J turned 10 years old back in April (yes, I am still in shock) and Appah wanted to do something special for our double-digits boy. As our lives have become more nomadic over the years we have learned to value experiences over material goods and Appah came up with the briliant idea of giving J a chocolate bar ala "Wonka Bar" with a golden ticket inside. The golden ticket would allow J to go on a trip anywhere in the world with Appah. It was my job to design the "Shim Bar" and golden ticket. The chocolate bar box is made of kraft cardstock (I will post a tutorial later) and sticker paper.

J loves chocolate and he was just excited to get a bar of chocolate. Little did he know what was in store for him.

We had the boys watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original one) the week before his birthday, just to set the mood for his upcoming surprise birthday gift. It was cute to see his reaction when he discovered the golden ticket. Once he realized he could pick any destination in the entire world, he immediately said his choice...

...Rome, Italy! He loves history and is completely enamored with Roman and Greek mythology. And although the trip was originally supposed to be an Appah-Son trip, J really wanted his little brother to tag along so we are making it a family affair. We will be going in September and my mouth is watering just remembering how good the food is in Italy! It has been eleven years since I was in Rome and I am so excited. The boys are beyond excited to be able to see the Colosseum and Pantheon in person. If you have any recommendations on where to stay or places to see/eat, please share! 

Reader Comments (10)

What an incredible idea, Sally! And so fun that you will be making it a trip for whole family. Happiest birthday wishes to J!

07.23.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

That's the best 10th birthday present ever! I love how creative you and your boys are. My husband and I were there last September. Make sure you go to every gelataria in the city and try out as many flavors as you can!

07.23.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhuong

amazing present, sally! and how lovely that you're all going to go to rome. take lots of photos, please. :)

07.23.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjane

MICHELE // Thanks, Michele! We are super excited for the boys to experience Rome for the first time!! xoxo

PHUONG // I am trying to think what I got for my 10th birthday....uh, definitely not a trip to Rome! ;) We definitely plan to eat as much gelato as possible! :)

07.23.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

JANE // Wish we had time to visit you in London!! Definitely planning to take loads of photographs! :)

07.23.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

such an awesome idea. and good choice J !

08.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisa s

This is such a creative and special gift idea! It warms my heart to hear that J wanted to have j along on his big adventure.

08.6.2013 | Unregistered Commenter{gemmifer}

LISA S // :)

GEMMIFER // Thanks! They're pretty much inseparable! ;)

08.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

Hi Sally, what an amazing gift! Smitten Kitchen just went to Rome and had some suggestions that I've bookmarked for the future. You should take a look! http://smittenkitchen.com/notes-and-tips-from-rome/

08.9.2013 | Unregistered Commenterbeckyk

BECKY // Thank you so much for the link to Smitten Kitchen's Rome post. This is going to be so helpful as we plan our trip. THANK YOU!!

08.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

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