Surprise Weekend In Florida! Part I

south beach


My surprise weekend in Florida has now come and gone! I’m going to break my trip up in two posts, with the food to come tomorrow.

So. Surprising Heather for her birthday had been a MAJOR SECRET for months. Her mom reached out to me months ago to let me know she was planning a brunch for Heather’s 40th birthday and thought it would be fun if I surprised her by being there. My surprise trip to Florida was in the works BEFORE Heather even came to New York to surprise me for my 40th birthday in June!

Heather was under the impression that I couldn’t come down for her birthday — she thought I had a family Bar Mitzvah to attend.

I scheduled a Friday morning flight, with the surprise to happen at Heather’s office. With her coworkers in on the surprise, I had them put a “big client” meeting in her calendar to ensure she would be in the office for early Friday afternoon. And then, the big client would be me! Her office even went ahead and ordered the cookie cake and balloons to celebrate.

Well, things didn’t exactly work according to my plan as my flight was severely delayed for a mechanical issue. I don’t even want to talk about it. I should have taken off at 8:50 AM but that flight wasn’t ready to leave NY until 3:00 PM.

I ended up switching my original flight (to West Palm) in order to take a different plane (to Ft. Lauderdale) just so I could get to Florida as soon as possible. I spent most of the day PACING THE AIRPORT (again, I can’t even talk about it) and first landed at 4:00 PM, losing the day and ruining the chance for the whole office surprise. We won’t even discuss Heather calling me while I was pacing the airport just to chat. I had to pretend I was home working, not pacing the airport.

surprise selfie

With the help of Heather’s husband, we rerouted the surprise which took place over dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. She walked in to meet her husband and kids for dinner (after her really long hair appointment after work) and there I was. The funniest part of the surprise moment was that Heather called me on her way to meet them and I pretended that I was on my way to my son’s hockey game. It was pretty funny.

So in addition to being down for the brunch, Heather decided on a whim about a month ago to start planning a fun weekend in Miami with her Florida friends. I scrambled like you can’t imagine when she started planning this Miami thing because she originally started to plan it for next weekend, which is my son’s actual birthday AND not the weekend I would be in Florida. I contacted all of her friends so that they would tell Heather they were only free this past weekend, so that it would work for me to be part of the fun.

south beach

We stayed at The 1 Hotel in South Beach. The weather was gorgeous!


1 hotel pool

In case anyone is wondering, I was in constant contact with Heather’s friend who was helping her to plan the weekend. I needed to ensure they picked rooms big enough to include me since Heather didn’t have me as part of her group count. I’m not the girl who can sleep anywhere — I need a bed!


one hotel

south beach ocean

We sat by the pools (including the roof top), and went down to the beach before going out for dinner.


Sunday morning was the best because we went for a long walk on the beach right after the sunrise. I had actually stayed at this hotel when it was the Gansevoort so it was weird in a sense because I knew exactly where I was, having been there in the past. Only now it was a different hotel, redesigned in so many ways yet in the exact same spot in South Beach.

south beach morning

one hotel pool

I want to do this every morning.

south beach south beach

After the beach, we got ready for the brunch. I’ll share all of my food photos in tomorrow’s post!

miami weekend

[bctt tweet=”My weekend in Miami is on the blog today! #weekend #southbeach #miami #daylife #1hotelsouthbeach #ontheblog” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Have you ever pulled off a surprise before? Tell me about it!

Been to South Beach? Favorite hotel and restaurant?

Author: The Cookie ChRUNicles

Hi! I'm Meredith. Join me while I run and cook my way through single motherhood. It is always an adventure trying to teach my 12 year old son the benefits of an active lifestyle combined with healthy eating while of course, still leaving room for dessert.

5 thoughts on “Surprise Weekend In Florida! Part I”

  1. It sounds like you had such a fun trip! That’s awesome that you were able to pull off that surprise on Heather – I don’t think I could keep that big of a secret for that long.

  2. I’m so glad that the surprise still happened even with plane issues!! It sounds and looks like you had a great time.

    The last surprise we had was a few years ago on Mother’s Day. My Dad booked me a ticket home from college for the weekend and my older brother drove to Chicago from Michigan. My mom was clueless and it honestly took her a second to realize I was in the front seat of my dad’s car when we pulled up at the house/

  3. Awww that’s so lovely that you got to surprise her! I’ll bet she was overjoyed to see you 🙂
    I was cringing along with you as I read about all the little things that went wrong, but I’m so glad things ended up working out. Sounds like a fantastic break. 🙂

  4. Ahhh the flight delays. I get why you can’t talk about it, especially after all that careful and covert planning. Man oh man. Anyway, I’m so glad you were still able to pull off this surprise and have a wonderful weekend.

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