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Tag: surprises

‘Tis the Season to Surprise

In the blink of an eye, 2014 has flown by and the holidays are here. Time is such a weird wibbly wobbly, timey wimey thing. Our time in Hawaii flew by. Then we got back home and bought our plane tickets to Georgia for Thanksgiving as a surprise (no one thought we were coming) and September/October/November dragged on so slowly. I barely could contain myself. Surprises always make me crazy. I love doing them, but Lord have mercy, keeping them secret almost kills me.

BUT this time, we pulled it off. I didn’t tell a soul that we’d be flying the red-eye to Georgia for Thanksgiving day. We landed Thursday morning, freshened up in the airport, grabbed the rental car, and headed up I-95 to Dad’s. I was a ball of antsy excitement. Running on fumes after a night of half-sleep on the plane + jittery from a strong latte in the airport. Ready. To. Get. There.

Dad and Kathy host Thanksgiving every year and the whole step-family comes to celebrate it together — about 30 people. I knew that by the time we arrived around noon, they’d be in the final stages of prep and Thanksgiving lunch would be served soon. I also knew that Dad would likely be standing outside talking. We live on a private road in the woods, just outside my hometown in the county (in other words, it’s the boonies, y’all). Knowing my Dad well, I knew that he’d be on high alert if a strange vehicle came driving down the road (private property!). He’d be wondering who it was.

I also knew that if said vehicle came down the road blaring their horn, he’d be ticked. So you can guess what I did…

We came down the road, in a bright red rental car, blaring our horn as loud as possible. As we turned the final corner, I could see him standing at the end of the driveway, glaring down the road. I was on the edge of my seat, shaking with excitement / wildly over-caffeinated.

As we pulled up to the driveway, I was waving like a fool through the window. His angry expression slowly faded away to puzzlement. I leapt out of the car and ran over to him. “SURPRISE!!!” I think it took a good ten minutes for him to realize what was happening and smile. 🙂

After that, it was a blur of hugs and visiting with family. We spent most of the day around our fire pit since it was cold, cold, cold in south Georgia. By the end of the day, I smelled like woodsmoke, had probably eaten 10+ cookies amidst all the other delicious food items, and was collapsing into bed way too late.

The rest of the weekend was spent surprising the rest of my family — Aunt Kim, Uncle Brian, Matthew; my Grandma; and my Mom and her very best friends. Aunt Kim’s reaction was priceless. We threw open the door of their house and she screamed, “NO!!!!” Grandma was so sweet and happy to see us. Mom and her friends landed in the airport on Saturday after a trip to NYC and were in a daze of disbelief when we popped out in front of them at the airport. All around good fun!

Now we’re back in San Francisco and there’s 21 days till Christmas. It’s raining here properly for this first time in ages. And yesterday, I bought chestnuts at Trader Joe’s — to roast I guess. Where’s my open fire? Don’t ask me, I always go overboard during the holidays at TJ’s.

Must be the holidays, right? 😉 Hope all of you U.S. folks had a great Thanksgiving. I’m incredibly thankful for all of our friends and family around the world. We wouldn’t be who we are without you.

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My love and I in Napa last month, celebrating our dear friends Mike and Natalie’s engagement party. Happy and thankful!

 

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See: San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker

It’s the second time that Anish has surprised me with tickets to the Ballet. Once in Boston two years ago. And the second time yesterday in San Francisco. Surprise! We’re going to see the Nutcracker! He knows me well.

My Christmas spirit has been faint this year. It feels different out here on the West Coast. The weather’s fairer. The land is still green. I can hardly see the signs of winter, and after two years in Boston, that’s what I’ve come to expect for the Christmas season. I’ve probably said a hundred times this past month, “But it doesn’t feel like the holidays yet…”

Luckily for me, the weather here on the Bay decided to change drastically and the temperatures dropped into the 30s and 40s for a few days. My kind of weather when it’s December. Then Anish surprised me with these tickets and all of a sudden, it felt like Christmas. A San Francisco Christmas!

We stopped into Nick’s for tacos and then hurried down Van Ness to the beautiful War Memorial Opera House to the San Francisco Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. Our tickets included a reception with a member of the company, Luke Willis, at 6pm. We sipped hot chocolate and shirley temples on the Dress Circle floor with BU alums, listening to Luke tell a little about himself, his experience with ballet, and his time with the SF company. It was fascinating, Luke was endearing, and by the end, we were all antsy for the show to start to see what he’d described.

At 7pm, we were in our seats and the lights dimmed. The crowd hushed. Children were restless and shuffling in their seats, whispering to their parents and waiting for the magic. The orchestra began to hum. And the curtain rose upon San Francisco.

Clara’s toymaker Godfather. The Christmas party at their home. Fritz’s antics. The children and adults dancing. Clara’s gift, The Nutcracker. Then, the fairytale magic that follows the battle with the Mouse King. I was on the edge of my seat gazing down at the stage, trying to watch every dancer. The performance was lovely. The orchestra was fantastic and the dancing was sublime. We enjoyed every second of it.

And finally, FINALLY, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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San Francisco’s City Hall looking very merry.
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