Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Love Surprises

 Over 5 months ago I got a call from a friend of ours, Nicky, who is married to one of Chris' BEST friends, Willie. Willie and Chris have been friends since they were 4 years old and even though they have not been living anywhere close to each other for over 15 years now they have remained very good friends. Nicky called me because she wanted to plan a surprise for Willie and she wanted us to be involved! They live in Illinois so we don't really get to see each other that often so we planned a surprise vacation for Willie's birthday!  
Once we decided Pensacola would be the perfect vacation spot for all of us we booked the hotel, Nicky booked their plane tickets and Chris and I got my car all ready for the trip (so we thought . . .)

Chris and I left town Wednesday afternoon right after I got home from school. We were headed for Biloxi, MS, but we never made it. Chris was driving and at 11:40pm he woke me up and said, "Babe something wrong, the cars not working and all the lights are on!" As I woke up my poor car was coasting to a stop. Chris had stopped at a red light and when we pushed the gas to go, that was it, the car was done, no warnings. :(  We found ourselves on the side of the road in Hattiesburg, MS which is just about an hour from Biloxi. I called our insurance since we have roadside assistance (THANK YOU GOD!)  and they sent out a guy to try to jump start it since we really were not sure what the problem was. Like I said, there was no warning, no smell, no leak! After a failed attempt to jump start it in the rain, yes, it was RAINING! We had to wait for the insurance to send out a tow truck. While we were waiting for the tow truck the insurance sent out a local police officer the check on us. He informed us not to leave our car or stay in any of the hotels within walking distance, "Everything will be missing in the morning!" - no joke, those were his exact words! So we waited in our car, at 3:15am the tow truck finally arrived and towed the car to a Firestone, 4 miles up the road.:(  This was the view from our car from 11:40pm-3:15am

The tow truck finally arrived!!!
After the tow truck dropped us off and we rolled the car back into a spot we grabbed all the beach towels out of the trunk and wrapped up to try to keep warm and get some sleep. Firestone opened at 7am so as soon as they unlocked the doors we went in to get help. At that time we still had some hope that we would be able make it to Pensacola (just about 3hrs away) in time to pick up Willie and Nicky from the airport at 3:40pm. At 8:15am when they figured out what was wrong with it we knew there was no way we were going to make it in time to meet them at the airport. They told us that we needed a new timing belt, water pump and some other things but the kicker was that even if they did all that work it was a 50/50 shot that they car may or may not work again! At 1:30pm the parts arrived and they got to work on the car and we started praying! 5:30pm was the moment of truth! Everyone in the shop held their breathe as we waited to see what would happen and when the car started we heard cheering all over the shop! 14 hrs later we were on the road again!

Earlier that morning in Chicago Nicky woke Willie up, gave him the airline tickets and told him to get dresses (she had already packed their bags). Nicky text us right before they departed from Chicago but at that time we didn't know what to tell her about the car so we waited. They had a lay over in Dallas so she "went to the bathroom" to get away from Willie and called us. Chris told her everything and they decided that she would get a taxi to get them to the hotel and do her best to keep everything a surprise!

We made it to Pensacola at about 8:30 that evening. Nicky text us the room number and we headed up to the room! Y'all have no idea how excited Chris was!
The power had gone out before we got there & the hotel was sending up someone to work on the cable so when Nicky opened the door she said, "Oh, it's the cable guy!" When Willie got up off the bed and saw
Chris he froze. You can't see it in the picture but Willie totally teared up! :)
It was a PeRfEcT SuRpRiSe!!! It is still hard to believe that we pulled it off!  We planned everything out for almost 1/2 a year and Willie had NO CLUE!!

Did I mention that Willie was so happy to see Chris?

Our hotel was beautiful and it was right on the beach which made it even better! 
Here is the view from our balcony. . .
We had so much fun! The next morning the weather was a little rainy but we went out to the beach anyway.

Each night we would get all cleaned and a head out to try one of the fun restaurants there. 
The rest of the time the weather was perfect and we were outside and on the beach as mush as possible!

On Sunday (Willie's Birthday) we went out for a nice dinner and surprised him with a little birthday cake!

Monday we decided to take a dolphin cruise! After we made the decision to go on the little cruise I remembered that Chris gets sea sick on ferry boats, you know the kind you stay in your car and they shuttle you back and forth, so we planned a head and had him take some Dramamine. The max dose was 4 pills so before we left he took 2 and as we were sitting there waiting to take off he said he really thought he might need the other 2 cause he was starting to feel it. The 2 hr cruise was great and we had a lot of fun!

We saw dolphins and we had a dance party! The captain thought that since Nicky and I were taking picture and recording Willie and Chris dancing that we needed our own little duet on the bow of the boat, in front of everyone!

After the dolphin cruise we headed back to the hotel to watch the sunset on the beach. 

One of the side effect of Dramamine is that it can make you tired. Well the meds did everything they said they would do, Chris didn't get sea sick and hours later he was exhausted. We decided that we would just order pizza and hang out at the hotel the rest of the night and it is a good thing we did. No joke, Chris was having a hard time staying awake to finish his dinner. Poor guy!!!

Tuesday morning we woke up early and packed up all out stuff and headed out to take Willie and Nicky to the airport. :(
After dropping them off Chris and I began our very uneventful 11 hr drive home!


  1. That guy Willie is a lucky guy!

  2. Awesome!!! Willie is a lucky guy. He is truly blessed to have great friends and family. And we are as blessed to have him part of our life. What a great surprise.

  3. Wow!!!! What an awesome story!!!! Though I do not know you all at all, I am rejoycing in your success story. It was truely a miracle that you all got to fufill your surprise trip!!!!