We got the idea to do a spur of the moment surprise trip home on Monday (6/27) and by Thursday (6/30) we touched down in super humid and hot Charlotte, North Carolina. Of course we couldn't pull off this surprise without letting a few people in on it so Carl's brother, Craig, picked us up at the airport and we were off to start surprising people.
Since we got in late Thursday night there were only 3 people that we could surprise that night. Our nieces Zoe and Reece, and our nephew Darren were completely shocked when their mom called them into the kitchen where we were hiding. They had gotten so big and even though we've done video chats and seen pictures there was no way to really see all the changes until we saw them in person. It was amazing and a great way to start our week.
The next day we started Round 2 of Operation Surprise by popping into Carl's dad's office. Of course he knew something was up when he saw Carl's brother standing outside with a video camera...but I don't think he had suspected us. Thanks to Hilary for helping us keep this secret for a few days.
Next we were off to surprise my mom. She had coincidentally taken that day off of work which worked out well. We drove about 40 minutes to Concord, NC and pulled into her drive way only to find that she wasn't there! I casually called her cell phone and after a minute of chit chat she revealed that she was at the store Dollar Tree and that she was going grocery shopping after. While still hiding our secret I told her to call me when she got home. I then called my aunt and asked her where the Dollar Tree was (because I'm not familiar with that side of town) and that we were going to go there and surprise mom since she wasn't home. We found my mom's truck in the parking lot and made our way to the front door of the store. The following video pretty much sums up the rest of the adventure.
May I suggest you hit the play button and then immediately pause it so that you can see my moms face through the glass! What you didn't see is that when she got to the door she looked at me and then looked back at her purse, then she looked at me and smiled and looked back at her purse, and THEN it registered that it was ME standing there are she lost it. Afterwards she said she thought, "Wow, that girl looks familiar". We went back to her place for an hour to visit before we had to head off to surprise one more person, Carl's mom.
Cal's mom had to work all day so after she got home and had time to relax we headed up the road for our final surprise. We pulled into the driveway and unload ourselves (Carl's brother and family joined us to see and video tape the surprise but I don't have that video to share). Carl gave his signature knock and a minute later his mom, Gill, peaked out of the blinds...and then peaked again before opening the door. She was shocked and it took her awhile to realize what was happening but after a moment her shock turned into joy and excitement.
The first 24 surprise filled hours were everything we had hoped they would be and we kept pinching ourselves that we were home. If I can get my hands on the other surprise video's then I'll upload them here as well.
On a side note, there was one funny "reaction" that almost everyone had. As you can hear in the video my mom kept saying "What are you guys doing here?" while Carl's mom kept asking "How come?". And when Carl told his brother that we were going to take a trip home he must have said it rather cryptically because his brothers first thoughts were that something was wrong. Thankfully that was not the case and we were just able to make the trip leisurely.
I'll stop this post here but I'll be writing again soon to share stories from the remainder of our North Carolina vacation!