It was my boyfriend’s 30th birthday and I had planned surprises for him all weekend long. One of our favorite things to do together is enjoy the outdoors.
We are avid hikers and started the Appalachian Trail a few years ago as section hikers, but we haven’t been able to take the time off to go back for our usual fall hike.
So for one of my birthday surprises, I planned a day hike to an area we had not yet visited… and of course packed a picnic!
He had no idea where we were going until he saw me filling up the camel backs full of water. Then the wheels started spinning. “We must be going hiking,” he said. Of course I replied, “Maybe… Or we could be biking… or kayaking…”
The mystery must be kept!
So we pull into the parking lot of the trail head to begin a day hike to a picnic he has no idea is coming.
The hike was down a mountain for 3.3 miles and ended near a pool of trickling water with enormous limestone walls surrounding you. The leaves were changing and the air was crisp. Perfect for a surprise picnic.
While admiring the scenery and realizing how small we were next to the limestone walls, I spotted the perfect rock for the secret picnic.
I laid out the blanket then pulled out some snacks and a bottle of wine. While I filled up the plastic wine glasses we began a game of questions that I put together. Now these questions were not about our relationship or encouraging any serious conversation. They were very fun and light-hearted.
If you want to shut off the phones and TV just to enjoy your significant other, I would recommend going through these questions together. It was a lot of fun to hear the responses and see if his answers would be what I expected.
- If you had one day left to live, what would you do?
- Where would you most like to go on vacation next?
- What would you do if you won $10,000 and could not save/invest it?
- What is your most embarrassing moment?
- What is your favorite movie?
- What is something you did as a child that your parents never knew about?
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite season?
- What is your favorite restaurant?
- What is the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
- What do you think is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?
- Is there a silly accomplishment you’ve made that you’re secretly really proud of?
- If you could trade lives (or jobs) with someone, who (or what) would it be?
- What is your favorite time of day and why?
- Who is your favorite superhero?
- Is there a show that you used to watch as a kid that you would love to see come back?
- What is your favorite outdoor activity?
- What is your favorite book?
- What is one thing almost no one knows about you?
- Would you rather go for a hot air balloon ride or bungee jump?
- Would you rather give up music or TV for a month?
- What are the top three things on your bucket list?
- What is your favorite type of food?
- What song can always make you dance?
- What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- If you could choose any career (besides the one you have) right now, what would it be?
- A meteor is headed for your house. You have saved your family, pets, and the family photos. You have time for one more item. What will you save?
- Which of these do you have the most of: sense of humor, sense of time, sense of adventure, common sense?
- If you had $100 you could spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy? What do you think I would buy?
- In a regular day, what do you find yourself thinking about the most?
- If you could change only one thing in your life, what would that be and why?
- What things in your life bring you the greatest pleasure?
- What country would you like to visit next that you have not yet visited?
After finishing our questions game and the last of wine in our wine glasses, we headed back up the mountain. The scenery was beautiful, the air was crisp, and the company was wonderful.
I think hiking is one of the best things you can do to relieve stress and remember what it was like when technology didn’t rule us.
Clean air, picturesque scenery, and no interruptions is something that everyone can benefit from, but very few people experience.
So get out there. Especially while the leaves are changing. You won’t regret it.