Surprise Vacation 2017

It’s my most favorite time of the year!! SURPRISE VACATION is just 2 months away and it’s time to put on your detective hats!

Surprise Vacation with (@whatsgabycookin)

For those of you who are new here – let’s start at the beginning. Surprise vacation has been a longstanding Dalkin family tradition since we were kids. It started when I was 9, my sister was 6, and my parents would throw us birthday parties. Now that I’ve thrown a party or two, I know how much work they can be, PLUS add in some screaming and crying children, ummmmm NO. So my parents decided to do away with the birthday parties and instead they’d plan a surprise vacation for us each year.

So what’s a surprise vacation you ask? IT’S A SURPRISE. And it’s basically the highlight of my life. I even like it more than my birthday/birth month which is really saying a lot. I’m obsessed. They plan a vacation for us and we get somewhere in the realm of 8-10 clues each year and we have to figure out where we are going. Some years we’ve figured it out, others we’re totally surprised. One thing is always certain…. I’m always wrong. My sister sometimes figures it out, my husband has been known to do the same… but I’m always, without fail, 100% wrong. I think it’s because I’ve always had this burning desire to go on safari in Africa and no matter what clues my parents send over I somehow make them fit into an African safari. BUT… that’s no longer the case seeing as how we just got back from an epic adventure through Africa earlier this year. So what I’m saying is that MAYBE THIS YEAR I HAVE A CHANCE!!

ANYWAYS… since we were kids, we’ve been getting everyone involved. My tennis coach, friends of friends, parents, professors, you guys!! I mean, it’s basically a puzzle for anyone I know. So I’ll be sharing the clues here as they roll in (roughly one a week) and I’ll just continue to update this post so you don’t have to search high and low for the latest clues. Ready… Clue’s are officially rolling in:

Clue #1 – It’s not a plate, and young Freud has one

Clue #2 – People of median income in Napa can afford Bose headphones, or close to it.

Clue #3 – A water emergency, but not in a glass.

Clue #4 – Like Fonzie in Happy days, hair gel and a comb, rushing to the Diner.

Clue #5 – Check – the neighbor’s names, then flip the end. sp.

Clue #6 – Sitting peacefully while wearing the Jane Russell 18 hour bra, doing it’s job.

Clue #7 – A bunch of women having funning in France in the 1800’s

LET’S SOLVE IT THIS YEAR!! Any guesses… comment below!

A bit of inside scoop:

We’re leaving the day after Christmas and we’re gone for about 7 days. That includes travel time. And like I said earlier, we just did an epic 2 week adventure through Africa so my instinct is that we’re not criss-crossing the globe again this year.

Here are our surprise trips from the past so we can cross those off the list as we think of ways to decipher the clues.

2016 – Arizona (click on over to see clues and my parents clues and commentary on this trip!)
2015 – Costa Rica – (click on over to see clues and my parents clues and commentary on this trip!)
2014 – Orcas Island + Vancouver + Whistler (click on over to see clues and my parents clues and commentary on this trip!)
2013 – Nat Geo Cruise through Alaska (click on over to see clues and my parents clues and commentary on this trip!)
2012 – Road Trip through France (click on over to see clues and my parents clues and commentary on this trip!)
2011 – Bahamas
2010 – Skipped a year and went to Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Vienna but it wasn’t a surprise
2009 – Banff, Canada
2008 – none of us can remember where we went this year! whoops 🙂
2007 – Italy
2006 – Turkey
2005 – Greece
2004 – England + Scotland
2003 – Cancun, Mexico
2002 – Hawaii (Big Island)
2001 – Napa / Sonoma
2000 – Los Angeles
1999 – New York
1998 – Washington DC
1997 – Las Vegas
1996 – Texas
1995 – Disney World

2017 here we come!!!

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  1. When you Google the fourth clue, one of the results is for a guy named Fonzie Rushing, who is from South Carolina. Surely that can’t be a coincidence.

    Also, Freud was born with a birth defect called a “caul”. Cauldish, coltish, coldish, something like that? There’s a county in South Carolina called Colleton, but that doesn’t really hit the mark.

    1. Oh my gosh. I think this is spot on! Guy Fieri is from Santa Rosa, just an hour from SF – I think this is right! WELL DONE, Kathy! Gabby – your parents are the COOLEST. I sent this to my husband, the quiz master to plan down the road for our fam!

