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SURPRISE! Visiting Home for a Week | zephyr sunrise

SURPRISE! Visiting Home for a Week

Zeph's reunion with the toys we left at home

Zeph’s reunion with the toys we left at home

We couldn’t help ourselves. Chris found cheap tickets home to California from Fort Lauderdale sort of last minute, we had a place to leave our RV (more on that in the next blog), and everything came together very quickly. We didn’t tell family or most friends we were coming. We just showed up! We taught Zeph how to say “surprise!” in the rental car on the drive from LAX home. We texted with Chris’s parents to make sure they were home, pulled up in the driveway and… they weren’t home (they had gone out for a quick dinner). So we went in the house (good thing we had our old house key on the keychain still) and waited. And then Chris said “Erin, go pick up Las Golandrinas for dinner” so I drove to our favorite take-out Mexican restaurant to grab some taquitos and mini bean and cheese burritos. As I drove up the hill to Chris’s parents’ house, I saw their Kia (my old car) pull into their driveway. I waited in our inconspicuous rental car outside while they unknowingly walked into a house with two boys waiting for them. Thank God Chris’s dad didn’t have a heart attack! I’m sorry I missed the big moment. Apparently Chris’s dad Ron was surprised but adjusted quickly, while his mom Kathy took a minute to absorb it all. I think she was so surprised she was almost scared for a minute of the seeming apparitions in her house. But it was all real!

Catching the train to the Ft Lauderdale airport

Catching the train to the Ft Lauderdale airport

We decided to go home because we missed everyone so much, and we’d been trying desperately to get friends and family out to come visit us and travel with us for a short time. Between jobs and finances, no one had been able to make it out yet. So we figured we’d go back to them! We got to see Chris’s parents, sisters and brother and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, Nana, my mom and step-dad, my bro and his wife and nieces and nephews, my dad and step-mom, my grandparents, my cousin and her three kids, and as many friends as we could squeeze in between. Chris and I both agreed that we needed another week just to recover from our week of visiting visiting visiting. I think we both thought we’d go home and have date night every night since we had babysitters, and go see movies and go to dinner and just RELAX. That didn’t really happen. We went out without Zeph one night I think, and went to the dentist without him (one of the other major reasons we needed to go home – it was time for a cleaning!), but spent most of our time playing with Zeph and toting him around town to see as many people we love as we could. We did get to see a movie (Silver Linings Playbook – thanks for babysitting, Kylie, Zeph still loves you as much as he did before we left). I tried to surprise my mom but she wasn’t home when I drove over to see her so I ended up telling her over the phone we were home, which was not nearly as fun but at least we got to spend time with her. I did get to surprise my grandma though. I drove over to her house with Zeph, but the car wasn’t in the driveway. I called, hoping at least grandma was home if grandpa had run out to do errands or a job. I got lucky: she was home! We chatted for a minute, then I asked her what she was doing. She said she was about to clean her oven. I said “oh. Can you come to your back door?” She said “suuuure” and we were standing on the stairs when she opened the door. She was very excited and thank God she didn’t have a heart attack either!

Zeph in a real bathtub. Not sure what to do with all that room.

Zeph in a real bathtub. Not sure what to do with all that room.

Zephyr was an amazing traveler. We got direct flights from Ft Lauderdale to LAX. The flight was over five hours. On the way to California Zeph slept the first three hours, then watched Dumbo on the ipad or played with our lovely seat mate, a lady from Washington state. On the flight back to Florida he slept two hours at least, then watched some more Dumbo and ate lots of snacks. He’s such a trooper. People are constantly telling me how well behaved he is, and how Chris and I to be commended. Honestly, I don’t think it really has anything to do with us. He’s just an easy going kid who understands most things around him and charms the heck out of anyone who spends even a few minutes with him. He’s wise beyond his years at 22 months old. And he communicates and speaks very well. So we can’t take credit for him being awesome – it’s all him.
Seeing so many friends and family in such a short amount of time was a little overwhelming but well worth it. We miss you all already. Get out to the Moho and go on an adventure with us!

Waiting for the shuttle to the hotel in Ft Lauderdale after a late flight back to FL

Waiting for the shuttle to the hotel in Ft Lauderdale after a late flight back to FL





  • Dan

    Welcome home! It’s so funny because during our first cross country trip, we too took a flight from Fort Lauderdale back to LAX for a week long visit 🙂

  • Meg

    Sounds like a lovely visit! Can’t wait to meet the little charming boy…

  • Diane Palmer

    I’ll come back out!!! Just need to figure out a way to get some coverage with my job! Love you all much!!!!!

  • Allie

    You forgot to mention surprising me and me screaming in excitement in zephs face. The surprise ever!