Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Long Weekend Surprise

Sunday was THE day. The day of the surprise we had planned for our girls. Let me give you some background first though.

Paige's 16th birthday is coming up in two weeks. For months I just assumed that I would be planning a great big party for her. After all, isn't that what all girls want when they turn 16? Apparently not. Paige informed me that she was not interested in having a party. She's been having a lot of friend problems this year (what is it with grade 10 girls??) and a party wasn't very appealing to her. She told me that instead what she would really like is a day at the ocean. A girl after my own heart.

The trouble was trying to find a day that we could do it. With Gary in school and Cam crowding up our schedule with grad events it didn't seem too likely that we 'd be able to make this wish come true. But thankfully Gary finished school on Friday (Yay!) and miraculously there was nothing on the weekend's schedule so Gary and I decided that Sunday would work perfectly.

We also decided to make it a surprise. I love surprising people. The girls had absolutely no idea that we had anything up our sleeves and midway through the week were busy making their own plans for the weekend. Paige had decided to have her best friend Taylor over for night which I thought worked out perfectly. I covertly contacted Taylor's mom and told her about our plans and asked her if Taylor could join us. She gladly gave her permission. I did end up having to let our kids know that something was happening on Sunday because I didn't want to completely blindside them. Perhaps I shouldn't have though because Paige spent all of Saturday hounding us, begging for hints.

Sunday morning we were up and out the door at 7am. With a 3 1/2 hour drive ahead of us we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time. Now, let me explain what's going on in this first photo. Paige is notoriously difficult to surprise. That kid is incredibly intuitive! I knew that the second she saw what direction the car was pointed in she would immediately know where we were going. So I came up with an ingenious plan...blindfolds!
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
(The weather looked pretty ominous as we headed out.)

But first we stopped at our local A&W for some breakfast.
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend

Then the blindfolds went back on for the duration of the trip. Gary did a few donuts to make sure the girls had no clue which direction we were going on the highway. It totally worked. About halfway through the drive Paige was completely convinced that we were going in the opposite direction, headed to Kelowna. She kept trying to trick me into giving away information by asking me what time it was (I fudged the answer to that one) and wondering what the temperature was (we happened to be in Merritt right then so the temperature was considerably warmer than if she would have asked while we were at the summit of the Coquihalla.)
From May Long Weekend

By the time we reached Abbotsford most of us needed a bathroom break. I also decided that we might as well let them take off the blindfolds.
From May Long Weekend

Taylor had known our destination all along because her mom's boyfriend let the cat out of the bag. Cam fessed up that she had peeked somewhere near Hope although she wasn't 100% sure where we were. Paige of course had it pretty much figured out when the drive was going on for what felt like forever. Oh well. They may not have been overly surprised but they were super excited.

You know who was surprised? My parents. We stopped at their house to say hi and use their bathrooms. They had no clue that we were coming and I was almost worried that we might cause them to have heart attacks. I wish I would have gotten a picture of them. My mom's face was full of confusion and my dad couldn't stop grinning. It was so funny.

After our quick pit stop we headed toward the big city. Our first stop was the Art Institute where Cam will be going to school in the fall. We thought it would be nice to see exactly where it was and what it looked like.
From May Long Weekend

Then, since the weather was still not very beach-like we went to Metrotown Mall. We had fun browsing through all the stores although how anyone can afford to shop there is beyond me.
From May Long Weekend

From there we followed the good weather to Steveston for some lunch. Gary and I discovered this great fish & chips restaurant last year and couldn't wait to try it again.
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend

After lunch I surprised Paige with her birthday dessert...cupcake bites! They were a welcome treat and we snacked on them the rest of the afternoon.
From May Long Weekend

Before we left Steveston we checked out the flea market. The girls weren't really into it though and Paige just wanted to get to the beach. So off we went to our favorite spot...
From May Long Weekend

Boundary Bay! It was windy and cold but that didn't stop Gary and the girls from wandering the beach. The tide was way, way out so one could walk for miles. I stayed on the beach blanket and guarded all of our stuff while trying to stay warm.
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
In spite of the weather we had fun goofing around on the beach. The Larnders are a fun-loving bunch, in case you hadn't noticed.
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
From May Long Weekend
Once we had had our fill of the beach we decided that we would head back to my parents' house to kill a couple of hours. We almost always take 0 Avenue for this drive. For those not in the know, this is the border between Canada and the United States. It never ceases to amaze me that this is an international border. That treeline on the righthand side of the photo? The US.
From May Long Weekend
My parents were excited to see us again and my dad was happy to help us eat the cupcake bites. When we were ready to leave we joked about how nice it was that we could pop over for a Sunday afternoon visit with them.

Our last stop was at the theater to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4. We had all been dying to see this movie, being big fans of the first three. We were not disappointed. After the movie we had to head home. The drive home felt so long. We were all so tired. But when we rolled into bed at midnight it was a good tired that we were all feeling. The girls thanked us so many times for planning this surprise day for them. I'm so glad that we were able to make it happen.

12 comments:

Danica said...

Looks like a great trip. Next time, you should take me. I can pretend to be a teenager!

Hawaiigirl7 said...

that looks amazing!!!! I love Stevesten- its our fave place for fish and chips! :)

regisbreaksfree said...

I've never seen a Vancouver as a daytrip before...now it seems fairly do-able. Looks like it was a lot of fun. Happy Birthday, Paige!

White Girl said...

Ha!  Took me forever to scroll down to the comments.  What a great post and a great surprise for the girls!  Did it feel weird not to have May long weekend dominated by HM this year? 

Sonya said...

Haha!  Longest post ever, eh?
It was sort of weird not to be involved with HM this year.  But after last year's debacle it was a GOOD weird. :)

Trace said...

What a great day and surprise!! You guys sure did pack a lot into one day - looks like wonderful fun! :)

Rachel said...

That is one excellent adventure!

Aneta said...

What a great way to spend a birthday! Great pics!

Pink Sun Drops said...

Oh, wow. Just wow. That is one memory she will have and possibly think of every day for entire lifetime. What a special sixteenth birthday present.

May I feature this post in my Uniquely Your City in June? This post would be absolutely perfect for it and exactly the kind of post I love!

Sonya said...

You certainly may feature this post.  I would be honored!

Prudence8888 said...

That's fantastic, and after meeting everyone last summer, I can truly feel the excitement! Creating such happy memories for your family! Way to go! :)

fiona said...

First, yes, I can attest to the fact that you guys are a fun loving bunch.

Second, they kept their blindfolds on the WHOLE WAY to Abbotsford?  Wow.  I don't know if I would've been able to do that.

Third, I LOOOOOOOVE that picture of you with the hoodie and sunglasses.  One HAWT Mama!!!