Spring Break Surprise

7 May

Just a few days after we returned from the beach, the girls and I hopped on a plane and 30 hours later, we touched down in NYC to surprise my mom for her birthday!

Check-in around 4am!

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The first stop once we got through checkin, immigration, and security. Latte for me, chai tea latter for Bella, and hibiscus tea for kenzie, plus a cinnamon roll to share.

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Our first flight was a 3-ish hour flight to Shanghai. These little stuffed animal/pillows are amazing! They come with a blanket and a hole to stick your arms through if you want. Mackenzie got hers as a gift from her banquet date, and Bella and I liked them so much that we asked his mom to pick up two more for us!

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The worst part of the trip was a 10-hour layover in Shanghai. Don’t feel too badly, we had a 14 hour layover on the way back! As soon as we landed, we went in search of dumplings. Unfortunately, we were in the smaller of the terminals and the one place that has dumplings was out of stock. Thankfully, we had a big bowl of comfort food!

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The rest of our layover was spent watching Netflix (pre-downloaded, of course, because you can’t access Netflix in China. Or facebook. Or Insta), playing games, and sleeping.

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Pre-flight stretching

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Finally, we boarded around 7pm! We were tucked into a row by ourselves, and as soon as we could, we settled into our movies. I don’t ever sleep more than 15 minutes at a time on a plane. But this time, I took a sleep aid right after my meal. Now that I have kids who are more independent travelers, I can sleep away the hours.  Then I laid my head against the window, and when I woke up, I reminded myself not to be discouraged when I realized that I only dozed. I pulled up the screen with our flight path on it, and we were already in Canada!!! I had slept for 9 straight hours. It was a first for me, and definitely a highlight. Since then, when I’m daydreaming, I think about that memory! (Shhh…don’t tell.)

We landed in NYC around midnight, and my brother and sister were there waiting for us! We were freezing when we waited outside for my brother to pull the car around! None of us had warm clothes, so we wrapped up in our blankets. I’m sure we looked like weirdos standing in the middle of NYC in March with no warm clothes!

We went straight to bed and when we woke up, we got to see cousins!! Everyone was so happy to be together.

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The surprise plan for my mom’s birthday was to set up the church basement with party stuff during the church service that my mom was in. Afterwards, we all walked in one at a time for one surprise after another!

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I think this blurry thing is the only photo I have with my mom at the party!

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I did, however, make sure to get a pic of the amazing Italian lunch that my dad catered!

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We couldn’t get enough of Eva that week! She was so so much fun. I know all of my nieces and nephews have been so adorable at this age, but I think I missed most of it because I had my own toddlers to take care of! With Eva, we could just play play play with her!

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The rest of our week was spent enjoying the family, enjoying the weather, enjoying the food, and enjoying the shopping!

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And then…less than a week later, it was time to jump back on the plane and head home! We left at midnight, and this time, we were armed with all of our favorite snacks.

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After our 14 hour flight, we settled into just as long of a layover! Again, since we had great snacks and new shows to watch, the time actually kind of flew by!

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We got home early Monday morning, and after a short sleep, I had an entire day of inservice to get to! It was hard to make it through, but it helped to have my sweet boys waiting for me to get home for a swim!

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