A Big Surprise
Feb. 9, 2008
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We had managed to keep it a secret for more
than 4 months: This was not actually a familiar
vacation to Southern California, but a surprise
trip to Disney World in Florida -- a place they've
long wanted to go to, but never seemed to be able
to convince us to take them.
We managed to keep it a surprise about as long
as we could have hoped: They were busy singing
Weird Al songs in the backseat, and didn't notice
that we were taking an unusual route: across the
Golden Gate Bridge, through the City, and to the
airport. Finally, as we pulled into an airport
parking lot, Em asked, "We're flying?"
For an hour or so, that was enough of a thrill,
that we were flying rather than driving to Long Beach.
They were so excited they didn't notice that the
check-in screen and boarding passes both mentioned
something about Dallas and Orlando.
Em began to suspect something was wrong when we
reached our gate and the board read "Dallas." When
we asked her to check the tickets, she looked up in
shock: "Daddy? We're going to Orlando."
At that point we produced packets we had prepared
a month earlier: "Top Secret: Your mission has changed."
Here's a short Quicktime movie (7 MB) of the
moment of realization.