In 6 years of dating Stacey, I don't think I ever really figured out how to make her happy. I put forth a minimum effort towards that goal to be sure, but it wasn't something that I ever felt I excelled greatly at. If you asked her, she'd tell you, "You make yourself happy, other people can't do that for you."
With that in mind, the one thing that I knew she liked to do was go on vacations. Throughout her childhood she would go on vacation every summer to places like Costa Rica, Hawaii, etc. My family in contrast normally went to Arkansas once a year to see family. Maybe it was the lack of exciting trips, or the fact that I spent my early childhood in Germany, but spending money to go somewhere else just never seemed that thrilling to me, but I knew it was something she enjoyed.
Since I had never been on a vacation in my adult life, and I had never been on a vacation with my girlfriend of 5 years I decided to surprise her with a trip to Disneyland for Spring Break. We had been living together for about 8 months, and while it was going okay, that combined with a difficult first year of Grad school for her had made for some stressful moments.
I searched online for tickets, hotel accomodations, etc, and just before booking the trip I decided to consult her and make sure the times worked out. She had an uneasy look about her as I told her my plans, which contrasted the big smile I had hoped to see. She delicately explained that she worked with kids all day, and she wasn't sure if going to Disneyland would be much of a vacation. She suggested Vegas, and while "Sin City" doesn't have a lot of appeal for a guy who doesn't drink, smoke, gamble, party, etc... I decided with a little effort I could find something exciting to do. Besides, the whole point was to do something for her.
I went back to the drawing board, and by going during the week I was able to afford a suite in the Luxor overlooking the strip along with tickets to Jubilee! and Blue Man Group the following night. Jubilee! was a classic Vegas type show which Stacey wanted to go see(She was a dancer), and the nerd in me had always wanted to see the Blue Man Group.
The good news is that Stacey was right. Vegas was something I had never experienced, so I was happy to spend my first trip there with her. It also set the stage for progressively more racy trips, so I was glad to have one trip there that was more my style.
The most exciting part was the Blue Man Group show. As we walked out through the halls I looked over to see a Blue Man walking along side of us. He moved ahead, stood at the end of the hall, and started "signing" tickets. The way they signed was by putting blue paint on the item either with their hand or their lips. Stacey wasn't satisfied with a signed ticket, and got her cheek "signed", and then gave the Blue Man a kiss on the cheek.
Not Pictured: Jesse being hauled away by security after knocking a Blue Man out for messing with "his girl". Man I had a short fuse back then. I think it was the long hair.