Actually, it probably started long before that when three girls on a Narnia forum (GG, D, and me) became great friends.
After I went away to college, GG and I accidentally discovered we had been living just over an hour away from each other, and we finally got to meet in person. D, on the other hand, lives almost ten hours away from us, so that wasn’t quite so easy. But last spring(ish), GG told D she would find a way to visit her some time that summer.
Now we come to the e-mail, which was sent to D’s sister from GG asking if it would be at all possible for us to visit and surprise D.
Well, it took some plotting, and there were a few times we thought we were going to have to tell D about part of the plan to avoid lying, but finally, just over a year ago, the day came to leave, and she still didn’t know. GG had spent the night at my house, and we set out first thing in the morning.
The drive down was so much fun. Long, but I don’t think either of us minded that. Just our adventures from the road trip could probably make an entire post. But after many hours, the Lord of the Rings musical, Peter, Paul, and Mary, miscellaneous music CD’s, bagels, Oreos, a sketchy gas station, and putting the GPS back up too many times to count, we were entering D’s town to the drama of a thunderstorm and Celtic Thunder.
By that point, we were getting quite excited on top of being worn out. It made for quite a combination, and our rendition of Young Love is something that can’t be duplicated. I called D’s mother to find out how we should go about surprising D, and we found out, to our surprise, she was asleep.
This did not fit with any of the plans we had made, but it turned out to be better than anything we could have thought up. We walked up to her room, trying not to giggle too loudly, and sat on D’s bed. She pulled the covers off her head, looked up, and froze, her eyes too wide. For a moment I wondered if she knew who she was looking at, but after a long pause, she sat up and said, “I’ve never been so shocked in my entire life.” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment.
After hugs and giggling and D remembering things that, looking back, she realized were clues, someone found D a blanket for shock, and GG and I moved in. (It kind of felt like it. We’d brought a lot of stuff.) Then we sat and talked for a long time. GG and I gave D a taste of our wonderful, rather-hoarse-by-this-point singing. We got D to talk briefly about guys. D told us stories from her childhood, occasionally consulting one of her many (as in MANY) journals.
We invented a couple games over the duration of our stay. The first was role-play Apples to Apples, in which you take on the personality of a fictional character and choose your cards based on what they would do. Let me tell you, it’s interesting trying to decide what Moriarty would think your friend’s ditzy teenage girl character would think is tasty. D’s sister did some fantastic character impersonations. We played that more times than the GPS fell off the window. The second game was Goest Thou Fishing, or Go Fish with big words. Much more interesting.
Several evenings we went on walks around the neighborhood with their dog. On one of these, GG found a pine cone which she dubbed Greg. I somehow offended Greg, and GG still claims I owe him a kiss to make up for it. I refuse to kiss a pine cone.
Oh, my, we did so many fun things. We visited D’s library (and the playground next to it). We went to see Brave. We got a picture of us all wearing shirts that said, “The Angels Have the Phonebox” (Doctor Who reference). D danced to her favorite love song. We played Balderdash. GG did therapy for a few of D’s characters and took nearly indecipherable notes (I know, I spent many minutes deciphering them, and sometimes when I needed help, GG was as confused as I was). D introduced GG and me to several of her friends at church, and another of her friends came over one morning. We watched an episode of a TV show we all like (and were distressed when the internet was very slow and gave us much trouble). We stayed up late, especially the last night.
I could say more, but I want to get this posted before midnight.
Finally, Tuesday morning, the day we were to leave, arrived. We ate breakfast, took one last group photograph, hugged hard and sadly, and GG and I headed out.
By this point, we were pretty tired, didn’t have such excitement waiting at the end of our drive, and GG was catching a cold, but we still had fun. I’m pretty sure it was during this part of the trip that GG introduced me to this song that pretty much sums up family road trips with small children. We ate at Wendy’s for supper. GG did dramatic readings from Treasure Island, which I was reading at the time. We have those recorded (along with us singing various songs). And finally we pulled into my driveway singing Ireland’s Call. We had not stopped at the sketchy gas station.
Surprising D was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done. It’s interesting to meet someone online in real life; you discover such unexpected things about them. For instance, D has the cutest giggle. It was also great to meet her family, lovely people, all of them. And I discovered that GG is a wonderful person to go on a road trip with.