17: The Birthday of My Dreams – Part One: The Meeting


Anne-Marie’s Notes: I am so very excited to have my daughter, Lindsey, graciously writing some guest posts for my blog about our 2009 AZ Trip. Of course, no arm twisting was needed for the talented author to compile the tale.

If you have not already, you might want to read the Adoption Story to get a better understanding of our relationship.

Part One is broken down into 4 segments: Preface, The Meeting, The Long Expected Party, & The Adventure.

The Trip – Day #1; The Meeting

I could hardly believe it when I found myself standing on Allie’s doorstep, helping her carry her luggage down the driveway to the car (okay, okay, so maybe I wasn’t carrying her luggage – Dad was carrying her suitcase, I was just walking with her).

Anyway, we’d arranged to meet Anne-Marie and the kids, who had flown into Phoenix (DH wasn’t coming). After a seemingly lengthy conversation via cell phones, we finally decided to meet at a random gas station. We arrived first, and Dad proceeded to fill up the car. Allie and I decided it was a great time for us to use the WC (the European abbreviation for restroom) for the following reasons:

a) We still had about an hour or so more driving before we reached Sedona.
b) So we could get it out of the way before Anne-Marie and kids got there.

Our excellent plan failed utterly, for at that moment, a silver Toyota Highlander pulled into the gas station parking lot, the window rolled down, and Anne-Marie waved to us. We smiled and waved back, and proceeded on toward our point of destination, only to find the door locked.

So, we headed inside to the cashier for the key. What she handed us was a huge orange monstrosity with a seemingly puny key connected to it.

Having successfully gained access to our point of destination, we headed back to the WC. Anne-Marie and the kids met us at the WC door. In my creative thoughts I’d never imagined such a meeting place – in front of a restaurant would’ve been more suited for this wonderful reunion.

After all of the formalities and many hugs and “Wow, you’ve really grown in the past 3 years!”, we climbed backed into our cars and headed north for Sedona. We caravanned; Dad in the lead and Anne-Marie following us in her rental car.

The hour or so of driving time flew by as Allie and I listened to Adventures in Odyssey and took pictures out the windows. We could hardly wait to see what the next 5 days would hold!

At last we espied the red peaks of Sedona in the distance. I tapped Allie and we removed our headphones long enough for me to tell her “Welcome to Sedona, Arizona.”

We made our traditional stop at New Frontiers, a grocery store in Sedona, for groceries! (We couldn’t get enough food for four people in the car with all of our luggage – we had a hard enough time packing sandwiches for the road! And of course Anne-Marie needed to.)

Something you must know at this point is that I hate any kind of sugar! I hate birthday cake and cupcakes and things like that, and I have proudly not eaten anything along those lines for the past 5 years! I only have one weak exception – carrot cake. Allie had been deprived of ever tasting that carrot flavored heaven. So I couldn’t wait to give her the experience.

As Allie and I strolled down the freezer aisle in our parkas (okay, okay, maybe not parkas), Allie looked longingly at the chocolate ice cream and explained to me that she’d told her Mom she’d be good on this trip and not eat any ice cream or sugar.

I stopped in front of the vanilla ice cream and grabbed a container, much to her shock. Then I explained how her desire to be at my birthday party would come true – complete with carrot cake.

Allie’s face lit up. “I’m sure Mommy will let me make an exception…because it’s your birthday.”

Next Installment: 17: The Birthday of My Dreams – Part One: The Long Expected Party

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