I love it when a surprise works!

me and my brother and sister. love you guys!!!
me and my brother and sister. love you guys!!!

Our good time overload continued this past weekend when we made a semi-secret trip to Pittsburgh, PA to attend a surprise party for my brother-in-law Tony, who is turning 70. My brother and sister-in-law came, both of my nephews (my sister & brother-in-law’s kids, that is) and their families, Tony’s two older brothers, as well as several close friends. The awesome part was that he was actually, really, truly surprised. As in take-his-breath-away-make-him-tear-up surprised (that’s the best kind, of course). I give my sister full credit for this. She’s as lousy at keeping a secret as I am (and trust me, that’s lousy). My great niece, who is 6 going on 7 even knew and ALSO kept the secret!

As we are leaving for France, uh, tomorrow, we had to pretty much fly there, say surprise! then jump on a plane and come back home for one more full day of work before leaving again. This has effectively left our internal clocks completely futzed up. but it was soooo worth it!

Normally when I go to Pittsburgh I stay with my sister so this was a fun trip – we had to stay in downtown Pittsburgh because, well, seeing us would have certainly given the surprise away! We stayed at the Fairmont, a really nice hotel in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh that had a really nice wine bar called Andy’s where they had live jazz on Saturday night after the party – a nice way to chill out at the end of a busy day.

We had fabulous weather – better than So Cal! On Sunday morning my brother and I went out for a seven mile run in near perfect weather – overcast skies, temps around 55, gentle breezes. I was super jazzed because I kept up with him and I don’t think he was cutting me much slack. After that we headed over to my sister’s to visit with everybody post-party and chatted and hung out until around 2pm when we headed back to the airport andĀ  flew home, encounteringĀ  a weather delay into LAX due to a severe storm. Weird! All in all it was a wonderful weekend, full of Foursquare check-ins and family, family, family.

Pics are here. Some of them, anyway. There may have been more cameras than people. And really, let me just say now that my great niece Lauren is just too photogenic and cute for words. Hence the many shots of her looking, as always, photogenic and cute. There are also a few shots of the birthday boy and everybody else.

I have to add that every chance I get to spend with my family just reminds me how much I love them all. Sometimes I feel so blessed. Well, a lot of the time. But this past weekend, it was overload time in the love department.

That ends the travel build-up. The really BIG adventure starts tomorrow, when we leave for Paris, baby!