That wasn't the whole truth.
I lied by omission.
There was something I HAD to leave out because it was a BIG SURPRISE. I couldn't tell you guys because JHo reads my blog (of course she does!), and if I had spilled the beans on this and ruined the surprise her husband planned for her birthday, I'm pretty sure I would have been stoned to death!
For serious. You guys, this surprise was planned and executed as if the Secret Service themselves were in on it.
The cruise JHo and I are taking is true. We ARE indeed doing that. That is a separate thing from what her husband had planned for her big day.
JHo's husband is Joe, and he hatched, plotted, schemed and orchestrated this elaborate plan on THE PLANNER herself. He made it so she had all her best friends on hand to celebrate her birthday with.
Three of us had to be flown in for the festivities. One local friend was charged with making semi-fake plans with JHo to get her to Joe's Crab Shack where the surprise would be sprung. Joe had to round everyone up at the airport, which was nearly foiled because I almost didn't make my connecting flight. My luggage didn't make it.
Do you have any idea how hard it was for this social media lovin' girl to keep her tweeting fingers from saying anything about the fact that I was leaving home all by myself for the first time since my daughter was born? Can you imagine my excitement? My anxiety??
But everything came together with perfect timing. JHo spent just the right amount of time shopping at Ikea before heading to the restaurant. We pulled up JUST AS JHo was walking in, her friend making sure she didn't spot us.
The plan was that Joe would give JHo "gifts" that were framed pictures of the three of us who flew in. However, my picture was in my suitcase which didn't make the connection in Las Vegas. So I called her instead, and walked into the restaurant as I was trying to have some sort of normal conversation with her. I was failing miserably.
Thankfully, it wasn't hard to find her. When she spotted me, she burst into tears. I quickly came around the table for a hug.
Her other peeps came in and surprised her. There was an "OMG!" and a "NO!" or two or twelve. JHo was shaking with excitement as she started putting the pieces together.
"LIARS!", she called each and every one of us.
Yes, we're liars, and damn proud of it!
We ate lunch, my luggage was retrieved and we headed to the JHome in Chico where we were whisked off to a birthday dinner with more friends and family.
The next day we took a mini tour of the Sierra Nevada Brewery and went bar hopping. I had Fireball and "Scooby snack" shots, and a Sex on the Beach. We attempted to dance to the longest techno rap song ever, were refused entry into the Crazy Horse, took a cab home where a few of us sampled apple pie moonshine and I ate the other half of the best turkey melt in creation, albeit cold and not at all still melty.
On Saturday we watched my Godson's basketball game, dashed into McDonald's for sustenance and made our way on BFE two-lane roads back to the Sacramento airport which was eerily empty, but therefor seriously easy to get through.
Once aboard my flight home I settled into the row I had all to myself and thought about the whirlwind that had just ensued....
Prior to the trip I figured getting to do this would make waiting for our cruise together easier. I wondered when the last time was JHo and I had spent any time just the two of us. You know, before husbands and babies and LIFE. I thought hard and could only come up with the weekend we went shopping for my wedding dress 16 years ago. Suddenly I ached for just a few moments to sit, relax and TALK to my friend. It feels like a very selfish thought after having a fabulous and fun time with such cool people.
Very cool people who are good liars, helped pull off the birthday coup of the decade and will leave JHo questioning everything for the rest of her life!