The Birthday Surprise: Part 1

I love surprises. There’s just something about them that excites me. I always like to organise something a little bit different than the normal, and seeing the look on peoples faces when they open them. So of course when Tom’s birthday started nearing I had to do something amazing. I wasn’t sure if I was able to top last years- (25 Hand-written letters from his Friends and Family- plus a Canon Camera Cake!!) but had to at least give it a go. I love a challenge.


I had a few ideas that kept popping up: Going to the Vodka Revolution Bar in London or maybe a Spa Day for us both. But then I thought of something that just topped both of those, completely!

But, just like Tom you are just going to have to wait, to find out what it is. (Unless you follow me on any form of social media, and you would already know. But let’s just pretend that you don’t!)

I didn’t want to just tell Tom where we were going, or what we were doing. So all I told him was that he wasn’t allowed to take any jobs from Monday 12pm to Saturday Morning- and nothing else. Both of our Families knew, but none of his friends did. I didn’t want to risk anyone letting it slip and ruining the surprise.

So the question was, how do I tell him in the most creative way I can think?


The little kid in me, loved this idea and I knew that Tom would too- he is worse than me when it comes to things like this.

I filmed the entire treasure hunt- with Tom searching for all his clues and the vlog is coming soon! So keep your eyes out for that one.

Birthday Surprise Trip Clues

I decided to create little clues to hide all around his house, (CLUES THAT RHYMED- THANK YOU VERY MUCH!) that would lead to another clue- with little presents hidden along the way.

Birthday Surprise Trip Start

As each clue went on, little tasks would need to be completed such as ‘Pack your Camera Bag’ and ‘Pack your own Bag’ but he had absolutely no idea, what for or where.


Clues 6-10

On some of the clues there were Numbers and Letters that created a post-code which he had to enter into his Sat-Nav to lead us to the next clue.

A clue that was hidden in… a hotel. I had contacted the hotel prior to coming, to organise for them to print of another clue to have on the bed ready for our arrival, as well as a very yummy chocolate cake. (Even the receptionist loved my idea, telling me how it was the talk of the hotel, and how much they wanted to do something like this for their partners!)

Birthday Surprise Trip Cake

Tom was so excited as we reached the hotel, but still not knowing if this was our final destination or not. I let him open the hotel door, as I knew what was waiting on the over side. He read the final clue:

“You’ve had a long day- with lots of clues to find.
So sit down and take some time to unwind.
But now the part you have been waiting for,
It’s time to tell you that your…

turn over…

Your final surprise wont happen just yet, but just as a little warning.
You do have to get up at 2am tomorrow morning.”

Which still doesn’t tell him where he was going. He would just have to wait.Birthday Surprise Trip End

I had sneakily packed his passport and managed to get him all the way through Security, through Passport control and on to the plane without him finding out where we were going.

But he did buy me a MAC lipstick at the airport- so he gets bonus points for that one.

Nice in France!!

tom plane

Tom had never been before, and I have always wanted to show him where I used to live and work and the wonders of this beautiful city. So it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine both- and have a little bit of fun, messing with him in the mean time.

Birthday Surprise Trip Day One Walk 4

Birthday Surprise Trip Day One Water

Birthday Surprise Trip Day One Walk Birthday Surprise Trip Day One Walk 2

We were staying with my old bosses, at their new hotel- and they even kindly lent us a car so that we could get around during our stay. I was so excited to be back in this gorgeous country and even more so, to be sharing this experience with Tom.

As soon as we arrived to the hotel, we headed around the little town that their new hotel sits in, and then headed down into Nice for some Food and some incredible Ice-Cream. (I’m obsessed with ice-cream, it makes my heart and tummy happy!).

Food Birthday Surprise Trip Day One Icecream

Tom had never driven in 1- a foreign car, 2- on the other side of the road. He was incredibly nervous, but we got there in one piece. We headed around the old town, and enjoyed some beautiful food at one of the old Irish bars, I spent far too much time at when I used to live there.

After wondering around the Town we decided to head back to the hotel for some well deserved rest. My phone had died early on in the day, and Tom’s was holding on for dear life. But as our luck goes, as we were driving back to the hotel- our sat-nav died. Stuck in a foreign country, needing to drive to a hotel we had never been before, we had no idea what to do. Luckily I had packed both of our chargers in my handbag before heading into the town so we drove to a random hotel, and had to ask them to let us charge our phones to use them as a sat-nav to get back.

One of the scariest and longest nights of my life.

But we survived- and as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and all that- and we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying the rest off our holiday.

Keep your eyes out for PART 2.
The photos on all parts of this Journey are going to be part mine, and part Tom’s. Check out his website at and his VLOG from our holiday!

amanda BOOTES
Sneaky French.



    • October 26, 2015 / 10:12 am

      Oh this has just made me smile so much. You cutie

  1. October 26, 2015 / 11:26 am

    What a unique idea! Must have been really exciting watching him reach each clue along the way and end up all the way at the airport without letting it slip..! Can’t wait to hear what you got up to in Nice. Heard many great things about that part of France.

    Gem x

  2. October 26, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    What a lovely idea 🙂 I love the little clues leading to more clues. I especially love the clue telling him he won’t find out yet lol x

  3. October 26, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    Awww you are definitely a keeper for lucky Tom.
    I’ve hinted soooo many times that I want a surprise like this for my birthday but in eight years with the boy it’s never happened!

    I’ll send him the link to your blog and hope that helps him come up with some ideas.

  4. October 26, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    awww..this is so cute and romantic!!

  5. October 27, 2015 / 9:20 pm

    This is the cutest thing I’ve ever read! It’s like a rom com!!

    Katie xo

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