A few of years ago, I told Ann that I was going to plan a trip, book it, pack her bag, pick her up from work and take her directly to the airport for a surprise weekend away. With a horrified expression, she told me that I should never do that because there is no way I could pack her bag and match the right shoes with any of her outfits. (I couldn’t argue, she had a valid point there.) We worked out a compromise, and the Sine Die Adventure was born.

Let me pause to explain where we got “Sine Die Adventure.”

[well]To adjourn “sine die” means that a body (like a state legislature or a school board) is stopping business and will not meet again.[/well]

This fits for us because Ann has worked as a lobbyist and when the legislatures she covered dismissed “sine die” it meant that business was done and she could finally take a much needed break. Typically, the legislatures’ end of session coincides with the end of my school year, so the term fits there, as well. And after 10 months of being surrounded by pre-teens as a middle school principal, nothing sounds better to me than a few days out of town.

Here’s how the Sine Die Adventure works:  There are three of us in our family — my wife, our daughter, Meghan, and me. Two of us plan the trip (generally a long weekend), and one of us doesn’t get to know where we are going until we are at the airport. Two days before the trip we give a few hints about the weather and address any special needs for the trip (ie. swimming suit, nice dinner out, etc.).  The two planning the trip try to put together a trip the one who doesn’t know where we’re going would enjoy–a trip built around her/his interests.  The first year Ann had no idea where we were going. It wasn’t until they called our flight at the Omaha Airport that she learned the destination of our first adventure and that we’d be spending time at the spa and having dinner at her favorite restaurant.

The next year was my year, and Ann and Meghan planned a trip especially for me. The destination was ideal for my somewhat new-found interest in country music and, I got to meet the stars of one of my favorite TV shows. Last summer, we took Meghan and a friend on our Third Annual Sine Die trip and can I just say … it was quite the adventure.

We’ll be posting highlights of all three Sine Die Adventures soon. As for our next Sine Die Adventure — it’s Ann’s turn to be surprised again. I have a pretty cool idea for where we should go. Sorry, but I can’t say where it will be until we’re at the airport.

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Note: The picture at the top of this post was taken by Ann from inside the Kansas state capitol when she was working as a registered lobbyist for a communications company. 

  • We've been having the best time in the Florida Keys visiting Steve's mom and dad this week. Today, it was cold for Floridians, but we loved the sunshine (and were thankful for awesome neighbors who were likely shoveling the snow from our driveway back home).⁣
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We are so thankful for a flexible schedule and opportunities like this one to share time with family. Life seems to pass us by so quickly the older we get and we're fortunate to be able to travel and share experiences with the people we love most. ⁣
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Feeling especially blessed tonight, in the beautiful Florida Keys.
  • We enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight at Hideaway Cafe on Grassy Key with Steve's mom and dad. We went early at 5 p.m. for the sunset dinner menu which has smaller portions and the most beautiful views of the sunset. ⁣
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The food was fresh and made-to-order and served by gracious and professional staff who made us feel right at home. ⁣
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Hideaway is a great restaurant choice for dinner if you're in the Florida Keys. Get a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly, even at 5 p.m.
  • Need some inspiration for staying healthy while traveling? Good news! We are taking over the @noom Instagram stories this afternoon and hope you’ll all follow along as we share tips on how to make healthy living choices while on a cruise ship. We’ll take you inside the beautiful @celebritycruises Edge and show you how we stayed on track with our Noom goals while still enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation. Be sure to follow @noom! Our takeover has just begun. 😁
  • The Rooftop Garden is a unique space on the top deck of the @celebrityedge. There’s no water slide on this ship, no go-carts, and the’s no rock wall for climbing. Instead the Rooftop Garden provides a “living urban playscape inspired by childhood playgrounds and designed to waken the inner child in all of us,” according to the Celebrity Cruises website. There are live plants, comfortable outdoor seating, and unique art installations that set the space apart from anything else at sea. @cruisecelebrity
  • Blu is a restaurant on the Celebrity Edge that is dedicated to guests in Aqua Class.  It serves “clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine” in a gorgeous blue venue. To give you an example of the types of entrees served, for dinner tonight Blu is offering seared duck breast with wilted chard, farro risotto, and black cherry jus; a cracked pepper corn-crusted tuna salad, watercress, and dijon vinaigrette; and pumpkin gnocchi with sautéed arugula, sundries tomatoes, marinated artichokes, goat cheese and basil pesto. What would you order?
  • Yes, cruise ships are huge, but if you do a little exploring, you’ll find that the designers have included many small spots perfect for intimate conversation and watching the world go by. We found this nook in Eden, on deck 5 of the Celebrity Edge, near the stern.
  • Last Sunday we began the second half of our very first back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge. We’ve had the best cruise vacation and have enjoyed every single minute of our vacation. The Edge  been an ideal place to relax, recharge, and prepare for a new year. We’ve also used this time to try new things and focus on a healthy lifestyle. Thank you all for coming along on our journey and sharing your sweet comments with us along the way. We are grateful for each of you.
  • We just love these guys!! These two characters were the bartenders on the Retreat Sundeck for our cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge. Johannes and Vince created a light, fun atmosphere and made you want to go to the pool every day. Their personalities helped make the Retreat a welcoming place with professional service. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. We found similar cheerfulness in crew around every corner of the Edge, under the command of @captainkatemccue.

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