Last month, I told you about a simple invitation that strengthened bonds of friendship. This month’s story contains a special surprise that was nearly impossible to keep secret!
Staying in the bed and breakfast that I described in a previous post is something my mother has only experienced once in her lifetime. The image of her walking in the fifteen-foot high entrance door with her suitcase and looking around with wide eyes of amazement is something I will never forget.
So as I think about plans for our annual spring “girl trip,” I talk to my husband, who agrees we should splurge and surprise her with a second stay. I immediately go online. Arrangements are made. Anticipation grows…
There are close calls during conversations with my daughter:
“Where are we staying?” she asks.
“Where do we usually stay?” I counter before quickly changing the subject. “Will you please put this clean laundry up in your room?”
There are unexpected phone calls from the incredible inn hostess, Rebecca:
Mom pulls my phone out of my purse because I’m driving. “Your phone says ‘Wildwood B&B’…Isn’t that the bed and breakfast? Why would they be calling you? Are you up to something?”
“Oh,” I respond, “I looked at several places on the internet when I was making our reservations, and I left a comment on her website. Isn’t she so sweet to call me? What a nice lady she is!” (Well, that is all true…I just left out the part about booking rooms at that particular location.)
We finally end up at the Inn under the ruse of showing the place to my daughter’s friend, despite my mother’s protests: “I’m not bothering these nice people. They are so busy and will be checking in guests soon. I’ll wait here for you.”
“Hmmm…she won’t get out of the car,” I think to myself. “How do I work this one out?”
The girls and I get out, cameras in hand, and walk around the corner of the building toward the front entrance.
A wonderful staff lady pops out the front door, introduces herself as Charlotte, calls me by name, and ushers us in the front door to show us around, while the girls march up the porch steps behind me and look at each other in confusion.
I reveal the big surprise to the girls and soak in their squeals of delight, causing Charlotte’s jaw to drop. “They didn’t know?! You are a tricky one!”
We head back out the door to gather my mother. I ask Charlotte if she will break the news to Mom, and I give her a suggestion of what to say. She is immediately on board with the idea.
She strides up to my mother’s open car window with a hearty, “Hello! Welcome! Since you’re here, why don’t you just go ahead and stay?”
I have already leaned my head into the driver’s window, grinning like the Cheshire Cat, fully expecting my mother to turn around and yell at me for tricking her. Instead, I barely can make out the words, “Oh, no, we can’t. We already have reservations at a hotel, but thank you.”
Charlotte looks across at me helplessly, so I add, “No, Mom, maybe we should just go ahead and stay HERE. Yeah, we should do that!”
She turns to me with her brows furrowed together. The instant she sees my painfully-wide grin, her expression changes. “You did it AGAIN, didn’t you? You sneaky rat! Are we staying here?”
“Yes we are!” I exclaim triumphantly.
We all burst out laughing, and happy tears glisten in our eyes as another special mother-daughter-granddaughter trip is off to a great start…