An uncontrollable smile swept my face as I peered over at N in the driver’s seat. He playfully ignored my inquiry and shot me a smirk instead. We were an hour into our road trip, the destination of which was yet to be revealed. The night before, N gave me a trio of yellow lilies and a card with my name scribbled across the envelope. The card hinted at a weekend birthday surprise and I was instructed to pack an overnight bag.
Riding in the car with N, my excitement spiked. The anticipation and romance of it all had me completely enthralled. As we neared the final mystery location, a sign posted on the side of the highway caught my eye – Palm Springs, 25 miles.
“We’re spending the weekend in Palm Springs?!” I exclaimed. N looked at me and grinned proudly. Neither of us had ever been to Palm Springs and we had discussed taking a trip there sometime. I had always envisioned Palm Srings as an exotic desert oasis that offers the ultimate relaxation. Now, I would finally have the chance to find out. You must understand; N is truly a “big picture” guy. He hates researching and mapping out the fine details, so the fact that he spent the time to plan a couple’s getaway is pretty significant.
We continued our happy drive to Palm Springs when N casually added, “Before we check-in to the resort (did he just say ‘resort’?), we have another stop to make.” I couldn’t even begin to imagine where we were headed next. As we entered Palm Springs, I was intrigued by the mixture of lush green foliage and dry desert rock. Our car eventually took a sharp turn left and began driving up a long windy road. The path snaked higher and higher until we settled at the base of Mount San Jacinto. And as I looked upward, my gaze was suddenly met with a massive aerial tramway swiftly moving 9,000 feet up the mountain…