November 9, 2010

The Big UK Trip Back – The Birthday Surprise

We had a few major reasons for going back to the UK when we did, first one was that Michael’s sister was getting married and the other was that my Dad was turning 60. When we booked the tickets 11 months ago we rang my parents on Skype, we told them all about booking the tickets, but we said sadly that we couldn’t get a flight to arrive in time for my Dad’s birthday, the disappointment on their faces was awful, especially when we said the best we could do was to arrive two days after the event. It was then that I called my mam and told her the news that we were in fact telling a little lie – as we had booked the flights so we could arrive on the day of my Dad’s 60th birthday – as a surprise!

And so then the secretive planning began. My Mam was amazing at keeping the secret for all that time, and other family members were also in on it too, it was very exciting. So many ideas ran through our heads as how to surprise him, but at the same time we didn’t want it to be too much of a shock!!

Michael’s lovely parents Lynn and Steve picked us up from Manchester airport, it was just amazing to see them. Lynn had been out to see us just last year (twice!) but Steve hadn’t physically seen Bethany since she was 3, so it was lovely for them both. We were completely shattered, our body clocks were even more out of sync but we just had to keep going. The second we stepped off that plane we were in Operation Secret Squirrel (the name we gave the surprise operation!).

I kept in touch with my Mam by text, telling her where we were and what was happening, she arranged to take my Dad out to lunch nearby and the excitement built, perfectly everything came together. We picked up our lovely car for the next few weeks (courtesy of our most gorgeous friends) and headed off. As planned my parents were out to lunch, we went in and straight away got started with decorating the front room, all of us giggling with excitement. The butterflies raced and I am sure we could have all burst. As far as my Dad was aware we were arriving two days later, the day of his birthday was going to be normal and quite boring – how my mam held it together within those last few hours who knows!

As the car came up the drive we hid, and the moment was here…the moment will go down as one of my most amazing memories ever, nothing could have been more perfect.

Not only was my Dad completely blown away by us being there we not only laden him down with kisses and cuddles but gave him a lovely commemorative book of his 60 years called ’60 Years Young’. 

Then we told him the day didn’t end there either, that afternoon we had planned a party and everyone who loves him would be there soon to celebrate!

It was an amazing day, we have never been so happy, our surprise worked perfectly, and we are so proud of everyone who kept it a secret for us. It wouldn’t have been possible at all if it wasn’t for Lynn and Steve who were there for us to make it happen, and it certainly wouldn’t have happened if my Mam had once even slightly accidentally slipped up.

A perfect perfect first day, I truly hope it was the best birthday my Dad ever had, it was certainly one of our most favourite birthdays we have ever been to!

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