My sister, Marie and her friend Heather were talking about spending some time with their daughters. “We should really do something with our girls before they go off to college next year… And while they still like us.” What the mom’s didn’t realize was that the girls overhead the conversation and it lit a spark. Both of them probably knew it was one of those things people say, wishing for it to happen, but knowing that it probably wouldn’t. Time would slip away, and before they knew it, they’d be off to college. So the girls, soon to be seniors in high school, took it upon themselves to plan a trip. The girls told the moms what days to take off of work and what to pack, but nothing else. “You need 3 days off, tennis shoes & shorts for sure.” No clues. No hints. No slip ups. Their lips were sealed, but their minds were racing. You could see the sparkle in their eyes when they talked about the upcoming adventure.
The girls researched where to go, what things to do in the area, popular places to eat, etc. The moms were still totally unaware of what was in store. Anticipation was thick as they loaded up the car early in the morning of day 1. It was 3 hours into the trip before they found out where they were headed. Duluth, MN.
Their 3 day adventure would take them biking along Canal Park, having meals by Lake Superior, a trip to Gooseberry Falls, Glensheen mansion & Betty’s Pies & more. 3 days. That’s it. This wasn’t a week long vacation to the Caribbean. It was 3 days in northern Minnesota, and it meant more to the moms than the girls will ever know. It meant that they cared enough to want to spend time together. It mean that they planned out their trip with excitement & mystery. It meant that the love those moms show their daughters came back full circle. It makes me emotional and teary eyed thinking about it. I’m sure it will make them all smile each time they think of their trip together. Time spent together that they wouldn’t trade for the world.
Take the trip. Try the pie. Walk by the lake. Love. Laugh.
It makes me think of a surprise trip that I planned 16 years ago. Cameron was about to turn 30, and I wanted to surprise him. Before kids, before 9/11, before airport security & before you needed a passport for Canada, I planned a surprise trip to Niagara Falls. I did have a binder and a plan but it was all secret to him. I got him to the airport & had his bags already packed. I had a sign with his name on it. His plane ticket was purchased & we were off.
We stayed on the Canadian Falls side & had a great time. We went on a biking trip to vineyards in the area and saw the falls up close. I normally don’t add this many pictures, but look at these kids!! I’m not sure what made us laugh at the vineyard picture, but I’m guessing it was something that seemed funnier given the amount of wine we had.
I realize that we do need to work to make a living, but it can’t be at the expense of our life. These moments won’t come around again. We don’t get a “do-over.” I still grin when I think about this trip – as will those 4 ladies when they think about their Duluth adventures.
On your journey of enough, take the time to have a detour. Go somewhere new. Try a new food. Have a new adventure. Stop and listen and soak it all in. Spend some time with those you hold dear. Oh, and for sure -have the pie!