You Call That A Surprise?

In early February my husband, Riley, told me he wanted to surprise me with a special day to celebrate a successful Cupid’s Undie Run, Valentine’s Day, Everett’s Birthday and to relieve the stress of being recently unemployed. We have a lot to celebrate this time of year and I was so excited he wanted to surprise me! I have never been surprised with an event like this before. I had a surprise birthday party before but not a surprise date like this!

We had to choose a weekend that was after Cupid’s Undie Run (if you know Cupid’s, you know I’m insanely busy and lacking pants–that will be a post in itself!) I chose to go with the weekend of March 14th.

I immediately began to think of what we could possibly be doing on “My Special Day.” All I knew was traveling was going to be involved, and Everett was going to be at Grandma Jodie and Grandpa Mike’s from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. A few things I thought my day would involve include:

  • A canvas painting class
  • A cooking class at the Kitchen Window in Minneapolis
  • The beginning of our Restaurant Tour De Iowa
  • A Trip to Ikea to pick up my big dinning room buffet counter thing I want
  • A shopping trip in general
  • Something 50 shades themed (I thought this after Riley said, “I will completely understand if you don’t want to do it, and you just say “Um, No.”)

Since we have so much happening between February and March in our lives, the month went by very quickly and before I knew it I was getting ready for a surprise trip of a lifetime.

mcdonaldsWe started at McDonald’s! McDonald’s is right down the street from our home and Riley often gets up on Saturday mornings to grab us large Caramel Mochas to start our day. It only made sense that we go there. As we pull out of the parking lot, Riley turns right and I immediately know we are not going to Minneapolis, but some where South!

We were on the road for about an hour and a half and it was getting close to noon and I was getting hungry. I was hoping we were stopping soon and soon we did. We turned off the interstate to head to Ames! Lunch time was here and Riley found this gem on Yelp…


The Mucky Duck Pub is the 2nd rated Restaurant in Ames on Yelp!. They have authentic British Style food and they are also the home of Ames British Foods. Some items they have on their menu include the obvious of Fish and Chips, but also: Bangers and Mash, Mushy Peas, Haggis, and Pastys. We got inside and sat ourselves and to our surprise, the artwork we sat next to was created by Tom Whalen of Mason City!


Riley and I both ordered the Fish and Chips and we decided to see what the Mushy Peas business was all about. Ciders are $1 off on Saturdays so I helped myself to a Crispin Honey Crisp Hard Apple Cider. It was amazing. I forgot to ask Riley exactly what the ordered. It was a beer on tap and it was dark and surprisingly smooth.



Everything was very authentic at the Mucky Duck Pub, all the way to the people running the place speaking with British accents. The Fish and Chips were good. Nice and crispy. As you can see in the photo above, Mushy Peas is just that, it looks like Everett’s pureed baby food. When I took a bite though I was shocked. I don’t know what all they put in it but I wanted to take some to go. It was hearty and amazing. Almost like a mashed potato, but with peas.

My Honey Crisp Cider only came in a 20 ounce bottle (oh shoot.) It was a nice light cider and it’s perfect for day drinking outside on a beautiful afternoon. I will admit i had a slight buzz after lunch time, but Riley assured me that we were only going down the road for the next destination, in which we needed to be there by 2:00 p.m.

It was nice to have some quiet time to ourselves at lunch and to talk with just us two and spend quality time together. We finished up our drinks and were off.


We are driving along and I am trying to think in my head “What in the world are we doing?” I was still thinking we were going to take a cooking class of some sort but it didn’t really make sense because we just had a huge lunch. We turned around the corner and parked by a parking meter in front of the Ames Pantorium. I had no idea what it was and I was confused as we were getting out of the car and he was all like, “Aren’t you excited about the Pantorium? JUST KIDDING! That’s not where we are going.” Then I looked across the street and saw……

IMG_2216My husband made us appointments to get crazy parent tattoos. I was in shock and disbelief and didn’t know what to think. This didn’t even remotely cross my mind as a surprise fun thing to do. Also, I nearly had no idea what I was going to get! It was a good thing our appointment wasn’t until 3 so I had a good hour and half to decide what I wanted to get. Now I understood why Riley was nervous if I was going to like this surprise or when he said he would understand if I just said “Um, No.”

