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Our kids talked non stop about going to the Ocean so we thought it would be fun to surprise them! We planned a weekend getaway to the coast and didn't tell them until we were ready to leave. 

Here's how we did it:

Friday: I sent the kids to their weekly visit to grandmas house while I packed the car and wrote some little poems for our Scavenger Hunt Road Trip! They returned right as Dad got home from work. We sat them down and handed them a wax sealed letter that said "Open Immediately"!

Letter 1:

Surprise Surprise! We're going on a trip!

If you listen closely we'll give you a tip!

Grab your pack, it's almost time to go

A road trip is happening, I bet you didn't know.

You have 10 minutes to pack and go potty

Mom and Dad will bring candy so you won't be naughty.

Jump in the car and start heading south

You can stop for a burger in an hour to put in your mouth.

I know you're dying to know where we are about to go

Our first destination never gets any snow.

It's hot and dry and painted with red

We'll be arriving just in time to go to bed!

When we awake there will be a new world to explore

Then wait, because this isn't' the end, theres MORE!


We awoke to the red cliffs of St. George! The kids hadn't been in years and could barely remember it. We had so much fun exploring The Crack, Red Hills Desert  Garden, Town Square Splash Pad, and some museums (All FREE). Then... we received another letter!

Letter 2:

Pack your bags, its time to head out

Moving from place to place is what road trippin's all about.

Good bye Utah, you've been fun

We are off to chase the sun.

Hello Arizona and Nevada too!

This is a good time to use the loo!

As you pass the City of Sin,

Stop if you like, and try to win!!

Or keep heading west and don't delay

This will ensure extra time to play.

We stopped for the loo and some food too! Saw a few sites, played a quarter machine, then hopped back in the car. (word of warning, we were in Vegas on a Sunday, we should have driven straight through and stopped on the way back to Utah, because Sunday evening traffic back to Cali is no joke). But we did received another letter!

Letter 3:

By now you've seen the California state line

Your father and I think its about time

To tell you where we are headed now,

You've asked a million times already! Holy Cow!

Our destination is almost within reach!

Children, we are going to the beach!

Waves, sand, Pacific Ocean foam,

We can stay until you're ready to go home!

xoxo, Mom and Dad

We spent several days at the beach exploring tide pools for hours at a time. We found sea creatures galore! My 10 year olds dream come true. It was truly magical to surprise the kids with this long anticipated trip to the ocean! They had dreamed about it for so long. We also did this trip on a major budget because my husband was going back to school and funds were tight. We stayed with family and every activity we did was FREE! All we paid for was gas and a few meals. Our only splurge was Legoland and we even did that for a steal! Check out 6 Tips for Legoland on a Budget!

And definitely check out 8 FREE Things to Add to your San Diego Bucket List! Plus, it you are going to Disneyland, don't forget to check with Get Away Today for tickets and hotels!

Vacations don't have to be expensive. And honestly, Legoland wasn't even the highlight of our trip. The tide pools were. But, we are homeschoolers, so obvi, tide pools would be. (wink wink)

This was an unforgettable trip for the kids! They loved the letters and guessing where we might be headed. Please feel free to copy our letters and tweak them to fit your next adventure. 


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