A dad surprise

To surprise his family, Jacob spends hours researching, plotting, manipulating figures, times, events and plans. He researches for coupons and discounts to stretch vacation dollars. He piles up gift cards from folks and arranges economical trips for the whole family. 

Before he married my daughter Sharon, he said wanted to travel every year, to take vacations with his family, and he has!

This past Christmas morning he presented his four children with a Scrabble board and one envelope each holding scrabble tiles and a poem with a clue. One after another Eli, Caroline, Daisy and Katie read their poem. Each figured out a word and laid down tiles spelling the clue words until one after another they realized they would be flying to California for a trip to Disneyland. 

“Wait. What are we doing?” Daisy, 11, asked. “When are we going?”

“We are going to Disney?” Katie, 7, echoed her.


The children looked at each other as they realized they were going to Disney! They exploded with excitement. They pulled on the discount t-shirts they received for Christmas and began dreaming.

A couple weeks later, they packed their bags and headed to the airport in Dallas. Each had a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.

“It limits what we take to just what we need and can carry,” my daughter said. Having seen little kids strolling through airports dragging backpacks, I could imagine the freedom of no fussing and waiting at the baggage claim once they landed.

As the plane taxied into the airport, Jacob began texting “Scott” for a pickup.

Caroline saw the texts and asked if he was texting with soneone she knew.

“Oh, yeah, Scott,” he shrugged her off.

“When we got off we said we had to call for an Uber,” Sharon said. 

“We were waiting on the curb for Scott, a driver who had previously told Jacob, ‘You just tell me where you are,and I will come there.’” 

Jacob texted the number written on the pole near them.

They watched taxis, shuttles and cars come and take other folks away. When they saw a strerch limousine approach Jacob teased, “Okay, Eli, there is your car.”

Eli laughed. He and his dad like to dream about cars.

Sharon slipped her camera out to take a picture. Caroline thought disdainfully, “imagine taking a picture of someone else’s limo.”

The limo stopped in front of them. The driver got out, opened the trunk and said, “Schulte family?”

The kids broke out in grins and looked at their parents. Their dad had arranged a limo to come just for them. As Daisy and Caroline climbed in, they pretended to be recording the experience as vloggers, (video bloggers).

Inside, the kids discovered complimentary sodas, ice and champagne glasses.

“Everyone got to drink like they were being so fancy,” Sharon said.

Inside the stretch limo LED lights changed colors. Eli stretched his long legs freely. He leaned back and spent most of the 45 minute drive to the hotel asking Scott questions about driving a limo, how he had gotten into it and driving celebrities.

Scott said he had driven some celebrities, but he said, “Mostly I pick up Make-a-Wish kids coming to Disneyland.”

At the hotel Scott took their picture and the family went to register. 

Jacob excused himself for a quick break. Really though, he went to their room for one more surprise. He placed an envelope with Disney gift cards he had purchased with credit card points on each bed.

Jacob loves surprising his family and his family love him for it.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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