Surprise Vacation 2019 (Solved!)

It’s my most favorite time of the year!! SURPRISE VACATION is here and it’s time to put on your detective hats! (update: it’s happening! scroll down for the answers to all the riddles!)

Surprise Vacation with www.whatsgabycooking.com (@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 are 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 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 last year. So what I’m saying is that MAYBE THIS YEAR I HAVE A CHANCE at figuring it out!! Keep your fingers crossed for me

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 – Whata and Wheres, if it is your fourth try and still not close what should you do? But remember, it’s only a game site, in another country.

Clue #2 – Using the ending, this person accomplished something twelve times even though she was wet, then sort of, and mostly an old revolutionary activist here in the United States.

Clue #3 – A day of fun: Something like Butch and Sundance’s group hiding here, partly with Me jennifer  marlon and a pair of shoes.

Clue #4 – Formalwear required, posture is important! Traveling around the world was a great adventure, Magnifico!! Fortunately, this only takes a day.

Clue #5 – AG’s partners old song, might happen to you if you are not careful on this trip.

Clue #6 – Victoria and Albert, Modern Art, Louvre, Van Gogh; similar but a bit more chill. Like tapping your jaw.

Clue #7 – An artistic clue: mt: It’s all about…, then a short word before a person or place, to then find a definite article you would read of course; but don’t forget to look up and see what is rising in the sky. It’s worth the effort!!

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

A bit of inside scoop:

We’re leaving mid-January for 2 weeks. That includes travel time.

Here are our surprise trips from the past… and chances are we can cross those off the list since I don’t think we’d do a repeat. And if you want to read some clues from past trips – click the links below!

2017 – Idaho for a ski week!
2016 – Arizona for a golf/spa week!
2015 – Costa Rica
2014 – Orcas Island + Vancouver + Whistler
2013 – Nat Geo Cruise through Alaska
2012 – Road Trip through France
2011 – Bahamas
2010 – Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Vienna
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

Welp, it’s game time! We’ve solved Surprise Vacation 2019 and I’m gonna let me dad take it away!!!

Some of you were exceptionally good at twisting my deviant clues the correct way – so Congratulations!! To satisfy all your frustrations here are the explanations for the clues, may they bring you a good chuckle!

Clue #1: Whata and Wheres, if it is your fourth try and still not close what should you do? But remember, it’s only a game site, in another country.

Solution: Note the “a” after What and “s” after Where. Some of you got the “fourth try” correct with football and thus – Punt. A game site in another country is an Arena, not a stadium. Add an “a” to the What and an “s” to the Where and you have…….PUNTA  ARENAS (City in Chile: On the Cluemaster Difficulty scale 1-10, this was a 3.

 

Clue #2:  Using the ending, this person accomplished something twelve times even though she was wet, then sort of, and mostly an old revolutionary activist here in the United States.

Solution: This one scored some winners as well, but nobody caught the middle part :)!

“Using the ending”, thus the last name, – of yes the female olympian swimmer (wet) with 12 medals – Dana Torres. “Then” – “sort of” which in spanish is del (I win on this part !!), followed by yes the revolutionary activist, again “using the ending” – Thomas Paine. We then have: TORRES DEL PAINE  (National Park in Chile: Cluemaster Difficulty Scale a 3)

 

Clue #3:  A day of fun: Something Butch and Sundance’s group hiding here, partly with Me jennifer marlon and a pair of shoes.

Solution: I won this one – no correct answers – gives me great joy!! Let me make it easy for you – Butch and Sundance’s group was the Hole In The Wall gang – which by another name could be called a Cave. “Partly” means using only a part of each: Me (My – the capital M as it is the first part of the word), jennifer (lo – like J-lo)), marlon brando was Don Corleone thus don, – thus  Mylodon and a pair of shoes as it is a hike. The answer: Mylodon Cave Hike in Torres del Paine (Cluemaster Difficulty Scale a 9)

 

Clue #4:  Formalwear required, posture is important! Traveling around the world was a great adventure. Magnifico!! Fortunately this only takes a day.

Solution: Some nice work by you guys on this one, though I am not sure everyone figured out all the subsets of clues here !  Formalwear required/Posture = Penguins of course (they stand up straight and of course look like they are wearing tuxedos! Magnifico is the Portugese translation for magnificent, which is what you say having travelled around the world if you are a Portuguese explorer – Ferdinand Magellan.  A day trip – Magellan Straights Penguin Tour  (Cluemaster Difficulty Scale 4)

 

Clue #5: AG’s partners old song, might happen if you are not careful on this trip.

Solution: Sadly for those of you under 40 AG does not mean Ariana Grande (thanks Megan), and her brother Rio…. That would have been impressive on my part, but instead – as someone noted Art Garfunkel – partner of course is Paul Simon. The referenced song “Slip Sliding Away”, which you would do with no crampons while: Ice Treking on the Perito Moreno Glacier!!! (Cluemaster difficulty 9 as you have to figure out specifically where we are going before you can even try to get this one)

 

Clue#6:  Victoria and Albert, Modern Art, Louvre, Van Gogh; similar but a bit more chill. Like tapping your jaw.

