"My plan was to save $10,000," Hoffman told the Orange County Register. "Then one day I was going to walk up to her and say, 'We don't have to wish anymore.'"
He said he decided to put the vacation plans on hold recently when a relative fell on hard times and was about to be evicted with their children, so he took the money out of the bank and planned to present it to the relative.
Hoffman discovered he had made a mistake, however, when he discovered the shirt where he had hidden the envelope was missing -- donated to Goodwill by Linda.
Hoffman told Linda the whole story and the pair rushed to Goodwill, where employees helped them locate some of Bob's shirts, but not the one containing the cash.
"Bob is an extremely strong human being," Linda Hoffman said. "I don't want to hurt his male ego ... but he was crying. I haven't seen him that distraught since his parents died."
The couple received a call the next morning from Goodwill, where an employee named Caitlin Mulvihill had found the shirt, and the envelope, in a pile of clothes.
"I describe it as a miracle," Linda Hoffman told KABC-TV. "I would say that it was honest people and what touched our hearts the most is how honest they were."
Bob Hoffman said he recently learned his relative no longer needs the money, so the vacation fund will go back to its original purpose: Taking his relieved wife to Italy.