No, you did not read the title wrong. I was back in the U.S. of A. for Christmas! The “original plan” was for me to the Ukraine to visit one of my friends but I really had been staking out in Cincinnati since the 17th. I was given the opportunity to come home and see my loved ones, I couldn’t say no. For those who know me, I’m the surprise QUEEN. Throughout college I was always able to surprise my family on the holidays and birthdays, you already know I couldn’t pass this opportunity for the ULTIMATE surprise let alone swallow the thought of spending Christmas away from my family.
Keeping this surprise was very hard due to the large amount of travel it required. In order to make it work I had to create a fake itinerary to send to my family and alert them that my phone wouldn’t work outside of Finland in order to make up for the time I would be spending on the plane without wifi. Well, my cover almost got blown when my travel day turned cray. Between boarding planes, maneuvering foreign airports — literally — and the lack of wifi, my family started to panic when they hadn’t heard from me for about 12 hours. I usually text everyone when I board and land so they know I’m alive…thought I’d stir it up a little by not having a moment to contact anyone until I landed in Chicago. Whoops. Anyway, it all worked out! It was so weird being back in the States; seeing a normal outlet and hearing English. I think what I was most glad to see was the dollar sign!
While at home I made sure to take full advantage of everything I missed. Chipotle, naturally, was my first stop followed by sushi, Jimmy John’s, Cheesecake Factory and Mama’s cooking. The first surprise was for my sisters in Cincinnati. They came down for a Bengals game where I surprised them at the hotel they would be staying at the night before the game. Lots of screaming and tears. After a night out and the game, my sisters headed back to Cleveland to get everything into place to surprise my mom. My mom didn’t expect my boy to show for Christmas dinner, let alone her own daughter, so my sisters had to make sure enough food would be prepared. On Christmas Eve morning I boarded the Greyhound up to Cleveland where my sisters scooped me and we headed home for the biggest surprise. Now, my mom is pretty hard to catch off guard but BOOOYYYY did we get her!! In order to get my mom out of the house we acted like one of our dogs, Bella, had ran away while my youngest sister was walking her — this actually happens pretty often with our dog. My mom came out of the house, lounge clothes and all, to find me holding our beloved Bella. Shocked is the only word I can use to explain her reaction. I’ve seen my mom cry one time I’m her life, you can imagine my joy when I saw tears start to form in her eyes as she realized I was actually home for Christmas. The best part: when my mom said “I don’t have any presents for you”. Hahaha, priceless.
Truly, this Christmas was the best one as far as I can remember. To be able to spend time with my family and my awesome boy made my week perfect. When I first thought I wouldn’t be able to come home I was really excited to travel throughout Europe and see my friends but as December crept closer and our break was in sight, I was very glad to be going home. Being able to simply relax in a familiar environment isn’t only reenergizing, it’s motivating.
Since I pulled of the most epic surprise I’ve ever planned to this date, I’m not really sure how I will top this one…but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
Hope everyone had a great holiday!
NOTE: If you want to see my sister’s reaction to my surprise at the the hotel or witness my mom shedding a few tears of joy hop on over to my FACEBOOK PAGE ! Videos have been uploaded!
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