RTW Travel: The Last Stop (Part Deux)

Reunited at last!

Note: This is a follow-up to my first post on my trip to Portland. To read the first post, click here!

Oh how I love a good surprise! And, you may have read that I made a stopover in Portland on my way home last week to surprise my best friend. It was fantastic! I know many of you are dying to hear the details, so here’s how it went down.

Hello, Portland.
My flight landed in Portland ten minutes early. Emily was supposed to be babysitting and hubby John was going to pick me up.  He wasn’t there when I exited security so I went down to baggage, and my bag was there almost immediately. We didn’t really pick a place to meet so I wasn’t sure if I should hang around there or not. I glimpsed back upstairs again but didn’t see him. Back down in baggage I came across an information desk that had a phone on the counter. I didn’t have a cell phone with me, so I asked if I could use the phone to make a local phone call. I dialed John’s number and as he’s picking up the phone I hear him say, ‘I don’t recognize the number.’ Obviously, there had been a change of plans and Emily was with him. I told him where I was in baggage, hung up the phone, and scrambled to find my camera so I could video what went down. I see them coming from the other end of the baggage area and even though there’s no one around me really, there seems to be no reaction. Does she not see me? John gives a little wave and suddenly she just stops. Moments later I hear, “What the hell?!” Then she says, “What are you doing here?!” Duh, I’m here to surprise you! After tears and hugs, she begins to grasp what’s going on and punches John in the arm. Immediately, she realizes that she was not dragged against her own will to pick up his boss and immediately regrets being angry at him.

It was classic. The babysitting gig got canceled, and she had work to finish for a client presentation the next day. John begged her to come to the airport even though she needed to work on renderings for the next day. Once at the airport, she was quite perturbed that they couldn’t just swing in to pick up his boss. Why did they have to park and go in to get him? Apparently, when I made the phone call that they needed to come to baggage, that was the last straw. Her annoyance level had hit 10. Hearing the story made the surprise even funnier and I was proud of John for putting up with her complaints rather than spilling the beans so he didn’t have to take it.

I made a video but I was laughing and was so excited that it’s shaky (hopefully it won’t make you nauseous). I didn’t let it focus before I started filming, so it’s hard to tell what’s going on. I love her reaction :)

Our five days together flew by. Emily had to work the first three days, but John’s job allowed for me to tag along so I got to hang out with him during the week. Emily tried to infuse some style back into my sloppy wardrobe and took me shopping. We ate at local joints, strung Christmas lights, watched Sex and the City, and cooked together. It felt like old times. I’d say the visit was too short (because it was) but even if I’d had two weeks I’d still feel the same way. People spend their whole lives searching for friends they truly cherish- I realize just how lucky I am. While some (okay many) of you may not care to hear just how big of dorks we are, here are some highlights from the trip.

1. Emily tries to give me a style update so we head to H&M. It’s Friday night and crowded, but they are playing fun hip-hop music. I pull out a subtle dance move here and there much to her horror. I give her a hard time about being self-conscious and she says, “Okay it’s fine, you can dance if you want.” Overjoyed that I have the freedom to really bust a move, I break out my signature dance move (yes I have one) right beside her. Emily immediately changes her mind, demands that I stop, and hides behind a display. Come on, I have great dance moves!

Don't let her fool you- I rubbed off on her and she pulled out some dance moves!

2. John and I, sharing our love of football, did a classic end-zone hip bump.

Hip bump. Oh yeah!

3. We went out to eat to celebrate Emily’s birthday (a little early) while I was in town. When Emily made a trip to the bathroom, I downed her water because I was thirsty and my wine and water were already depleted. She blamed John for it. Whoopsie!

"Who drank my water?"
'I did! I did!'

4. I made a Zimbabwean dish and I think they liked it. It at least tasted better than it looks!

Zimbabwean food

5. Emily discovered Photo Booth (my computer camera) while I cooked. Here’s proof.

5 thoughts on “RTW Travel: The Last Stop (Part Deux)

  • Hi Laura

    I’ve followed your blog from the start and I just want to say it has been an absolute pleasure to read. Sitting at my boring office desk day after day your blog was something I really looked forward to reading and it even inspired me to travel to Watoto Wa Baraka for two weeks last month. I’m delighted you got to return home and surprise your friend and I hope that whatever the New Year brings you will only be good. You should be very very proud of yourself and personally I think you should win some travel blogger of the year competition! As us Irish say, Fair play to ya Laura! :)

  • What a great welcome home! It sounds like it was wonderful to finally get back. And the Zimbabwean food tasted better than it looks? It looks incredible! I’m hungry.

  • Oh my gosh I love that! You guys are so cute! That’s such an amazing welcome home… I’d always fly back to the States via LA so I could swing by my storage unit. Walking yourself to the rental car pick-up is kind of a buzzkill. Glad you hit up H&M! Again, you guys look like so much fun!!

  • Perfect way to ice the cake of your 8-month adventure I think!

    I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a bit over the course of this trip and on Twitter and can’t wait to hear where life takes you next :-)

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