That time we drove 15 hours to go to dinner.

Time to blow the dust off of this bad boy, I think. I hesitate to even sit down to write this, because I know that I wont even know where to start. I last posted right before we took an incredibly impromptu trip to Texas to visit my family. So there — that’s where I’ll start. It’s a fun story, I promise.

So my family has been friends with two other families since I was in the third grade. All of us kids were on the same Odyssey of the Mind team, and our friendship has withstood the test of time. We obviously have all gone on to have families of our own, and it’s hard to keep in touch all of the time, but you never forget who your best friends are, right? Right.

Anyway! So all three of our families were chatting on a Facebook thread on a Thursday. They were talking about how they all planned to meet at Cracker Barrel on Friday at 7:15. One person mentioned Andrew, saying “If you guys want to come, it’ll be our treat!” All of my friends’ parents still live in Texas, in my home town of Corpus Christi, so the invitation was clearly just a “wish you could be here!” kind of thing.

Well, they underestimated our level of crazy.

‘Cause Andrew messaged me (he was upstairs working, I was downstairs working) and said, “Let’s go.”

We made sure we could work from the road (Wifi hotspot, what’s up?!), we packed a bag in haste, loaded the three kids into the SUV and off we went. We were gone within an hour of the original “invitation” being posted on Facebook. We knew to make this work, we’d have to keep it a complete and total surprise. After all, the trip from Phoenix to Corpus Christi was a 15 hour drive, and we wanted the looks on their faces to be worth it! I texted my mom nonchalantly a few times while we were driving — “What’s up? We’re just getting the kids lunch and seeing what we should do for dinner. Thinking about making meatloaf.” She would reply back, saying how she wanted to skype with the kids that night, or asking if we could chat on speaker phone for a bit later on.

The drive there was split over two days — Phoenix to Ft. Stockton, TX, then the rest of the way to Corpus Christi. We arrived at our hotel in Corpus at about 3, picked up a late lunch, and then got ready for dinner. Still — no one had any idea. Not even my sister who lived in Florida! We didn’t tell a soul. So we got to Cracker Barrel at about 6:30 and sat on the rocking chairs out front and just waited. I was so excited I thought I was going to either puke or cry or both.

Then, we saw my mom’s car pull into the parking lot. Andrew watched her park her car in the rear of the restaurant. Then they just sat there. What?! My mom and dad waited in their car for a solid 10 minutes until the other two families showed up and parked alongside them. This was even better than we could’ve hoped for — we’d surprise them all at once!

Finally, they rounded the corner on to Cracker Barrel’s front porch, and there the five of us were — “Hey guys!”

It was so awesome to see the looks on their faces! In a span of about five seconds, you could see them process the following thoughts: “Who’s saying hi? That looks like Ashley and Andrew! That is Ashley and Andrew! Did her mom know that they were coming? Why is Kelly (my mom) screaming? Hugs!”

My mom went absolutely. ballistic. She was totally overcome with emotion, and I knew that when she started screaming, “WHAT?! WHAT?!” That we’d done a good job. We posed for a family pic, and had the best dinner ever. Andrew joked that it was the priciest meal out he’s ever had ;).

Freckleberry Fit

We stayed through Sunday morning, and made it back to Phoenix by Sunday night at about 11:30 PM. We all went to work and school the next day :). Sometimes you just have to do something a little crazy!

Once I get a few more spare moments, I’m going to write a big ol’ weight loss update from the past two weeks. It’s long over due, and I want so badly to do it, but I also need to sleep :). I have talked about slowing down a little bit on my Facebook page (like me, I’m really active over there!), and I’ll go into it a little more when I have a chance. I miss writing about my journey, a lot, so don’t worry — I’m not hanging up my blogging shoes just yet ;).


  1. Kelly says

    I am still reliving that weekend in my mind over & over! Thank you for the surprise of a lifetime! It will go down in family memories for sure!

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