Lauren turns 23 next week and I will miss it, because I will be in our shared home kingdom. To somewhat make up for this I conspired with Isabel (also missing her bday) and Mark (boyfriend of Lauren) to have a surprise brunch for her this Sunday morning.
This weekend Lauren was dogsitting for friends of friends, a Lakeland terrier called Trevor, in a fabulous 37th floor apartment om 42nd st with close up view of Empire State Building and distant view of entire lower Manhattan including Statue of Liberty. In fact it's where I spent Christmas two years ago with Sam and his family. Yep same place. So fun to visit and pretend we are those kind of people.
Bel and I worked out the plan yesterday: Trevor gets walked at 9am so we would wait in the Starbucks right outside the building and Mark would text us when Lauren left to walk him.
I went shopping yesterday for bagels, muffins, chocolate babka (a Jewish tear-and-share bread), juice and fruit. Isabel bought a to-go multi-serving box of coffee from Starbucks this morning and procured some sparkling wine that she'd snaffled from work.
I was up at 7 and left at 8 to meet Bel with all the food, and as soon as we heard from Mark I snuck out and stood pressed against the wall to watch for Lauren's departure from the building. Once I saw her cross the street we dashed into the building praying she wouldn't turn and see us (we giggled a LOT) and up to the apartment to set the table. We had presents and cards too.
We finished everything in 15 minutes and spent another 15 making jokes with Mark about how we should start a business covering up affairs, due to all the sneaky texting he had to do that morning. I prepped a song to play when she came back and we ducked behind the sofa ready to jump up and shout surprise. There was a false alarm when a neighbour opened their door and Miss Reactions here flung herself instantly to the ground while Mark and Bel faffed about for a second. Then I learned that it wasn't her and they laughed a lot.
When she did arrive back Mark keeping watch and told us to hide while he got in prime videoing position.
She came in and didn't notice anything initially so we played a bar of the song and then popped up from behind the sofa with a shout of 'SURPRIIIISE!'
We did our job to a tee I think based Lauren's reaction. She was gobsmacked into silence the she fake cried then she real cried. After the initial shock (it was still only about half 9, poor girl) she took a quick shower and we sat down to a fantastic brunch complete with mimosas. I'll let pictures tell the rest.