The last time I can remember taking a spontaneous trip with only a few hours of prep time was in the Spring of 2001. Brian and I had plans to leave the next morning to go camping in Wisconsin for a few days. We kept watching the forecast for cold and rainy conditions hoping it would magically change. This was long before our RVing days, so while cold and rainy wouldn’t be ideal now, it would be tolerable. Not so much when you’re camping in a tent. Somehow we came across the forecast for Florida, where it was 80 degrees and sunny.
“We could be there in 18 hours,” I remember Brian saying.
We had a rental car, about six days off work, and a boatload of dirty laundry we had planned to get done before leaving to go camping. We figured if we left within the following hour or so, we could be there by morning. We’d find a laundromat to wash our clothes, and we’d spend a few days in the sun. We loaded up the car with our dirty laundry and hit the road. It was such a memorable trip, mostly because of the spontaneity.
A few weeks ago, Brian’s mom, who lives in Phoenix, started planning a surprise 70th birthday party for Brian’s step-dad to take place yesterday. Brian had to be in California Monday morning, so he figured he could leave Phoenix Monday morning and get there a lot earlier than if he were coming from Chicago. We kept watching ticket prices hoping they would come down, if not, he would just go on his own then continue on to California.
The ticket prices never budged, so I just planned to stay home. We got up Saturday morning, St. Patrick’s Day. I started cleaning house and making plans for the rest of the weekend as a singleton. At about 12:30-1:00 Brian asked me if I could take Monday off work. When I asked why he said, “well, if you can take off, or at least go in late, you’re coming to Phoenix with me.”
“I can’t go to Phoenix,” I said. “What about the dogs.”
“I already called, we’ll drop them off in a couple of hours and you can pick them up Monday afternoon.”
Well, alrighty then. Let’s go to Phoenix! I was packed and on a plane about five hours later.
Brian was the first person his step-dad saw before everyone else jumped out to surprise him. His expression was priceless. Then, Brian’s mom was the one surprised when she saw me, since she only expected Brian to be there.
At only about 32 hours, this spontaneous trip wasn’t as long as the last one 11 years ago but it was just as memorable. Brian’s step-dad had a wonderful birthday celebration and we enjoyed being with family for the afternoon. A day later, I’m still smiling. That could partially be from the cake buzz though. Can I just say he had one of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted! OMG was it good. As I sit on the airplane heading home at the moment, I am regretting not taking some to go. After a second piece last night, I couldn’t even imagine putting another bite in my mouth. But now … I WANT ANOTHER PIECE OF THAT CAKE!! I did take some cookies and brownies to go though 🙂 They, too, we’re delicious.
So, it was a weekend full of surprises all around. The craziest surprise is that it was in the 40s in Phoenix. It was 80 degrees when we left Chicago and the same is predicted for today. It’ll be a good night to sit outside on the patio and
look at the stars eat my cookies and brownies.