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. Kingston, Jamaica.

    Whata gwaan is a Jamaican phrase for how’s it going and Kingston is where the Jamaica Football Federation stadium is.

  2. I applaud all the people trying because I think I’ve already given up. This is when I just wait and know that in 8 weeks I will solve it… By reading the correct answer.

  3. My guess is Beijing. Dana Torres was Olympic swimmer with 12 medals and won several there. Also what a fun idea and family tradition!

  4. Punta Arenas, Chile—you punt on 4th down. Arena is a game site. If you want to go the Dana Torres route, Torres del Paine is nearby. If you go the Billie King route, king in Spanish is ‘rey’ which is kind of sounds like part of arena?

  5. Chile

    Clue #1 – Just chill if it is your 4th try

    Clue #2 – Dara Torres won 12 medals swimming. Torres del Paine

  6. Its Japan. Second clue is Dara Torres, 12 medals..for swimming (wet) and she last completed in the Olympics in Japan in 2008!!! I win!!

  7. My guess is Tinidad and Tobago!

    Mainly due to clue 2. Sports person could be Dara Torres for Olympic gold metals in swimming. And Grace Lee Boggs as the activist. Torres and Boggs. Torbogg. Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago.

    Not logical, but that is how my mind works!

  8. Thailand!

    4th try = 4th down
    Still not close what should you do= Get it to midfield (something something in football terms blah blah)
    Midfield=game site in another country =stadium in Bangkok, Thailand

    Best I can explain it! Lol

  9. Not sure if my last comment posted, but my guess is Trinidad and Tobago!

    This is mainly due to clue #2: I believe Olympic mentalist Dara Torres won twelve metals in swimming. Revolutionary activist could be Grace Lee Boggs. Torres and Boggs. Torrbogg. Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago!

    I know it is not logical, but that is how my mind works!

  10. My Guess on this is England or India. I don’t not know why, these clues made me think of cricket, the English Channel, Joan of Arc, or maybe an Indian goddess?

  11. I’m going to go with Beijing, which was formerly known as Peking. From Clue #1, Beijing was the site of the 2008 Olympics and will be hosting the 2022 Olympics. Clue #2 the ending (Pe”king”) fits with Billie Jean king and MLK.

  12. Seoul, Beijing, Sydney, or Barcelona – “it’s only a game sight in another country” which makes me think Olympics. “This person accomplished something 12 times even though she was wet” Dara Torres has won 12 Olympic metals in swimming between the Seoul, Beijing, Sydney & Barcelona Olympics. ‍♀️‍♀️‍♀️

  13. Your going to Egypt – clue #1 is punt (Land of Punt was an ancient Egypt Kingdom) – and clue #2 is King. Billie Jean King and Martin Luther King. Therefore you are going to Egypt to see King Tut.

  14. London or New York…12 grand slams by activist Billie Jean King…did not get the other cluemat all !! Maybe the next clues will give us more

  15. I am going to guess Trinidad and Tobago!

    This is based on clue #2. Dara Torres for her 12 Olympic medals in swimming. Grace Lee Boggs for the revolutionary activist. Torres and Boggs. Torrbogg. Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago!

    Doesn’t really make sense but I will stick with it.

  16. Clue 1 is likely New Zealand! The two “w-h” words may by Maori. And try:rugby as touchdown:football. The All Blacks (NZ national team) is one of the most well-known and best in the world.

  17. Clue #2. Since clue 1 is likely NZ, then clue #2 puts you in the vicinity of NZ. So, Australia. Dana Torres is a swimmer who has won 12 gold medals — 5 of them in the 2000 olympics in Sydney, Australia. She also wrote a book called “Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program.” If I’ve guessed correctly, can you please bring me some of your spices?

  18. Athens,Greece.
    Clue#1 – made me think it might be the site of one of the Olympic Games
    Clue #2 is what confirmed it for me because Jenny Thompson won her 12th Olympic Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games for smimming, aka she was wet. She is also from Massachusetts which is where the Revolutionary War started – Lexington and Concord.

    BTW – kudus to your family for this amazing tradition. What a fabulous idea.

  19. I’m going to say Cuba, We just got back from Cuba and think your should give your parents clues that you want to go to Cuba next year!!

    Have so much fun with this!

  20. I believe it is definitely Chile.
    Clue #1
    You punt in football on 4th down.
    An arena is a game sight.
    Punta Arenas (Capital city in Chile)
    Clue #2
    (Dana) Torres swimmer with 12 olympic medals
    (Thomas) Paine
    Torres del Paine National Park.

  21. You’re gong to Punta arenas Chile.

    Punta equals punt, arena is a sports event site
    Plus it’s a beach town, and whata is a house on stilts (like a beach house)
    Torres del Paine is nearby, and that ties in the 12-time swimming Olympic medal winner Dana Torres, plus the American revolutionary activist Thomas Paine.

  22. Yukatan
    1. Punta (Punt….as in football) Cana
    2. Riviera (Rivera is a 12time record holder for motor cross) Maya (Maya Angelou)

  23. Russia- Lynne Cox broke several swimming records including the one where she swam to Russia and helped break barriers. She is a speaker in the United States. Just a thought!

  24. Patagonia!

    1. Punt on the 4th try in football. Arena is a game site. Punta Arenas is where you’re flying into (airport).

    2. Torres del Paine National Park (Dara Torres is 12 time gold medalist and old Thomas Paine). I didn’t figure out ‘using the end’ yet…

  25. I instantly thought about an Olympic swimmer. I’m leaning toward Barcelona. Maybe it’s because I’m craving tapas now (haha) or because of clue #2 heavily leaning toward Dara Torres, but that’s what I’m thinking as of now. Who knows — maybe that’ll change when 8 more clues come out 😉 love this tradition! Thank you for letting us experience it too!

  26. Bolivia! Butch Cassidy’s alleged death occurred here after fleeing. They get their water from three points – snowmelt, glacier and waterfall – this being the “fourth try”. Twelve stands for the number of trains Butch and his team robbed.

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