I am happy to report that my sister and I pulled off our holiday surprise without a hitch. I left on Friday night at about 8, after finally getting my rental car. I spent the night driving and made it to Santa Fe by about 2 am. I turned in for the night, planning on sleeping until about 10 and then getting on the road by 11. But a combination of excitement and the weird noises coming from the heater had me up by6:30 and on the road again by 8.
As I drove the most familiar route of I-40 westbound from Albuquerque, I had lots of funny memories of all the times my family and I had driven that stretch of road; all the strange outposts selling “authentic” Native American goods with strange names like “Jackrabbit,” “Two Guns,” and “Twin Arrows.”
Just after I crossed the New Mexico/Arizona border, my mom called me just to get more information about my visit that she thought would be happening next weekend. I chatted with her and got off the phone, laughing to myself that she had no clue I was a mere 90 miles away.
I arrived in Flagstaff a-ok and spent the afternoon hanging out with my sister, her husband, and my little twinkie, who I discovered has an obsession with boobs. He sat on my lap, looked at me, said, “nice boobs,” and then copped a feel. Needless to say, that caught me a little off guard. The kid is two and a half and he’s infatuated with boobs already. Daddy must be proud.
My sister and I awoke just before 6 am on Christmas morning and drove out to my parents’ house in our pajamas and snuck in the back door. We ran into their room and jumped in their bed, saying that Santa had come and could we open presents, just like when we were kids. My mom, half asleep, said, “who’s there? Who am I hugging?” and then realized it was me and about suffocated me with hugs. Needless to say, they were both quite surprised, as was my aunt, who didn’t get up for about an hour after that.
We enjoyed breakfast together and then went back to my sister’s house to get dressed and get her family to go back out there for Christmas. We hung out and watched movies and played games all night and then came back to my sister’s house, where her husband and I stayed up till 2 am chatting. It was a great day, and by far, the best Christmas ever.