Solution: To start, this is a Cluemaster Difficulty level 10!!!!!! So in keeping with that level, nobody got it 🙂

The names listed are all Museums, a bit more chill then refers to ice or Glaciers. A part of your jaw is called the gonia, and if you are tapping (patting) it that would be – pat a gonia = Patagonia Glaciarium Patagonian Ice Museum  (so easy….)

 

Clue #7:  An artistic clue: mt: It’s all about…, then a short word before a person or place, to then find a definite article you would read of course; but don’t forget to look up and see what is rising in the sky. It’s worth the effort!!

Solution: Another Cluemaster Difficulty level 10 – no other way to end the clues of course!!

An artistic clue refers to all the points in this clue – music, grammar etc.

“mt – It’s all about….” The Base  (Meghan Traynor)

“a short word” is a preposition – of

“a definite article” grammatically is – the

Look up and see what is rising in the sky is of course – Towers

It’s worth the effort because it is an 8 hour – hike

The Base of the Towers Hike in Torres del Paine National Park

So in summary – nobody was able to get more than 3 clues correct, so my skills are maintained!!! Many of you guessed the location based on two clues (Punta Arenas and Torres del Paine), so congrats to all of you: Too many names to list 🙂

But now you can see all the little parts of the clues you missed – which gives me GREAT PLEASURE!!

I hope you had fun once again this year, as I am sure we will on our Patagonia adventure. I am sure Gaby will fill you in when we return. So thank you all for your effort, ideas, wrong guesses, a few correct guesses and allowing me to once again have a great time!!!

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193 comments

  1. Christa

    Or you could be doing a tour of Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, El Calafate, and El Chaltén. That would be a killer trip.

  2. Paula

    6 – Victoria and Albert

    7 – Mt – Meghan Trainor It’s all about that bass

    I have been guessing all along and thought it was Chile or Argentina but no. You are going to London to visit the British Museums, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Museum as well as all the city if London has to offer

  3. Margaret

    These clues are ridiculous! Hahaha

    I have guessed all over the world.. Australia?

    It’s all fun and games until we all guess wrong

  4. Emmah

    Stonehenge? Easter Island? I’m also not ruling out the possibility of Westworld, lol

  5. Nichole

    I think it’s somewhere you can see the northern lights. Like Alaska, Iceland, Norway, Finland. Maybe?

  6. Hannah

    I think you are going to the Australia and attending the Australian Open.

  7. Sierra B

    I think youre going on a cruise but your dad is amazing and so sneaky! Love this game!!

  8. Joyce

    Guess is still Argentina/Chile/Patagonia region. Here’s the best I’ve got so far…still not totally sure about a couple of the clues, esp #3 and 7.

    Clue #1 – If it’s your fourth try and still not close = PUNT; A game site in another country = ARENA; together gives Punta Arenas in Chile.

    Clue #2 – Person who accomplished something twelve times even though she was wet = TORRES (Dara Torres, the US swimmer). Old revolutionary activist in US = PAINE; together gives Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.

    Clue #3 – Haven’t quite worked this one out yet, but I think maybe it’s referring to Perito Moreno Glacier since all the letters of Moreno can be found within “Me jennifer marlon”.

    Clue #4 – Posture = standing STRAIGHT; traveling around the world = MAGELLAN, explorer who first circumnavigated the earth; Together = Strait of Magellan, a channel at the tip of Chile that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and also separates Chile from Tierra del Fuego. Punta Arenas (from clue 1) is located right on it. Also, Tierra = tiara = formal wear?

    Clue #5 – AG’s partners = Paul Simon whose song “Slip Sliding Away” might refer to hiking on the glacier (Perito Moreno). Sounds slippery!

    Clue #6 – Victoria and Albert, Modern Art, Louvre, Van Gogh = all examples of museums; something similar to a museum but more chill (cold) = Glaciarium, a museum of sorts about the glaciers.

    Clue #7 – Really not sure about this one! Still thinking…

  9. Amelia

    I guessed Patagonia!!! I’m new around here and Definitely did not realize each clue had a specific location to guess!

  10. Julie

    While I didn’t guess correctly, It was so fun to play along. Now that I know how your dad’s brain works, I’ll be better prepared for next year’s clues.

  11. Esther

    Love the surprise vacation clues idea! I’m a new follower. I seen your surprise trip was to Patagonia and Argentina! That is on my bucket list of my dream vacations!

  12. Alex

    Does your whole family do this ever year? Who picks the trip and does everyone chip in or is it paid individually? I’m so curious and I want to pitch it to my family!

    • Gaby

      every year – yes! mom and dad always pick the destination and it’s their treat to us instead of birthday gifts. But you can do it any which way you please 🙂