Heroic Ink Tattoo is a top rated tattoo shop and the inside is very fun. It just so happens that Izzy, one of the artists there, is the same tattoo artist that Riley got his first tattoo from years and years ago. A wonderful gal named Tracy would be doing our tattoos this day.


Riley was lucky that I had just been on pinterest a few weeks prior looking at cute tattoos for birthdates of children. We both decided we wanted to have Everett’s birthday but we each did it with our own style. Tracy was amazing and very precise. Tracy is actually on the Skunk River Riot Roller Derby team and they have played against the River City Dames of Anarchy. Small World!

Since I had already consumed 2 coffees and 2 ciders I needed to go to the bathroom a lot while we were waiting. It may have just been the nerves or the liquids but it was close to 3 times. The bathroom, I know I should have taken a picture, but it was loaded with pictures of Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. After my third trip it was already 3 o’clock and it was time to get the ink done!

Riley was up first. He decided he wanted to get a tattoo on his forearm with an E and Everett’s birthdate: 3.5.14.  I asked Riley if it hurt and he said no, but today he totally admitted that it hurt like hell.


My turn next! I found some awesome pins on pinterest of roman numerals going down the spine and I thought it was so elegant. So I wanted it. Of course, with my NF, Scoliosis is a side effect and we were having a hard time making it straight. I appreciate Tracy’s perfectionism and patience to make my tattoo look as straight as possible on my back. I could easily tell she cares about each and every one of her clients.


Holy No Pants Batman. I just got a tattoo. I know, I have gotten two others but this one was the most crazy spur of the moment….for me at least. My husband had over a month to think about it! I wanted to be a sport for him because I told him I would do whatever he planned. I was not expecting this in the least. I am glad the thought crossed my mind that sometime….IN THE FUTURE FUTURE….to get a birth date tattoo…but what better day than my surprise special day? WE ARE CRAZY PARENTS!

FullSizeRender 2 FullSizeRenderOn another note, I love Tracy’s business cards. If you’re wanting a well-done tattoo, call Tracy at Heroic Ink!

Our trip wasn’t done yet!!! Well, it was, but Riley didn’t time it exactly right so he called Grandma and Grandpa to see if E could stay with them over night. We continued with our next stop of going to Old Chicago! Now I know Old Chicago is a chain restaurant and my husband and I like to stay away from them, but since me and my North Iowa Bloggers just had a Pizza Taste Off, I had to try some Old Chicago.



Double Deckeroni

We got our classic pepperoni pizza and my oh my do they know how to pack on the peps! the crust was nice and crispy and every single inch of the pizza was covered with pepperonis. Riley said “I’m going to have to learn to become patient with your blogging because I have to wait for you to take a pic before we can eat!”

We didn’t quite finish it so we boxed it up and took the rest home. Since we were kidless for the night we were going to catch a 9:30 movie. We got home home around 7:30 and took a quick nap before our movie night topper. Riley set his alarm for 9:00 so we would be set to go.  When the alarm went off neither of us wanted to move too much. Needless to say, these crazy parents ended up sleeping until 7:00 this morning! We were ok with it though. It was nice to be together with just us two for a day. We got to spend some quality time together and we laughed and had so much fun. I look forward to the next surprise special day. But I don’t know how I will top this for a surprise trip for Riley.

mirror photo

ps. I flipped the photo so you could read the tattoos the right way.


4 thoughts on “You Call That A Surprise?

  1. Oh my goodness. Read this first on my phone and was having troubles getting a comment posted so came to my laptop and saw everything again but better! What an amazing day you guys had and I love the tattoos! I am a wimp when it comes to having them but there are some really neat ones that people have and especially ones like these that have meaning.
    I had to laugh that your husband already “gets” the blogger thing and that he can not take a bite until you take a pic. Good on him for figuring it out so early.
    PS I can’t believe you had pizza. I am a little tired of pizza still. 🙂


  2. That is quite the trip! I’ll have to check out the Mucky Duck the next time I’m in Ames. Sounds good and an experience in itself! And tell Riley, welcome to the world of being married to a blogger. My husband I think has thought of starting a support group 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s