This year is one for the history books. It is the year I FINALLY pulled off the perfect birthday surprise for my husband!
To give a little background, I have the worst record when it comes to surprising him. Somehow, he is always able to guess what’s coming. Whether it be a gift, a trip or sometimes even a thought I have, he already knows it. I guess he just knows me so well? Or maybe I’m really bad at keeping secrets? Probably both.
For my husband’s 30th birthday, I had to break this record. So, I set out to create the ultimate birthday surprise!
I had my husband convinced we weren’t going to do anything special for his birthday after a small (playful) argument after he guessed ALL of his Christmas presents. But little did he know, I had already booked our flights to Orlando, Fla. – a town we had once called home for most of our adult life so far. It was nearly three years since Corey had been back to see his friends. So, I thought what better way celebrate than bringing him back to the mothership?!
The Wednesday before his birthday, I asked him to run a few errands for me so I could decorate. More than 30 balloons and 30 birthday notes from family and friends filled our living room. Ya’ll should have seen his face when he walked in! After reading all the notes he finally came to mine which revealed he big surprise trip we were leaving for the next morning. He was so excited! Much to my surprise none of his friends or family members told him about this, so that’s a major win for me!
His birthday weekend was jam-packed with activities including a trip to his favorite restaurant, favorite beach and of course a big party Saturday night. After living there for more than three years, we know Orlando like the back of our hand. But the Orlando we know is not the touristy kind. It’s the young adult in a small city vibe.
No Disney. No Universal Studios. Not even Sea World. It’s dive bars, delicious restaurants and little-known beaches.
Here’s a few places you have to hit if you want to feel like a local!
- Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse – Hibachi at its finest! This is my husband’s favorite restaurant for its famous white sauce and huge portions of food.
- Avenue Gastrobar – I had the Mac & Cheese sandwich and it was BOOM! Corey loves their wings.
- Downtown PourHouse – THE BEST lobster mac & cheese you’ll ever have.
- Bulla Gastrobar – this is where we went for Corey’s birthday dinner. It’s a brand-new tapas restaurant. Everyone gave five stars all around.
- Santiago’s Bodega – Another tapas restaurant, REALLY great food and wine selection!
- White Wolf Cafe & Bar – The best brunch in Orlando!
- Norwoods Eatery & Treehouse Bar – This is actually located in New Smyrna Beach but it was de-licious! Who wouldn’t want to hang out in a treehouse bar?
There are about 105 bars in a five-block radius! There is always something to celebrate in this town. Here are the best places to party at:
- The Lodge
- Dive Bar
- Wall Street – this road is blocked off and it’s just one giant block party! There’s about eight bars you can roam to and fro from. Our favorite is Hooch!
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Overall, we had an amazing time in Orlando celebrating Corey’s 30th birthday! We had such a great time seeing friends we hadn’t seen since our we moved to Denver three years ago. Ask my husband and he will say it was the perfect birthday surprise! I wish I took more pictures, but I guess that’s a true sign of a fun weekend. Cheers to another vacation for our Year of Adventure!