Operation Surprise My Family was a success!
A couple months ago, my mom and I were talking about this year’s Thanksgiving plans. My parents decided they were going to stay at home in Orlando this year. My sister, her husband and their two kids, who live just down the road, didn’t have plans to leave either because they have a brand new baby in the house. I went back and forth about whether to fly to Florida to see them because it had been a couple years since I’d been home. I had Friendsgivings in Colorado in both 2017 and 2018.
“I think I’m going to stay in town. There are lots of group rides and events happening that week…” I told my mom when she asked whether I could come to Florida. “Plus, I’ll see you guys at Christmas.”
That was half-true. There are a lot of rides happening this week, and I will see them at Christmas…but before I answered I knew I had to make it to Florida. I was craving some sunshine and shorts weather, some hot runs, the blessed feeling of more oxygen filling my lungs, a visit or two to Tampa, and I really wanted to see my new nephew.
That night I booked a flight home for Saturday, November 23rd.
This past Saturday, I got to the airport around 1 p.m. for a 3:45 p.m. flight because I am my father’s daughter and I’m chronically early to everything. I rushed around all morning trying to get things packed that I didn’t make time to get something to eat, so I forked over SEVENTEEN DOLLARS for this salad as I watched planes take off and land on the runways.
^^^ It was good, but not $17 good.
After a super smooth flight, we finally landed in Orlando around 9:15 p.m. My heart was racing a little; I was so excited to see my parents’ faces when I arrived at their house. I had my Uber drive drop me off just a couple houses down. My dad likes to obsessively watch the cameras outside their front door, so I kept my head down as I crept up to the front and rang the bell. I saw a light flick on inside, and when he opened the door, I shouted, “Happy Thanksgiving,” probably waking the neighbors. His chin dropped to the floor; he couldn’t believe it! A few minutes later, we woke up my mom and she couldn’t believe it, either. And she definitely cried, which I consider a complete success.
The next day, on Sunday morning, we went over to my sister’s house to see the baby, and they were just as surprised, which was so great. The flights and exhaustion were worth every penny!
^^^ Baby feet. Can we just…?!
The most difficult part about the surprise was keeping it secret. I had to keep remembering the fake story I told them about my Thanksgiving plans so they wouldn’t get suspicious. And then when I landed in Orlando, I had to fight the urge to tell them I had arrived safely.
If you’ve never surprised family or friends like this before, I highly suggest you try it. It’s one of the best gifts you could give someone, in my opinion.
As for the rest of this week, I’m heading to a hockey game in Tampa tonight, going to ride my bike with friends in my old neighborhood, I’m going to help make tons of delicious food for Thursday, and, of course, trying to get as tan as possible before I head back home to Colorado on Friday.
What are your plans this week?