Surprise: Just Like in the Movies

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Just like any ordinary couple, we are often faced with the dilemma of what to buy each other for birthdays, holidays, and anniversary’s. I was trying to determine what gift would blow Christopher’s mind. I’m thinking something big like a nice new camera, or video game console. I was thinking about this for days, and then suddenly it hit me! Chris had already purchased his flight tickets to come visit me in  America. He was going to arrive near the end of December and celebrate New Years, and my 25th birthday. I decided I was going to surprise visit him in England for his birthday in mid-December!
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This took lots of planning and trust. I had to confide in a few select people, while still hoping and praying that they wouldn’t let it slip during their evenings out together. I told my close girl friend and Chris’s best friend about my plans, so they could help me coordinate everything on that side. I was worried that Chris’s friend may try and make plans to do something during the week I was planning on being there. I needed him around to make sure nothing would interfere with my plans for Chris’ surprise.

Keeping the Surprise

My biggest problem was not just keeping this whole visit a secret, but there was also the fact that I had to get Chris to believe I was going somewhere. Being so close, and having in depth conversations, I couldn’t hide the fact that I was saving up tons of money to fly out somewhere for a week. Especially considering the cost. I had to come up with a plan, and fast! Chris likes to ask questions, so I had to make sure whatever I told him was believable, and something that I could easily provide answers to. Let alone remember and keep track of.
Part of the surprise involved convincing Chris I would be in New York

New York.

I told Chris that I was going to New York just before Christmas to attend a weekend seminar in dog aggression behaviour. Chris would have no doubts whatsoever about this because I attend dog training seminars several times a year. It was also a very easy topic for me to follow along with as he asked me questions about what I would be learning. What I wasn’t prepared for was his questions about what hotel I was staying in, and where in New York I’d be! Of course he asks me detailed questions, not because he has insecurities about us (he is incredibly trusting and confident), but only because he was genuinely interested in what I was going to do. But I was panicked because I never thought that far ahead! I definitely had to come up with some answers on the spot.
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I had to try and remember these details, in case he ever asked me about them again. I couldn’t blow my cover,  not keeping my story straight could have steered me off track so fast, and I would never forgive myself if he found out. I was so paranoid about Chris finding out about my surprise I went to the extreme of turning off my phone while I was out with my friends for a night out… Just in case I would drunkenly slip the secret away in a audio message or a text. Surprisingly he never questioned much about my odd behaviour during that time.

My conversation with Tim, just days before I flew out for Christopher's surprise!

My conversation with Tim, just days before I flew out for Christopher’s surprise!

During the last few days at home before my departure, my concerns shifted from worrying that I would slip the secret, to worrying that Tim would say something. He and Chris had a night out, and all I could imagine was Tim drunkenly blurting out what I was planning on doing. I was pretty nervous! I watched my phone for texts, half expecting Chris to message me saying “You’re coming over for my birthday!?”. I so desperately wanted to be a little fly on the wall, and watch what Tim was saying. Even if I was invited, I couldn’t be there since we lived over 4,000 miles apart! Luckily, Tim never shared my secret, and my big birthday surprise was still on for the unsuspecting Chris!
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Arriving in the UK

I arrived at London Heathrow Airport on Chris’s birthday, and I’m sat waiting in the coach station for a couple of hours before I depart to Plymouth. I turn on my Mac and log onto the free 45 minutes of WiFi (So ridiculous!) provided by the airport and I message to Chris that I have ‘made it to my hotel and that I’m tired’ as soon as Chris and I were engaged in a conversation about the flight, I realised that Chris has GPS access to where I am located. The app we use to talk on a regular basis is called Couple, and it has a unique GPS feature. I panic and hope he doesn’t pick up on it and notice that I’m in London! He never brought it up, so I assumed her didn’t see it, phew!

The GPS feature on Couple.

The GPS feature on Couple.

Once I arrived in Plymouth, my girl friend and her boyfriend picked me up from the coach station, and took me to my hotel, where I showered and dressed. Afterwards we went to her house and killed some time before leaving to attend Christopher’s birthday meal.  At one point Chris’ friend was frantically trying to get in touch with us, because apparently we were late. I guess times were changed and not properly communicated, so everyone was waiting for us. We got a taxi and left right away! My heart was beginning to pound and I was growing increasingly nervous as our taxi got closer and closer to the restaurant. My friend tried to distract me a bit, but unfortunately I couldn’t shake off the nerves. Before I knew it, we were pulling up at our destination.
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Surprising Chris

I made sure to have my friend and her boyfriend get out first, to use as a blocking shield so Chris couldn’t see me approaching the entry way door from outside. Since we were late, all eyes were on my friend and her boyfriend as we entered. I tried to peer through between them as we walked inside, and I caught a glimpse of Chris talking to his friends, with everyone sitting around him at the table. As soon as I saw him, Chris turned his focus in our direction, and made eye contact with me from the table. Just as fast as we made eye contact, it was cut off with my friend and her boyfriend walking ahead of me, and then my view of Chris re-appeared.

There I was standing 10 feet away from Chris and I smiled at him. I made it! I was successful in keeping this a surprise. He has this look of shock on his face, and he is stood there frozen. Not only is he shocked, but so are most of our other friends sitting around him. Only Chris’ friend and my friend knew I was coming over, so it was just as much of a surprise to them as it was for Chris. I walked right up to him as he is standing motionless, and I give him a big hug and a kiss! a

We sit down and Chris’ friend starts laughing, Chris can hardly make eye contact with me, he is so surprised! I couldn’t figure out what could be so amusing, so I asked his friend what he found so funny. He told me while laughing still, that Chris gasped in a high pitched voice when he saw me enter in through the doors, and that he would never forget his reaction.  As funny as it was to imagine Chris squeal in excitement, I also found it to be really sweet. From the look of shock on his face as I entered in the restaurant, I couldn’t quite tell how excited he was to see me or if he was even happy at all! So it was definitely reassuring to hear that he reacted when he saw me.

Christopher's birthday night out, after we ate dinner.

Christopher’s birthday night out, after we ate dinner.

After I explained to Chris that both of our friends were in on this secret, and we had been planning this for months, he just laughed. He couldn’t believe that I planned this whole thing out, and kept it from him for so long. I then explained to him that going to New York was all fabricated to keep him from finding out about his surprise!
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To this day I am pretty proud of myself for accomplishing such an event. My friends say “That’s just like in the Movies!”. I don’t think I could ever top it, or do anything similar to it again. It took so much self control to not tell him anything about it for 3 months! I would have never been able to surprise him without the help I had from our good friends, they were lifesavers! I am so glad that I was successful and managed to pull it off without Chris catching on. Hopefully he will never forget it. I know I won’t.

-Chelsea

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Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behaviour Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007, and is the Head Coach for Dogs Trust Dog School Nottinghamshire. She met Chris on a trip to England in 2013, Married him on New Year's Eve - celebrating 2016 as husband and wife!