My birthday surprise


Last Friday I got into the car with a suitcase packed, not sure where I was going. Downtown KC? NYC? The Caribbean?

I didn't know, and I felt free.

We're always planning for the future — our calendars filled with to-dos and meetings. But my calendar just had one big, ambiguous block on it for two and a half glorious days.


Husband planned a trip to celebrate my birthday. A surprise trip. And while I'm not sure he realized it, one of the best parts of the whole trip was that he had planned it all ... and in secrecy. I think we all dream of getting in a car with a packed bag and hitting the road without a plan. But most of us are too terrified to actually do it. This wasn't exactly like that fantasy, but pretty close. Better in some ways, because it was safer. 

Anyway, we headed toward Missouri until we got to some country roads. "Are you really just taking me to a secluded area to kill me?" I joked. He wasn't, but the further we got, the more clueless I became about our final destination.

Are you ready? 

*Drumroll please*


Hermann, Missouri!

Hermann is a charming small town with German roots. It's considered the wine country of Missouri, with some charming local wineries and tons of adorable Bed & Breakfast joints. (A local woman told me there are only about 3,000 people who live there, but over 100 Bed & Breakfast businesses. That's pretty wild if you think about it.)

Husband did well. We stayed at the Hermann Hill Vineyard & Inn, ideally situated on top of a hill that overlooked a vineyard and all of the quaint town of Hermann.


Also, there were some fabulous amenities. I could have had fun just bathing all weekend. Seriously.


The weekend was a perfect combination of relaxation, exploration, wine and most importantly, connection. It's easy to take the people we see daily for granted. Spending a few days together — fully present and truly enjoying each other's company — filled up my love tank. My heart is happy. (I have more to say about this, but it deserves it's own post. Coming soon!)

If you're looking for a weekend getaway that's near Kansas City or St. Louis, consider Hermann. Call me Goldilocks, but it's not too boring, not too hectic and just right for relaxation, romance and of course, wine.

P.S. I also received a GoPro for my birthday! Here are some photos from the weekend — some from the GoPro, some from my iPhone. 

Of course I had to get my yoga in with this gorgeous view. (FIRST EVER GOPRO VIDEO RIGHT HERE!)

Cara McDonaldtravel, birthday