Jon Turns 30! With a National Park Birthday!

(I’m a little behind in my blog posts… in case you haven’t noticed. haha So we are catching up. Jon really turned 30 a couple of weeks ago.)

I know! 30! It is quite a milestone birthday!

And y’all KNOW how I love my themes; birthdays are no exception. In fact, birthdays are my favorite thing to theme… to coordinate gifts and/or trips, etc.

Well, I decided that he needed a National Park theme this year. Anyone who knows us, knows that this is perfectly fitting. We decided sometime during our engagement that we would love to visit all 58 US National Parks together. And, we decided to make that a fun goal throughout our lifetime. So we started from scratch (visiting the park didn’t count if we didn’t do it together). So far, we have visited 8 parks. Not bad for 2 years.

Anyway, that is a little background information… which will make sense after you see the gift I made him:

A National Park Adventure Book!

The outside. Pretty much a scrapbook of our adventures chronologically.

And inside:

The inside cover has the US map that we will put a gold star next to the parks we visit.

And… we have a Park checklist by state.

Yes folks. This is more than just an adventure book. It is a combination adventure/activity book all in one. 😉

And then I scrapped all of the parks we have been to…

starting from Sequoia… when we were still “friends”…

… to our trip to Grand Tetons National Park for our engagement photos.

And all of the other parks we’ve visited with our numerous cross country trips from California to Texas.

Next, I included maps, pictures and descriptions of all the National Parks to see where we want to go next (Thanks for your help Wikipedia haha)…

And… finally… hiding in the last page was an entirely different book. (Which was his “big” gift) It is a trip to Yosemite National Park! Yeehaw! 😉 Unfortunately, I know that Jon can’t take time off work right now… and our weekend trip will be more or less on a whim (depending on his flight schedule)… so I couldn’t surprise him with the trip. Boo. I like surprise trips. Fortunately for us, we live around an hour away from Yosemite… so a last minute weekend trip is very feasible for us.

I decided, under the circumstances, that I would create something a little different: A choose your own adventure book. The rules (that I made up haha) are… the destination is made known and all throughout the book are different choices. I have already done all of the trip research… and have narrowed down the activities that I know he will enjoy… So he gets to pick our adventure from the book I made… which includes everything from hotels, menus, tours, and activities… all complete with pictures and descriptions. He picks, I book and arrange, and off we go.

Hopefully we will get to go toward the end of summer (when it is less crowded).

I also got him a National Park Passport book…

…which I know he’s been wanting.

We never knew this existed when we first started visiting parks! Apparently every park will give you a cancellation stamp… just like a passport… documenting the day of your visit. And, of course, we want all the cancellation stamps… so we might be visiting a few parks we’ve already been to at some point. We have justified that Layla will need her own book… so we can re-visit a lot of parks when she is born. :)

And, just for fun… he even got a new Scrabble game… National Park Edition. Because he LOVES his Scrabble.

To keep within the theme, we even had dinner at the Black Bear Diner. Which isn’t necessarily related to National Parks… but Yosemite has bears… so it worked in my mind. 😉 Besides, Jon is always game for some down-home country cookin’!

Turning 30, requires two desserts… So Jon got Strawberry Shortcake AND German Chocolate cupcakes. 😉

Yeah. That strawberry shortcake toppled over. Nevermind the wonky presentation. It all tastes the same going down the pipe. haha

Hopefully I’ll have Part 2 of the birthday celebration to share with you… just as soon as Jon chooses his adventure!

Happy Birthday to my amazingly fantastic husband! :)

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