The day started out like any other. Hubby went to work, or so I thought, and I was crazy busy with meetings and deadlines. When Hubby called to tell me that he was coming home a few hours earlier than expected, I thought nothing of the reason he gave me. I was too preoccupied, and I had no reason to suspect he was telling me anything but the truth.
A few minutes after Hubby arrived home, I heard him go to the front door, shouting something about a package he was expecting. Again, nothing out of the ordinary, and I had my nose buried in test revisions, which I had planned to work on for at least an hour past quitting time.
At almost 6:00 on the dot (the end of my workday), I got a text message from one of my FL girlfriends. It was a picture of her with another one of my FL girlfriends, standing outside a door. The caption read, "Knock, knock."
To myself: Huh. I just talked to them. They didn't say they were together.
A few seconds later: That's kind of a weird text to send. Where are they?
Looking at the text again: I know this is going to sound crazy, but that looks like the outside of our house.
A few more seconds later: And look at the reflection in the storm door. It looks like the house from across the street.
To Hubby: Is anyone outside our door?
Hubby: (incredulously) Whaaat?
To Hubby: I just got this text and it looks like the girls are outside our door.
I run to the front door, stand on my tiptoes, and peek through the little square window.
My jaw drops to the floor.
OH MAH GAH, I squeal, as I open the door.
Me: What are you doing here?
The girls: Happy Birthday!!!
Me: But how did you get here?
The girls: We walked. How do you think we got here? We flew.
Me: (looking outside for a rental car) But how did you get here from the airport?
The girls: Are you going to let us in? It's cold out here.
To myself: Holy crap, the house is a MESS. Did Hubby know they were coming? I'm going to kill him for not making me clean the house.
Me: Of course, come in, but keep your eyes closed. Until you leave. So how did you get here?
The girls point to Hubby.
Me: (with confused look) But you were at work.
The first moral of the story is: I'm a little slow on the uptake. (This is the fifth major surprise in 15 years without so much as a raised eyebrow from me.)
The second moral of the story is: I'm surrounded by liars.
The third moral of the story is: My husband and friends lied to give me the most wonderful birthday surprise because they love me.
Because I was not still unemployed as my friends expected me to be when they made their travel arrangements (thanks for the vote of confidence, girls, LOL), I had to work on Friday, but my boss was awesome in letting me go a little early. It took us an hour to get to a restaurant 20 minutes away because there are two places in town with the same address, and my GPS had no way of knowing that I wanted to go to a restaurant instead of a patch of gravel in the middle of nowhere.
We enjoyed a wonderful, girlie dinner, complete with martinis and chocolate truffles. Then we went to
Saturday was cold, but beautiful, so we spent the day exploring. First we went to Smicksburg, which is a quiet town where Old Order Amish families live. They were very friendly, waving to us as we drove through, and we got held up by their buggies only a few times.
The downtown area is more touristy, with restaurants and shoppes.
This pottery studio was very hospitable, even to its four-legged visitors.
After I picked up some local hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn to learn how to knit socks with (Heather, if you're reading this, you can expect a flood of SOS calls in the future), we left the quiet countryside, with its miniature trees,
for the much more crowded, more touristy Punxsutawney, where Phil, the groundhog, does or does not see his shadow every February.
When we went to spy on Phil, we overheard rumors that his name is really Phyllis, and she had a baby a few weeks prior. We have not able to confirm nor deny the speculation.
Phil was not nearly as friendly as the Amish,
but we can say we saw him. And we have some fabulously tacky gifts to prove it.
On Sunday, we went to Pittsburgh, where I shopped at a real mall for the first time since moving here, and closed the weekend with dinner at Bahama Breeze (another comfort from home).
Thanks to the loving liars in my life for making #31 an unforgettable celebration!
Pinocchio image source