Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Surprise!

For Gigi's big birthday we wanted to do something really special but just weren't sure what.  Then when we were at his place a few weeks ago, he was showing me pictures on Facebook of his cousin and his airplane.  That is when it hit me!  Gigi used to fly a small airplane he owned and had his pilot's license.  He had given it up when I was very small but still enjoyed talking about planes and the possibility of going up in one again.  I quickly contacted his cousin after we got home to see if he would be interested in concocting a surprise for Gigi.  He was more than interested...he was on it!

We told Gigi that we were traveling up on Friday, October 12.  Little did he know that we had actually traveled up the night before so we could surprise him.  He was at his local McDonald's having coffee with some friends when we walked in and SURPRISE.  He was shocked and even more so when we told him we had something up our sleeves for his morning.  He was a little put out at us and a dear friend who had been conniving behind his back and possibly telling some white lies to get our plan to work.  He wasn't really put out, but he did give us a hard time.

We loaded up in our van and headed to a small local airport.  He claims that as we got close to the airport he had an idea what we might be up to.  He got a great big clue when I missed my turn for the airport and had to turn around.

When we pulled in, he was instantly excited and started telling us all about the airplane.  His cousin was there and excited as well.  He said he had been wanting to get Gigi up in this plane for some time.

Surprise Gigi!
About that plane...It is a T-34 trainer made by Beechcraft. It was in the military from 1956 until today's turboprop version.  It is gorgeous!
  Surprise Gigi!
Cousin (as I will call him from here on out) got Gigi all strapped and in place and they were off.  This plane had power and it was incredible to watch it take it off.  Cousin got it up and took off right over our heads.  It was so cool! Surprise Gigi!
Gigi later told us that once they were up in the air, Cousin turned over the controls to him. WOW! Gigi said that it all came back to him. It must be like not forgetting how to ride a bike. He flew the plane over a local town, lake, and then over his farm. They were gone for about 20 minutes. They swooped over us on there way back then came in for a landing. Surprise Gigi!
Check out that grin! I think he enjoyed his surprise A LOT! Surprise Gigi!
After the plane ride, we all headed out for breakfast together. The girls were really excited about giving Gigi his gifts. We gave him the art work the girls had made. We also put together a Snapfish book full of pictures of Gigi and the girls from the last 6 years. Surprise Gigi! Surprise Gigi! Surprise Gigi!
Now...Gigi thought his birthday celebration was over but little did he know. Dear friend and I had more up our sleeves. On Saturday night he was ready for a quiet meal and some TV. That's not quite what he got. We got together some of his closest friends and family and threw a surprise party! Surprise Gigi!
It was so much fun to surprise him. He didn't have any idea! It was great. We had a dessert bar since Gigi has a pretty big sweet tooth. We also had a DVD made full of pictures from Gigi's 80 wonderful years here on this Earth. It was a wonderful evening! Surprise Gigi!
He got all 80 of those candles blown out in two tries and we didn't have to call the fire department! Surprise Gigi!
It was a really fun weekend. We have been so blessed with 80 years of Gigi! No one can believe he really is 80 and I would have to agree. He is FULL of life and so healthy. We are so thankful for that! This is one of my favorite pictures from the birthday weekend. Surprise Gigi!
Thank you to everyone who helped out that weekend to make it extra special! It was perfect!  I hear he is still talking about it!

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