When last I left you, I’d picked up the ring and all who knew squealed and May was upon us with long drives and graduations and parties and putting The Inn back together.
Which we did here and there and any time that we could.
I’d come up on a Monday and clean out some of the barn and meet the painter or carpenter or floor guy. I’d drive home Monday night.
Sam and I would come up on Wednesday and move heavy furniture into place, hang curtains, and then hang lights in the barn the next morning before heading home for Gabe’s pre-graduation awards night.
I’d come up the next day and toile the place up, hang lanterns, sweep floors, and clean spider webs out of windows and corners and head home for Gabe’s graduation.
It was like that.
And a bit tiring.
But also, there had been an interesting plot twist.
Mac was getting a little too question-y and needed to be distracted. So I asked her if she would help me surprise… Jack.
I told her that I was bummed that we would not get to celebrate Jack’s birthday later this month because she and he are moving to Seattle right around then.
I said that I wanted to surprise him with an early birthday, so if she could let me know what his favorite craft beer was, I would get it. And I also wanted to get him a cake, and that’s how we would kick off our vacation that first night before we went to Acadia. I would go up to The Inn/our house a day early “to wash the sheets and make the beds and tidy up because I am so excited to show you all the renovation and I want it to be perfect”.
She got all excited. Told her father all about the surprise for Jack when they went out for their afternoon coffee last week, and how there would even be a cake when they all got to the house on Monday, and where would the cake be?
In the barn.
So on Sunday (the proposal-slash-kick-off-of-the-fake-vacation being the next day) I headed to Maine to finish some stuff in the house and then to the airport to pick up a few more things…
I know, they were so laid back and lame.
And I filled Vanessa, Krissy, and Steph in as we picked up their bags and drove up to the house.
The Plan: Mac, Jack, Sam, Gabe, JoHn, and Granny would arrive the next day at about 4:00 in the afternoon (JoHn’s story was that they could not leave earlier than 1:00 from the Dunstable house because he had to be there for a conference call). This would give me and the girls time to do the last touch ups in the barn.
When they arrived, Mac would help me organize people for family photos (which we never, ever take I am telling you. We are not fans of the posed family photo session, so it was particularly funny that she was going along with this). We would do one photo with the water in the background and then I would ask everyone to pose in front of the barn and then my queue to Mac would be that I wanted to show everyone the inside of the barn because I had just redone the floor. Sam and Gabe, being in on the plan to surprise Jack (?!) would each open a door and Jack would be so surprised by his birthday cake and craft beer.
And the kicker?
Mac was so excited, because she had just started a YouTube channel and she was going to video tape the entire thing for her new vlog.
No, I am not kidding.
She was going to video tape the whole thing.
“Sounds okay to me!” I said.
So, on Monday morning, the girls and I got up to complete the finishing touches…
But then suddenly we were done too early so we compared shoes.
And we went into town to get some bridal magazines and eat some food.
And then I got a text that everyone had left the house in Dunstable, you know, to alert me.
The text was from Mac.
Did I mention she was in charge of texting me at certain points along the way so I could be ready for “Jack’s surprise” when they got here?
She texted when they left (three-hour warning).
When they crossed into Maine (two hours to go).
When they were at Wiscassett (about 25 minutes or so away).
When they hit Boothbay (about 10 minutes to go).
When they hit Boothbay Harbor (about 5 minutes to go).
And when they crossed the bridge to Southport (about a quarter of a mile away).
That she was coming.
To her own engagement.
She got out of the car, all pretty and ready to continue to record for Jack’s surprise early birthday (she had been recording herself and the sites in spurts all the way along her ride).
And then she organized the family so I could take their pic in front of the water (you may want to take special note of Sam, who has no poker face at all, in the next several photos (for those who don’t know, Sam is the one trying to eat Mac’s head in the next pic).
Then she moved everyone in front of the barn… which they all took very seriously.
And then, on my queue, she and Sam stepped up to open the doors for the big surprise. Sam’s face slays me. Mac is actually taping me, Jack, JoHn, Gabe, and Granny… because she doesn’t want to miss Jack’s reaction.
I think maybe the next few require no explanation.
Not bad for a half kid.
Oh, but then that was not all! There were wHoops and hugs and we were all so happy…
But, sadly, I’d forgotten the champagne (at least I said I did) and so I hung my camera on my shoulder and dramatically clapped twice, nice and loud. And there were footsteps from the hayloft and three young ladies descended the stairs with towels draped over their arms and champagne bottles in their hands…
And Mac had a celebratory glass of champagne with great friends and new fiance…
Oh, the manicure?
Did you think that meant she knew it was coming?
About a month ago, we were watching someone get a manicure on a show, and Mac turned to me and said, “Remember when we went together and I got that manicure before we went to Disney World and I got mine with orange and black stripes so I could be like Tigger? We should do that again someday.”
I suggested we might get one before this vacation.
You know, the fake one we never took?
Something tells me she isn’t disappointed at all.
Thanks for readin’.
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