For my birthday this year, my husband arranged an opulent surprise getaway to Chicago. However, the genuine surprise was yet to come – we would voyage privately on a chartered jet! I had never flown private before, so I did not know what to anticipate from this lavish gift.

We arrived at our local airport to find an immaculate eight-seater Cessna waiting on the tarmac. Our pilot, impeccably attired in uniform, greeted us and escorted us on board. The plush leather seats were incredibly spacious and cozy. A flight attendant proffered us glasses of champagne as the jet taxied down the runway.

Once aloft, we were treated to sweeping vistas of billowy clouds and the patchwork landscape below. The flight was exceptionally smooth and peaceful. I was mesmerized by the golden sunset outside my window, painting the firmament with amber hues as we chased the horizon.

Upon landing in Chicago, a luxury SUV whisked us from the private terminal to our downtown hotel. We enjoyed a decadent repast at an upscale steakhouse, followed by tickets to a Broadway musical in the magnificent Chicago Theater. Against the backdrop of lofty skyscrapers, we strolled along Lake Michigan and watched the sunrise behind the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel.

All too soon, our indulgent escape came to an end. On the return flight home, I reflected on how this surprise gift had given me memories to cherish indefinitely. The opportunity to experience private air travel, even just once, felt like an extravagant dream come true.

My husband had pulled out all the stops to make my birthday superlative this year. Little did I know when boarding that small jet in our sleepy hometown airport that I was in for an unforgettable taste of opulence. Private chartered flights may be pricey, but for a special occasion they are worth every penny. I feel tremendously fortunate to have a partner in life who comprehends me well enough to have arranged this adventure ideally suited to my wildest dreams of wanderlust and whimsy. This birthday getaway to Chicago is one I will always hold dear.