Surprise Vacation 2016 / Solved

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It's my most favorite day of the year behind my birthday!!! Surprise vacation has officially started and my dad is here for his annual guest post to break it down... take it away dad!

Ok Folks here you go!!!!
I have been very impressed this year with Lizz and Diana scoring huge points!! (see their guesses here) Thanks to all of you for pitching in and making it fun. In the old days, there were only 10-15 people trying to solve the clues, now it is in the six figures - so the challenge for me gets better every year. My comment (under Monika) a couple days ago was to let you get more accurate on the remaining clues and it seems to have worked.

#1: Getting there, Getting where? Flying always has a cost, maybe I can get it waived.

This starts with the lead as to where we land flying into Surprise Vacation. The cost of flying can be termed a "Fee", and if I can get it waived that is then "nixed" - Fee Nix = Phoenix!!!!!!!! How simple ............

#2 The second half of an abbreviated Very Wise Night, thus short but sweet. 

The hardest clue in the bunch, but when you see the answer - no swearing allowed, at me or yourself!!

Second half of an abbreviated .....VW then N - second half: VW Golf and Night Club = Golf Club!!!!!! Short in length but a sweet swing! Yes sir - no winners on this one!!

#3 Yea, Yea, Yea, Blah, Blah, Blah; go fetch. Always a great day. 

Continuing in the same mode: The first part refers to Talking, and what do dog's fetch - Sticks
Talking Stick is a golf course in the Scottsdale area.

#4  He wasn’t totally wrong, nor one of the pair, but he integrated well.

Some of you pulled up Frank Loyd Wright - strong performance. Not the Wright Brothers. FLW integrated architecture with the surroundings - with a famous home: Tailisein West in Arizona (Scottsdale). Applause for Liz and Annie!!!!!!!

#5  Ex Top Dog TJ’s and the Jim’s neighbors, down the hill amongst the trees; and arriving ahead of schedule. Always a good time!

Another sweet one referencing not where we re going but who we are going with!!!! Yes this was Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe - all lived in the Charlottesville area, up on hills with majestic views. BUT, down the hills amongst the trees (Redwood Lane) arriving ahead of schedule (Earlysville) is another Dalkin Clan (who lives in Earlysville on Redwood Lane) meeting us in Arizona. These family gatherings with 5 cousins and two marriage add ins are always great fun!

#6  A city, town, village, municipality or other? I don’t know but : It makes watching grass grow more exciting, especially looking down at it from the hills.

To those of us who lived outside of the Phoenix area we never really considered Chandler, Messa, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley etc separate towns, just all were "Phoenix"!!!! (Sorry to all those that live in these towns) So for this: Making grass grow faster - Scotts Turf Builder, and down from the hills are the Dales - THUS SCOTTSDALE!!!!!!!!! (Big Hand for Lizz AGAIN!)

#7  Next to Peter’s Pointer, then all together something like “You’ve Got Mail”

Next to Peters Pointer is Tom's Thumb. All together - rhymes with : You've got mail - TOM'S THUMB TRAIL - in Scottsdale. On the agenda for this Friday- should be EPIC! 10 points for Diana!!

#8   After the winter thaw, they come outside to enjoy the sun and warming weather. More than a dozen of them, frolicking and playing, a wonderful spectacle for all who want to enjoy.

Scottsdale and the Phoenix area are a travel mecca in Feb/March for SPRING TRAINING - The Cactus League. 15 teams come to prepare for the upcoming season. And after the miracle of 2016 - CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN (Harry Carey fans) - and I grew up on the north side of Chicago. Mesa will again welcome the CUBS for a repeat in 2017!!!!!! (Lizzy again - so STRONG, or just as deviant minded as me!!)

#9  We cannot have a Christmas-time Surprise Vacation without a Christmas clue: The three Magi, on the back of their mounts, following the star above the mountains, into Bethlehem to see the babe.

The Magi rode on the back of Camel's (Camelback), following the star above the "mountain" to visit Bethlehem and see baby Jesus. Camelback Mountain is the hike planned for tomorrow.

So here we are in a great big house in Scottsdale sharing our time. There's a whole lotta hiking, spa time, golf, Gaby's cooking up a storm, we're doing game nights every night, hot tubs, pools, and family! Pretty pumped about this. Stay tuned for next year!


  1. Hope you all had a great time in Phoenix! I lived in Tucson for 15 years, and always enjoyed visiting that area. What a fun family tradition

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Hmmmm the whole "watching the grass grow" thing made me think of golf, but that's as far as I got.,, Your dad's pretty clever! Hope you're having fun

  3. I totally saw you at Whole Foods, but I was like "wait, she wouldn't be in phoenix...?" So cool! Hope you are having a blast 🙂

  4. I had the best time trying to solve this!! It's hard once you've made your mind up on a location. Can't wait for next year - can I come?

    xo Annie

  5. Ahhh this was SO MUCH FUN!! I found Talking Stick this morning - - LOL. I can hardly wait for next year's vacation!! Lizz D and I need to meet up and do one of those Escape the Room things!! Have a blast!!

    1. YES!!! I am very proud of us. We'd be out of that room in no time!

      And Bruce - clue number 2 is the worst. THE WORST! Although I love number 1. Thanks for the fun and happy holidays! 🙂

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