For the last couple of months, I have been a dirty, dirty liar...to my sister. You see, little H-mo is getting married next month and we had a surprise to pull off. Months ago, I asked her if she'd be game for a surprise bridal shower, knowing it would be pretty tough to pull off, but figuring that we were all up for the challenge. When she said yes, we sprung into action (well, we slowly figured things out and made plans).
Challenge number 1 was finding a weekend that this could happen. This is NOT easy when you're trying to pull off a surprise for a flight attendant. Luckily for us, this flight attendant is also a runner and a triathlete- so she HAS to be home for race weekends. That left us 2 options: half-ironman weekend (the first weekend in August) or the weekend of the Canmore half-marathon. We figured a shower and a half-ironman was a little much for a weekend, so we chose the weekend in September.
The plan was to have the shower on Saturday, then a group of us would head to the race in Canmore on Sunday. Unfortunately, she was getting a little suspicious (due to some accidental mentions of me running the race- which she and I had talked about earlier in the year, but that as soon as we started to think that the weekend was an option for the shower, I said I couldn't come) so we needed to figure out what to do. The solution seemed perfect- I should "sign up" for a race here so that there would be no way I could be there.
As if they knew I'd need the perfect cover story, the Montreal Esprit Triathlon was scheduled for Saturday. So, I put it out there on twitter that I was thinking of signing up. She took the bait- and from then on, I was doing my first tri that day. Perfect.
The email trails between the other bridesmaids and I were insane, the getting our stories straight with my parents was kind of funny, but everything went pretty smoothly. I arrived in Calgary late on Thursday night and Friday was a full day of making lists, shopping, and avoiding areas where Heather might be. (I went for a short run on Friday morning and had to do a few laps of some streets because I worried that if I ran in the other direction, I might see her)
Things were going great until I got a text from my sister on Friday night saying "are you awake?" (it would have been close to 10 pm in my time zone, and I had a race the next day). I should have ignored it...but wrote back "I'm in bed...not sure how well I'll sleep." Then my phone rang and it was her. Unfortunately, I was in a loud and crowded restaurant and I wasn't sure what to do. I ran to the hall with the bathroom, was going to go into the "regular" bathroom but thought "eek. what if there is noise???" so I noticed a single bathroom reserved for wheelchairs. I started yanking on the handle (in a bit of a panic" but it was locked. Two waitresses saw me struggling and directed me toward the regular bathroom. I'm sure I sounded like a crazy woman as I said things like "phone...quiet...sister can't know I'm in here...help...PLEASE let me in." Rather than deal with the crazy person, they let me in and I had a 10 minute conversation with my sister about my non-existent triathlon the next day. We hung up with me promising to call her when it was over and with me feeling terrible about lying.
In another stroke of luck, the race I was "signed up for" didn't start until 1:30 pm EST and my age group didn't start until half an hour later. The shower was scheduled for 2 pm MST, Heather was due to arrive between 2:15 and 2:30 so although I should have been finished my race before she was to arrive, I could probably be excused for not calling her quite yet. Of course, she called about 30 mins before she was supposed to arrive (a call that I ignored). We waited, I hoped she wouldn't call again, and I sent instructions to Jordan not to answer his phone if she called.
Finally, we got the message we had been waiting for: she was on her way. Again, we waited and waited (apparently she was on the phone and waiting until she was finished her conversation...also lucky) and finally, she arrived. She opened the door thinking she was coming to my dad's place to pick up a key...so it is no wonder she had such a stellar "surprised look" when she came in:
That look definitely made it all worth it for those of us involved in our weekend triathlon of deception, planning, and partying.
To those of you who were my partners in crime (I didn't want to put your pictures up without your permission)- thank you for such a fun weekend! I was a little sad I couldn't hang out with my sister before the party- but the fun I had with you guys practically made up for it.
Oh- and the race in Canmore? We still did it...but that is for the next post :)