Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Surprise for Heather

My cute sister Heather graduated from San Diego State University at the end of May!  A few of my sisters and I decided it would be fun to show her how proud we were of her and surprise her for her graduation!

It took a lot of planning... Heather knew that my mom and Mike were going with Megan, but she had no idea that Erin and Lauren and I were going to come. My dad and Heather's friend Serena plotted to preserve some tickets for us and they planned the "big reveal" at the Buca di Beppo restaurant in downtown San Diego. We got assigned the Pope room... complete with a bust of the Pope in the middle of the Lazy Susan on the large round table. I have to be honest, it was a little unsettling :).  Heather expected to have dinner with my dad and Ruff, my mom and Mike, and Megan. She wasn't super excited because of possibilities of tension... but she was a sport and went anyway. She was shocked to walk in and see Serena and her parents and another close friend... but it took her several minutes to register that Erin and I were there. She was crying and smiling and laughing. I love surprises like this! We ate (and ate and ate and ate) and had a yummy celebration cake.

The next morning I got up early and met my mom and Mike for a temple session. The San Diego temple is beautiful! They only have sessions each hour, and we just so happened to be there during a Spanish session. I was happy for that, but my mom and Mike needed headphones for the translation. My mom kept wishing for the gift of tongues (maybe the headphones ARE the gift of tongues for these days?).

After the temple I went to the swap meet... fun shopping and people watching there. Then I went to the beach by the Hotel Del Coronado. Someday I want to stay there... but during this trip we just got to hang out on the beautiful beach and soak up some rays. This was the site of the big reveal for Lauren's arrival. It was glorious! I love the beach, particularly when I can snooze or read a magazine without having to chase kids, it was so relaxing! We all missed our kids though, and Erin inspired the "Miss You" message to send our families.

That night we ventured to Old Town for dinner. Once again we tried to eat at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, and once again it was so busy, so we crossed the street and ate at Fred's. Once again, it was delicious!

Can you tell I got a little bit of sun? I really am good at protecting my childrens' skin, just not so much when it comes to me. My face and neck are red... but you should have seen my legs. They hurt for many days. I always say I will do better next time... we'll see.

Mike was smiling! We had to capture that image.

The next day was Sunday, and Lauren and I went to church before the graduation. It was almost comical as we drove around. Lauren lived in San Diego many years ago for awhile, so she mostly knew her way around. I was driving and trying to listen to the GPS while Lauren tried to tell me where to go... it made for a confused and frustrated driver and passenger. Eventually we got there (after turning the car around many, many times) and got to witness Miss Heather receive her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies from the College of Education at SDSU. I'm so proud of Heather! She has worked hard and long to finish this degree.

We went to Balboa Park for a lovely lunch. Heather opened some gifts (the beautiful denim quilt was made by Grandma Cole) and read letters from all the siblings. It was the day of the solar eclipse... some kind, science-inclined people were there with glasses and a telescope that he let hoards of people use to look at the eclipse.

We ended the night at Sunset Cliffs. We had hoped to see a great sunset, but it got really cloudy and overcast. It was still soothing to be near the water again. My family was laughing at my dress because it was so flowy so I started spinning around and it made my mom laugh so hard. I am sure these photos don't capture the hilarity of it all, but it was funny. We stopped for a milkshake at Hodad's. Heather and I cracked up when a youngish, drunkish guy stopped in front of me and looked me up and down and then asked, "How you doin'?" Heather texted "Lisa just got hit on" to Ryan who later told us that he read it and thought it said "Lisa just got hit by a car." I still think it's funny that Ryan finds it more likely that I would get hit by a car then get hit on by another guy...

We had such a great time. Heather was so grateful that we made the effort to go. I loved that Ryan and a few good friends took care of the kiddos so I could escape for a few days. I loved that driving to California in our Prius costs so little money that we could do it! I loved that Heather was so happy that we were there and that we could share her special, amazing occasion.


Sally said...

Lisa, that's where we got married! My favorite part is the atrium where birds fly in. And the multi level celestial room with the cool curving stairs. San Diego is the best. Congrats to your sister!

Ria said...

You're making me homesick! Looks like so much fun.

Kristi said...

You have such a great family. I love how much you do to show love and support. Also, how can you not have a great time in San Diego?!