But it was not to be, a friendly Maritime smile was waiting at the rent-a-car desk and we were quickly on our way to Saint John.
Wow, lots had changed since I had last been on that stretch of highway. Nothing like darkness and a bit of fog to make it all the more interesting.
My mom of course was very animated and full of conversation as she no doubt thought that it would keep me awake as I pointed the car toward the Southbound lanes of the Trans-Canada.
I cannot remember exactly what was being said, but our conversation was such that I almost missed the interchange in Sussex that takes you on the final leg to Saint John.
We arrived at the Harbourside, Hilton in Saint John, shortly before 2am. At this point all we want is our room and a bit of sleep before the big surprise in the morning. We are given our keys and told that our room is in fact the last room in the inn.
At this point, I'm thinking that I cannot believe we are actually here. As I swipe the key card in the door, the tell tail beep and green light of the lock, we are in. Crunch! The door only opens 2 inches and comes to a sudden stop. The lock chain is across the door. Someone is in our room!
Ok, a quick trip down to the front desk. The desk checks the status of the room. It appears that the desk has given our RESERVED room, guaranteed with a credit card to someone else.
It is suggested that the hotel staff roust whom ever is in that room and we sort this out. The desk checks the reservation and asks Mom for her name and confirmation number again.
He then states that someone of my Mom's name had already checked in earlier in the evening.
Now we have a big problem.
By this time I am growing impatient and it is not lost on me that in just a few hours we would have to get up and get ourselves ready for Susanne's leg of the Torch Relay. I tell the clerk to give my brother Dan's room a call. He gives me some flack about how he has a "do not disturb" order for his room. That's when I really begin to loose my temper.
"Look buddy, pick up the phone and call his room, ring until he picks up. My mother, his mother has just travelled across this f#%*ing country, You have given away OUR room, you will make this call or I will,,,,"
He picked up the phone and called Dan.
Mom and I spent what was left of the night in Dan's room. Needless to say Dan was surprised to see us there. We had not told a soul that we were coming. Lucky he had a double room.
Funny how fast morning comes when you're tired and a bit jet lagged. The phone rang. It was Dan's wake up call- my Aunt Susanne- suggesting that he get up and meet at the elevator in the next few minutes. Breakfast with the family had been arranged and he as part of the family would be required to attend.
By then we were all up. I figured I had managed about 2 hours sleep. I grabbed my camera and Dan explained that Susanne's room was next to his and that we should go down for breakfast. The knock on the door was Susanne. I could hear commotion in the common area next to the elevator.
The door opened, I could see Susanne waiting at the elevator, her back to us. She turned and expecting to see Dan come out of his door, but instead she spots her sister, my Mom and me. The surprise was complete!
|The moment we surprised Susanne.|
Tears of surprise and joy are exchanged between the sisters. Hugs and laughter all around, it is a perfect moment, all before 7am.
Susanne looks over to me and says "nobody has ever surprised me before, nobody. I can't believe you are here, I'm so happy.
As we embraced, she repeated, "I can't believe it"
And with a bit of a tear I whispered into her ear, "Believe, Susanne, Believe"
|Sisters - Believe|