A Trip, A Surprise, and Something to Aspire To

At 10:30pm the Tuesday before Thanksgiving I cashed in 35,000 frequent flier miles we had built up over the years. The plan? For Lily and I to fly to Boston and surprise family for Thanksgiving, and more importantly, my grandparents’ 60th Anniversary party.

Doesn’t she look so very excited to be at the airport at 6am on Thanksgiving? Thankfully, Lily was such a trooper for all of the traveling! The plane on Thursday wasn’t full, so I was able to bring her carseat onto the plane and she rode to Boston in that. (The flight home on Saturday was jam packed, but she did great on my lap for the 3 hour flight.)

Look at that face!

We landed in Boston at 11am on Thanksgiving and we went to pick up our rental car. Through some sneaky detective work, I knew that my grandparents were going to be all alone for Thanksgiving. They were ok with that, considering they would see everyone the next day at the party, but I figured they’d also be ok with Lily and I crashing their quiet day.

I called their house from the rental car place and chit chatted with my grandma for a few minutes.

“So you’re spending Thanksgiving alone, huh?”

“Yes, it’s rather strange and quiet.”

“I would love to come change that!”

“Oh, yes I wish you could!”

“No, Grandma. I’m serious! I’m in Boston right now, can I drive over?”

Then some excited disbelief, questions about whether I was serious, whether I was alone, etc. I told them I had Lily and that no body knew I was in “town”. Lily and I hit the road and drove the 2.5 hours to western Massachusetts. When we arrived at their house, I had my grandfather take the following picture with my cell phone…

I immediately posted the picture to Facebook with a simple “Happy Thanksgiving!” under it. I knew family would recognize the house my grandparents live in, and thought it would be a fun way to announce our arrival. Within about 15 minutes one of my cousins posted that I just shocked their whole family. Then my mom just posted a “Nice Job!” and I thought that was strange…. more family members posted excited comments and a few friends did too.

Know what was going on at my parents’ house in Maine? Photo dissection. They all thought it was a Photoshop job and felt badly that I was messing with everyone! It wasn’t until almost 3 hours after I posted the photo that my brother noticed it was a “Mobile Upload”, which prompted a phone call to my grandparents’ house to see if I was really there!

Lily and her Great-Grandmother enjoying a little quiet time. This picture makes me smile!

After spending the night in Massachusetts, we followed my grandparents to New Hampshire to a camp they were renting out for the party. Lily and I helped with blowing up the balloons.

My grandparents have always enjoyed canoeing, so my grandmother found all of these little canoes to put on the tables.

Display of past reunion shirts! We used to get together most every summer when I was a kid – some of my absolute favorite childhood memories!

Yep, there was snow on the ground there!

An aunt and uncle were also celebrating an anniversary, so my grandparents got them a cake too!

My girl, catching a quick nap before everyone arrives.

Grandma getting to meet her newest great-grandchild, Amelia.

We all enjoyed a chance to just hang out, catch up, play some games and reminisce. It was awesome.

Lily and my brother – she was fascinated by his facial hair!

Gorgeous sunset!

My 4 (at the time – he’s 5 today!) year old nephew schooling my cousins in Mario Kart.

We of course had to try for a group picture. We were only missing Nick, the boys and one of my cousins.

Attempt #1 generated some awesome faces thanks to the little girl on the lower right getting away and her mom having to catch her just before the timer went off!

Attempt #2 gave us a tongue sticking out on my niece and a, uh, nice face on my nephew.

I can only hope that Nick and I have a picture like this in 51 years…. us happily married, with equally happy children, their spouses and their kids and maybe even some great-grandkids. What an amazing thing to aspire to!

My sister and her husband, married for 6 months in November with people they can aspire to, our grandparents, married 60 years last Friday.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for being such an amazing example and inspiration to us all! We love you so very much.

Attention family: I will be putting up a private gallery of all of my images, so that you can download the high-res, non-watermarked versions for yourselves. Expect an e-mail next week (hopefully) with that!

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  • Stephanie

    Awww!!! That is so awesome! I’m so glad you got to do that!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ally

    great pictures!! I especially love the one of Grandma, Grandpa, Laura and Mason!

    yay!! I love our family 🙂ReplyCancel

  • What a great idea….so glad you were able to do that. Looks like you had a great time!ReplyCancel

  • Mary

    I love how you surprised everyone. What a great adventure for you & Lily, and how sweet that you got to spend alone time with your grandparents, before their big celebration. One question, did your sister know?ReplyCancel

    • Nope! I kept it from her too, so she and her husband were at my parents’ place convinced that it was a Photoshop job too! The only person who knew I was coming was one cousin (I had to talk to someone to figure out where people would be on Thanksgiving!).ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Nichols

    Hi! Thanks for sharing your story about surprising them. It must have been really awesome! How were the boys and Nick? What’d they do while you were gone?
    Love Lily’s belly! 🙂ReplyCancel