Sunday, April 19, 2015

Because I Want to Be the Coolest Aunt EVER!

Friends, I know I have been a horrible slacker about updating this lately.  I apologize.  I have lots that I have meant to post, but things have been a bit hectic lately, and this little blog took the hit in terms of time management.  Now, after almost a month of nothing I'm back, and I'm going to be asking for your help with brainstorming ideas for a surprise for my niece.

Don't worry -- it won't impact the surprise, as she doesn't know this little blog exists.  Any ideas you can give me will only make the surprise that much better.

So, little bit of back story...

See the little green circle down there in Texas?  That's where my niece lives. I'm at the black circle up in New York.

So, my niece and her family live way down in Texas,  and I live way up in New York, in the Hudson Valley.  Every summer my niece and nephew come up to visit for about a month, and stay with my parents.  I love it when they are here, and I spend as much time as possible with them when I am not working (which is why they can't stay at my house, except maybe for a night here or there).  

Last summer a series of events left my niece out of a couple cool events.  My best friend and I had gone to an all-day concert here, and my niece was pretty bummed that she hadn't been here to go as well since she really liked all of the groups that had been performing.  While she was up here, my sister-in-law won tickets to a cool concert back in Texas, so my niece missed out on both ends.  She didn't ever really complain, but I could tell she was really bummed out about the way things had played out.

I decided right then that I was going to find a concert to take her to this summer that would be awesome and make her forget what she missed out on last summer. 

I had been searching around for months, looking for concerts that were coming to the area when she should be up here visiting.  Sadly, concert announcements don't come out nearly as far in advance as I was looking.

Then, one day, it happened.  It was kismet, fate, destiny -- whatever name you want to give it.  The perfect concert that would blow her mind, and it was happening when she should be up here visiting, and I already had vacation time from work that day so I didn't need to worry about getting the day off. The stars aligned and it all was too perfect to ignore.


Yes!!  Hell yeah, this was perfect!  Who wouldn't want to see T-Swift live?  I was practically bouncing in my seat with delight at what a perfect surprise this was going to be.

Which brings us to the present, and why I need your help.

Obviously I checked with my brother to make sure she would be here to go.  I got tickets for my niece, myself, and my best friend -- you do not go to see Taylor Swift without taking your best friend.  At least not in my opinion.

We have tickets.  Since I work in a public library and I am not independently wealthy, they are not remotely close to the stage.  Like we are probably up in the nosebleed section somewhere.  I've had that experience before -- going to a huge concert and sitting far up and away from the action.  It was still a good show, but having to look down at the stage kind of through the light rigging made it a little less than awesome.  I really don't want my niece to be bummed out when she realizes we are not going to be right down front-and-center of the action.

So, to counteract any possible disappointment at our seats (at least as much as possible), I want to make it all into a huge surprise so she has no idea where we are going.  This, friends, is where I need your help coming up with ideas.

My niece is very cool.  If I just told her to pack a bag and get in the car because the two of us were going on an adventure?  She'd be down for that, no questions asked.  Well...probably some questions out of excitement, but she would totally go.

I want to make this epic in its awesomeness!  It's killing me not to just tell her about this because I know how happy and excited she is going to be.  


A friend suggested making a scrapbook for her, filled with different pictures of Taylor Swift, and giving it to her with the tickets stuck in the back.  It's a good idea.  I could also see my niece thinking, "That's great, Aunt Tammy.  You made me like a creepy-stalker book about Taylor Swift.  Thanks!" before she ever made it to the last page.

Another friend really liked the scrapbook idea, but she suggested tweaking it slightly and leaving a few blank spaces (Ha!  Blank Space, get it?) in the back for pictures we take at the concert, the concert ticket, etc.  Another person added that it shouldn't just be pictures of Taylor Swift, but random ones of my niece and I mixed in as well, to try and get her wondering what was going on.

Help me out here, folks.  What would be the most epic, awesome, special way to surprise a 12 year old with the fact that she was going to a Taylor Swift concert?  

The only part of the plan I have right now is to get video of the moment I spring the surprise on her, and post it to Instagram.  She and her friends are all on there, and I love Instagram...some might say a little too much.  (Feel free to add me!)

Hit me up with your ideas, please!  I don't care how crazy, insane, boring, weird you might think that they are.  I've got a few months to put this plan into action.  I'm hoping that the collective brain power here will help me make this a truly magical experience for her.

Thanks in advance for your help.  You all rock!

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