It didn't take long for me to come up with something. Sarah misses her sister Mary who lives in PA more than anything. Mary hadn't been to Boston in about 2 years, so I asked her if she'd consider a surprise weekend visit. She was psyched about the idea and we planned for this past weekend.
Planning a surprise for Sarah is NOT easy... we'd originally thought to have Mary and her boyfriend meet us at one of Sarah's favorite restaurants. I was going to show up with Sarah and "surprise!" They'd have a cake and everything.
But Sarah went on a business trip to NY on Thursday and came back with a stomach flu that lasted well into Friday night. By Saturday morning, Sarah still wasn't feeling too well and vetoed our plans for going to brunch and shopping.
"And I really don't think my stomach can handle a lobster dinner," she said.
"Gee, are you sure you might not feel better later?" I asked.
"I'd rather not risk it," she answered.
So I went off to change litter boxes and huddled with the phone to make a whispered call to Mary. "Hi," I said. "Change of plans..."
Mary and her boyfriend were going to fly in and arrive about 2:45. I said that I'd pick them up and bring them here to surprise Sarah. That would be the next best thing to dinner... Sarah needed some cheering up. Her stomach had been feeling a lot better, but she was still down.
I spent the rest of the morning cleaning the house like a fiend. Sarah was watching TV in the bedroom, having a typical lazy Saturday morning. I had gone to the gym earlier and then bought fresh sourdough bread and made her toast. Usually I sit with her and eat a bagel, but I needed to really clean the upstairs and what not because Mary and her boyfriend would be in the guest room.
Every now and then Sarah would come out and look at me funny because vigorously cleaning the entire house on a Saturday morning is not my typical choice of activity.
Finally I got dressed and had put on a nice outfit. Then I went back to the bedroom and said, "Hey, I'm going to run out for a bit."
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"Petco," I replied. "I should be gone about an hour or so."
"In that?" she asked incredulously, gesturing toward my nice clothing.
"Yeah, well," I said. "I'm sick of jeans..."
"Okay," she laughed at me. "Will you bring me a present?"
This is an ongoing thing whenever one of us goes for an errand without the other. "Sure," I smiled. "In fact, maybe I'll bring you two!" Then I thought a moment. "You know, you should take a shower and get dressed. That may make you feel better."
"No," she said in a pouty two year old's voice. Oh well, I thought to myself. So she'll get a good laugh when we all come back and her hair's standing on end and she's sitting in rumpled PJ's.
So I zipped off to the airport and parked in front of the Terminal B Arrivals area. It was about 2:40 at that point. At about 2:50 a State Trooper came over and yelled at me and about 5 others to move our cars.
So I slowly drove away, figuring I'd just go around the airport again and then end up back at Terminal B. Not so simple.
Long story short, I managed to exit the airport somehow and wind up in South Boston. After driving all around for 10 minutes, swearing, I made it back into the tunnel to the airport and then pulled back in front of Terminal B. About 10 minutes later, Mary and her boyfriend came over. Their flight had been late, so I lucked out. And none too soon... Mister Trooper was pulling up again.
We drove back to my house and the three of us tiptoed upstairs. I then knocked on the bedroom door. "Hey," I said softly as I opened it.
"Hi," Sarah said back.
"I brought you two presents!" I said gleefully.
"You did?" she asked.
"Yup!" I nodded. "I think you'll like them. You'd never be able to guess them in a million years!"
Then I opened the door all the way.
"Happy birthday!!" Mary and her boyfriend called out.
"Agh!!!!" Sarah squealed. "Oh my God!"
There was all sorts of commotion as Sarah was in shock and we all laughed. But it was obvious how happy it made Sarah to see them.
So we all hung out for a bit, then Sarah got dressed. That evening we went out for Vietnamese and saw Chicago. (I fell asleep for a while. I'd seen it on Broadway and the movie was no match.)
Yesterday was tons of fun. We went out for brunch, then sledding on a country club's extremely long rolling hill. But Mary and I are a little worse for wear as a result. I had bought 3 gigantic snow tubes a few weeks back and had been dying to use them. Those suckers are FAST! On one run Sarah and Mary flew down the hill and then jumped off this very high ramp a bunch of snow boarders had put up. As they breezed past me, I yelled a line from the "Terry Tate: Office Linebacker" clip, "The pain train is coming!! WOO WOO! WOO WOO!"
They flew high off the ground, then the tube flipped sideways. Sarah landed on Mary, giving her a nice bruise on her head and cracking her jaw a bit. Plus, they completely busted the tube.
A few runs later, I went with Sarah and we were doing just fine until our tube suddenly made a beeline for this stake right in the middle of the run.
"Yaaaaaagh!" I shrieked. We weren't able to steer away from it and so we crashed smack into the damn thing. The stake didn't even budge! The inner part of my right shin, knee and thigh took the brunt of it. Thankfully the tube absorbed most of the impact because we stopped about 2 inches from my crotch. I swear, my life flashed before my eyes. I can't believe we didn't pop the sled.
As we stood up, Sarah said, "Oh GOD! First Mary, now you! I feel so bad, I'm too dangerous to ride with..."
Not wanting her to feel responsible, I said, "No, I'm totally fine!" And I was, for the most part. I mean, yeah, it hurt a bit, but it really wasn't so terrible. I didn't hit my knee too hard and I just figured I'd have a nasty bruise on my shin.
As Sarah and Mary's boyfriend went up the hill, Mary came over and said, "Oh my GOD, are you okay? I heard the loud crack when you hit that stake. That HAD to be your leg."
"Shhh!" I hissed at her. "I don't want Sarah to know. She feels terrible about it, but it's really not her fault."
Making sure Sarah couldn't see, I then pulled up the leg of my ski pants. Yikes! A swollen blue and purple bruise that ran from the bottom of my shin to the base of my knee was forming, topped off by a jagged bleeding cut right above it. I looked like I had two knees on my right leg. Damn.
I kept going on it, figuring I'd survive.
Afterwards, we went out for a light dinner and then took Mary and her boyfriend back to the airport. What a great weekend! I could tell I'd given Sarah the best birthday gift of all.
I iced my leg last night and then woke up to train my PT client this morning. I usually go running beforehand, but forget it!! When I woke up, my leg was so stiff, I could barely move. Then any impact on my right heel caused a searing pain to move up through my shin.
Ugh. But all in all, it was a great time! Pain train and all. ^_^