Day 162 – A Surprise for the Holidays

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Georgia, Kuwait, Travel | Posted on 11-12-2009

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Wednesday December 9th, 2009

Several weeks ago Andrew confronted me with the concept of me traveling home for Christmas. I immediately got excited and knew it would have to be a secret from my family. At first, I didn’t want them to become excited and then my plans to fall through, but then it became part of their Christmas present and you can’t spoil a present before opening it.

One of my wonderful friends offered me a buddy pass and my Heather was in cahoots with me ready to pick me up from the airport whenever. Like so many things, my little surprise became oh so very complicated. The flights home were already severely oversold, and I remembered that my sister would be going out of town during half of my stay. I then welcomed my sister’s best friend, Autumn, into my privy circle. She became my spy, clandestinely sharing information with me about their vacation. Everything seemed perfect – except the flights.

On the night of December 7th, I received an email from my in at Delta that didn’t sound very promising. I told Andrew that night I should’ve known; the airports are always crazy near Christmas. But nevertheless, my friend wanted to chat with me the next morning about the pass. She had been working with me, gleaning knowledge about my options for the past three weeks and continually receiving more and more bad news. I awoke at 6:00am to meet with her and her chipper salutation was “Let’s see how we can get you home sweetie!” After twenty minutes she found that all flight after the 14th held no chance for buddy passes but the flight leaving that night looked rather promising. After quick deliberation, Andrew and I decided I should go for it and I was booked on the flight leaving Dubai 17 ½ hours later! My lazy Tuesday turned into a whirlwind of packing and planning.

Andrew showed up at 3:00pm and we were on our way to the airport. One very short and one very long flight later, I was picked up outside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 6:30am December 8th. One stop at Chick-Fil-A to get a bag of breakfast for my family and Heather and I were knocking on my parent’s front door in Peachtree City. Mom opened the door in utter bewilderment. She continually backed slowly further and further into the house saying, “I just called you on Skype. Why are you here? What’s going on? I just talked to you yesterday. What’s wrong? I’m dreaming, aren’t I?” My sister was getting ready for work and opened the bathroom door to inquire about the racket. “What’s going on?” “Juliane’s here.” She then looks at me and slams the door shut. I looked at Heather,  “Not exactly the response I was looking for.” My sister emerged from the bathroom grinning to get a hug. Dad called out from the bedroom and I went in to give him one as well. We ate and laughed and later drove to Atlanta to surprise my brother. It was a wonderfully exhausting surprise and I’m so happy I was able to make it home.