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. 

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