How to Surprise Your Sister
Step 1: Getting there
A bunch of my friends were carpooling to Lancaster, PA this past weekend for a wedding, and there was an extra spot in the car! I was so thankful to not have to take the bus or drive the 7+ hour journey alone. Road trips are a lot of fun with good friends, music, snacks, and jokes… The long trip didn’t necessarily fly by, but I enjoyed just hanging out in good company!
Step 2: Maintain your story
I was planning to be to Lancaster by 4 and Philly by 5:30, but traffic and a wrong exit or two put us a bit behind schedule. Chelsea’s boyfriend, Mike, picked me up around 6pm, and we hit Friday night traffic on the way into Philly. Mike told Chelsea he had a surprise for her and told her to be ready around 5 or 5:30, so she was starting to get mad that he was so late. He blamed it on work and traffic, but she wasn’t having any of it and was fuming when he told her his ETA was closer to 8pm. Good thing he is thick-skinned and held his ground without saying anything! My sister can get mean when she is angry! ;)
Step 3: Prepare for the surprise
After a long day of travel, I was elated to finally arrive at my sister’s doorstep. I stood on the stoop while Mike stood off to the side, where he could see the surprise but Chelsea couldn’t immediately see him. He called to get let in, and then we waited. Maybe it just felt like an eternity, or maybe she was taking her time to torture him for being late… but finally, she appeared. She recognized that it was me standing there, and froze in her tracks. She smiled and then just started sobbing. I had to remind her to come let us in out of the cold, and then we embraced. She continued to cry, so surprised, excited and shocked by my unannounced appearance. She then saw Mike, quickly apologizing for her reaction, realizing I was the reason he was late. I think her reaction to our surprise superseded any need for an apology he might have had.
Step 4: Enjoy your evening!
Since it was recently her 21st birthday, we headed to a local bar, The Draught Horse Pub, for a quick drink. We munched on bar food and caught up on how the surprise came to be, and simply enjoyed the reunion. The salty bar food and long car ride led to a quick headache for me, however, so our evening ended early. I may or may not have fallen asleep on my sister on the couch… such a cool older sister I am, huh?
Step 5: Make a belated birthday breakfast
Chelsea had called me earlier in the week to ask me about specific ingredients for a few of my recipes. I chuckled silently to myself when she told me she was going to make my sweet potato pancakes that Saturday! Little did she know… We still made the pancakes, and they were just as good as I remembered! If you haven’t tried these yet, please do. The spiced pecan butter makes the meal, and is good slathered on apple slices too!
Step 6: Keep the surprises rolling
We had so much fun with the reaction to the surprise of my arrival that Mike and I decided to keep the rest of the weekend plans as a surprise. We took her to Longwood Gardens Saturday afternoon, and enjoyed the spectacular balmy November day. We explored the fall foliage in some of the outdoor gardens, and admired the beautiful flowers and greenhouses indoors.
After, we enjoyed dinner with Mike’s family, and then finished the night off at Dave and Buster’s. No better way to celebrate being a legal adult than reliving childhood memories of Chuck E. Cheese, except this time with a few drinks and more gaming skill!
Step 7: Remember that we are sisters, not clones
The most important part of this weekend and the time we spent together was the chance to remember how similar and yet how different we are. We grew up like twins, both love to cook, love being outside in nature and yet are entranced by city living, and have similar senses of humor. Yet we are very distinct people, both talented in different areas and successful in our own way. My sister may admire me as an older sister, but she doesn’t fully realize how much I admire the young woman she is becoming. The things I love most about her are those that make her so different from me, and I hope she recognizes and appreciates those things in herself. I pray we can continue to learn from each other until we are hunched old ladies, and am thankful for the deep bond of friendship and sisterhood that we share.