  2. What do your parents do for a living???? The clues are incredible, How do they come up with all those clues?

  3. Clue 2 mentions “Bose headphones, or close to it”. Could that be a reference to Boise, Idaho? I can’t imagine your parents are taking you to Boise, but maybe there is a link somehow?

  4. I initially thought Yellowstone, but it would be umder 10 feet of snow at Christmas (Boise, Idaho is quite close). I now think Panama.

  5. Clue # 2 median = meridian (city in Idaho) Napa = Nampa (city in Idaho) Bose = Boise (city in idaho)….. you guys are going to idaho or close (Yello Stone) !!

  6. Ski trip to Sun Valley, ID!
    Water emergency = snow storm? And it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the snow.
    “Napa can” + Nampa ID and “Bose Headphones” = Boise … both near Sun Valley!

  7. Do you think the capital F, H, and D in the 4th clue mean something? Days should be capitalized and Diner shouldn’t be… makes me think these letters are important. Not sure why though…

  8. I think Boulder based on #1! Not a plate = bowl, Young Freud = caul.
    Bowl, Caul = Boulder, Colorado??

  9. forgot to put my reasons why i think it’s Idaho:
    Freud…id, ego, super-ego ID: Idaho
    Bose headphones or something like it: Boise
    water emergency but not in a glass: the state is shaped like a bottle
    last clue: it’s a reach but i’m thinking the Fonz was played Henry WInkler, and there’s a Fort Henry park…???

  10. So for the first one I thought Bowl Complex and Las Vegas has a Silver Bowl Sports Complex. Also, there is an FHD, Inc. in Las Vegas (because of the caps in clue 4). I see y’all have already been but it would be the 20 year anniversary of that visit so maybe y’all would go back?

  11. Young Freud makes me think of the Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland… Fonzie perhaps a pompadour? Gallerie Pompadou in Paris?

  12. I’m officially obsessed! OK , so for the #4 Fonzie clue, I noticed the “L”, “F”, “H” and “D” were capitalized. Made me think of an acronym for something. Found that the airport code for Pierrelatte, France in the Rhone-Alps is LFHD..I am leaning more towards France!

  13. I swear #3 is referencing a hurricane… Hurricane’s are a water emergency, but not the drink that’s in a glass????

  14. I don’t have any sure facts yet, but I think ARGENTINA now…South America…Perhaps even a side trip to Uruguay? Need to still figure out more?

  15. OK, I think I have a better idea…Freud was born in Austria…#1…Perhaps #4 Rushing to the Diner denotes “hungry” i.e. Hungary (Budapest) and then #5 is Czech – neighbor’s names…Like Czech Republic (Prague) …all are neighboring countries…And these countries have lovely Christmas markets…Seems perfect!

  16. This is my last for the night! LOL…Platz is German means ‘town square’…Vienna is full of them!

  17. I know this is my umpteenth post, but I think I’ve got it!

    Clue #4…Like Fonzie in Happy Days…So I looked up the word ‘pompadour’, which is the hairstyle Fonzie had…it was created in France – But then I saw that Franz Kafka, the writer, was famous for sporting a pompadour hairstyle…Franz sounds like “Fonz” and Kafka was born in Prague (now Czech Republic) formerly Austria-Hungary.

    Thanks for the fun riddles! I adore them!

  18. This is so ridiculously fun!!!!! I have no idea what these clues lead to. I can’t wait to find out where they’re taking you Gaby!!!

  19. OMG I am horrified that I have missed 2 weeks of clues somehow!!!!!!!! This is the best time of the year! I am SO EXCITED and cannot believe it’s been a year since my last epic hunt into these clues… I’m on it!

  20. Clue #6… in East Tyrol, Austria, they found a bra dating back to the 15th century…I think you’ll be relaxing at some kind of thermal spa there!

  21. Clue #6 – Sitting peacefully while wearing the Jane Russell 18 hour bra, doing it’s job.

    The bra was called the “lovely look” and the job of a bra is to lift. Sitting peacefully while looking at something lovely in a lift makes me think of the snow and some sort of chairlift.

  22. Jane Russell bra the commercial said it lifts and separates… I’m thinking mountains , skiing …

  23. All right – I’m throwing another idea out there – McCall, Idaho, which is a ski resort and not too far from Boise, Nampa, etc. FHD (the capitalized words in the Fonzie clue) can stand for flood-hazard determination, and a flood is a water emergency.

    Gaby, your dad is so good at putting these together!

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