanksgiving. This way she'd have to think about packing and clearing time and whatnot.
Unbeknownst to her, though, I had conspired with her parents. What we were REALLY doing was that while my wife was getting ready to drive up to Indiana, her parents would really be coming down here. At the last minute, I was going to tell her that we had had a change of plans and that instead of going to Indiana, she and I were going to Rome for our anniversary. Her parents would be here to watch after the kids for those few days we'd be gone, and everyone would be happy.
With her parents' help, we booked a flight, hotel room, and two tours, one a walking tour of Rome and another day trip to Naples and Pompeii. I'd basically thought of everything (including the idea of driving to Indiana thus necessitating the concept of packing). Unfortunately, due to circumstances that were beyond my control, yesterday I had to tell her of the plans. I'm proud to say she was completely in the dark (the in-laws willingness to front the cost of the trip with my reimbursing them later was a big part of that), and since we've been working on this for 3 months, I'm particularly excited about our operations security. However, the secret it out, and while it would have been nice to see her excitement when I told her, it was also very nice to hear her voice when she found out.
So, we'll be in Rome this November. Let me know if you need anythign that I can fit in my carry-on (I don't think Gladiators will fit).