Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birthday Surprise

Sunrise over beautiful Smith Lake
It started with cryptic comments from my Mr. G... 33 days until March 15... wait, my birthday's the 12th, what's the 15th?... then, "how many weeks ahead of time do you need to ask off from work?" "Well, take Friday, March 15 off"... and "get your car cleaned out and washed before Friday."

Then a couple days before, I received this clue...

"Sojourn, visit a temporary stay (e.g., as a guest), Sojourner a temporary resident.

As sojourners we shall embark on a journey westward across glen and dale to a place where by moonlight the land shimmers and ripples. To a place of your Surname where with watchful eyes like those before us were ever vigilant and their beacon was a symbol of comfort...on a Friday two days from now."

We began our "sojourn" early that Friday morning, first taking Smokey to board at a local kennel (which NEVER happens!)... I had been told to pack a bag for a couple of nights but still had no idea of our destination.

(Secretly I had thought we would be heading to the coast, to visit a lighthouse, Mr. G knows my fascination with lighthouses)

We left the South Carolina Midlands where we live and headed northwest (What??? not EAST???) to the Upstate of SC... "across glen and dale!" We hit the backroads near Greenville... across the mountains and curvy roads of North Georgia... into far Western North Carolina... into East Tennessee and on to Chattanooga... then turned south back into North Georgia (by this time my confusion continued to grow! But it was a fun trip, we listened to music, laughed and talked, enjoyed the scenery and each other's company, pointing out places of interest along the way... I decided to just sit back and enjoy the trip, what else could I do?) Mr. G, at one point, said, "you'll be traveling through 5 states today." So upon entering Tennessee, I remarked, "what's next, Arkansas?" He laughed, but gave away no clue.

From Georgia, we entered the fifth state, Alabama... North Alabama (nowhere near the coast)... and began to meander along curvy country roads in "farm country"... cows, chickens, farms and fields... after several hours of travel, Mr. G said we were about 5 minutes from our destination and I was to use my scarf as a blindfold for the remainder of the trip... so, with my blindfold on, I felt the car at last come to a stop... and I heard the voices of a man and woman... laughing "she's blindfolded!"

Mr. G came around and got me out of the car, assisting the blindfolded me down a few steps and across some gravel...

A little back story is in order at this point... When I was a little girl, one thing we did for entertainment was my parents loading up the station wagon and taking my brothers and me to the drive-in movies on the weekends... the first time I ever saw the Disney movie "Pete's Dragon" I decided then and there that when I grew up I was going to live in a lighthouse like the family in the movie did... my love and fascination of all things lighthouse grew from there, the history, the romance, the beauty... as I grew up, I realized I would never actually LIVE in a lighthouse but I love to visit them and Mr. G and I had had a conversation a few months ago about our "bucket lists" (things we want to do before we die)... I mentioned my childhood dream... and said, "I want to live in a lighthouse... or at least spend the night in one... or at the very least visit a different one every year."

Mr. G said to me while I was still blindfolded and standing on a gravel path, "I know it has been your dream since you were a little girl to live in a lighthouse... take off your blindfold..."

This is what I saw as soon as I removed the scarf from my eyes...

Yep... I squealed and clapped my hands! I was 8 years old again!

I was then told I was going to be living in a lighthouse for 2 nights! I squealed again!

Our surprise birthday destination? AnchorLight Bed and Breakfast on Smith Lake (my maiden name is Smith, hence the cryptic clue "place of your Surname")

Maggie and Jon "Tug" Owens, owners and keepers of the lighthouse were the most wonderful hosts ever... we enjoyed breakfast each morning in the lighthouse lamp room prepared by Maggie...

And a delightful tour of the lake on "Tug's" tugboat "Maggie"...

All the special touches Maggie had provided in our lighthouse room made our stay so special...

Ceiling art in the lamp room

What an unbelievable weekend surprise from my precious Mr. G!!!!! A lifelong dream come true for this Granny!


  1. Does Mr. G have a twin brother??

  2. I was born & raised here in Cullman County 3 miles from the lake near Trimble. As a young child I saw a lot of the work that went into building the lake, but until your visit I never knew this existed!

  3. Can that man to keep him forever!

  4. Absolutley perfect! Your a lucky Granny!

  5. i luv lighthouses also lucky you.

  6. How exciting & what a sweetheart. I am so happy for you. :o)

  7. Happy belated birthday, and congratulations on having such a wonderful man! I seondn BarbaraAnne's comment! lol

  8. That's absolutely wonderful! What a great guy and a special birthday gift!!

  9. What a wonderful birthday surprise. Happy Belated Birthday, I know you had a very special one :)

  10. How wonderfully awesome for you. I do think Mr. G is a keeper!

  11. How fun! What a wonderful husband!

  12. LOVE your vacation & husband.

  13. What a great birthday surprise . You have a wonderful and loving husband.

  14. What a great surprise!! Happy Birthday!

  15. Sounds like you had a great birthday celebration!

    Please consider coming up to Rhode Island and spending a few nights in the Rose Island Lighthouse near the Newport Bridge and another few days on the mainland.

    I had the opportunity to spend New Year's Day at the lighthouse. A photo album of the experience may be found on SlideShare: .

  16. Since your maiden name was Smith, when you visit us in Rhode Island to stay at the lighthouse, please be sure to take a trip to Providence and visit our beautiful state capitol which happens to be on Smith Hill.

  17. Every man in America is saying, 'THANKS, DUDE! THANKS A LOT!" - NOW WE GOTTA LIVE UP TO THAT!". All kidding aside, what a thoughtful gift. The two of you are truly blessed!

  18. passed right through my growing-up place! Trenton, GA, just after Chattanooga and right before ALabama! What a great surprise!


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