Step 1: Move to Scotland so you aren’t so disappointed when it rains on your fantasy getaway. Your special someone will already be acclimated and remark at how its only raining a little bit and “not blowing sideways so its actually pretty nice out”. 50 shades of gray has been a big hit here for a long time….centuries in fact…. Because this is the weather forecast almost everyday.
2. Castles are overrated which is why they only appear in Disney animation flicks. They are cold, drafty and nobody in their right mind would try to maintain one as a hotel and if they do they will charge you $$$$- or rather £££- for a room. So stay in a faux-castle, which is just a large mansion with a few turrets. Like this, this or this. They will love it and not know the that you were really hoping for a real castle like with a draw bridge and a moat.
3. Make sure your special someone likes blood pudding, haggis, porridge, parsnips, fried bread, baked beans and stewed tomatoes because thats what they will be served for breakfast everyday. Oh and eggs too.
4. There is sure to be a single malt distillery within easy reach** of your faux-castle for rainy day toasts and tastings. (**It is almost impossible to not be near a distillery in Scotland. It would be like trying to avoid sheep. Surprise your special someone with a bottle of special brew from one of these.)
5. Pay for your whole excursion the same way you do for everything else: with your American credit card- because the exchange rate is still crazy crazy good. £1= $1.52 !
6. Make sure your “castle” provides a full length sofa suitable for napping because there’s no birthday gift quite like taking a nap without the Mrs. getting on one’s case.
7. And last but not least, do not give into the temptation to have a big embarrassing bunch of waiters sing happy birthday to your beloved while bringing them a birthday cake with sparklers on top- this might result in daggers coming out of your beloved’s eyes at you and sparklers are probably not a good idea in a old fire-trap hotel anyway. Just make him a homemade cake with a citronella candle on top like I did and give it to him on a day he’s not expecting it.