Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jason's Surprise 30th Birthday Picnic

On Saturday, we headed up to the city for a surprise birthday party for a dear friend of ours -- Jason's turning 30 on Tuesday! His girlfriend, Damara, and another friend of ours, John, had planned this surprise picnic in Central Park for Saturday afternoon, and were actually successful in surprising the birthday boy!

Which was really remarkable, considering the fact that David and I managed to pull up right behind Jason and Damara on the Henry Hudson Parkway.

Later, Jason told us that he had seen a red Prius behind them for a while on the NJ Turnpike, and had joked to Damara that he thought they were being stalked by us. He then saw that the red car had NJ plates, and continued on the whole Keddie-stalking theme.

And then we ended up right behind Jason and Damara as we drove up the Parkway, and we all pulled off at the 96th Street exit. At that point, we noticed that the white Honda in front of us had NJ plates starting with UZX. I turned to David to ask him, "Doesn't Jason's car have plates starting with weird letters like that?" By then we were stopped at a red light, and it became clear to us that it was, in fact, Jason driving the car right in front of us.

I think Jason made the same discovery about us at precisely the same moment. He started waving frantically out the window, and apparently wanted to call us to see what on earth we were doing there...

Damara, thinking quickly, offered to call us since he was driving. The following conversation ensued:
DAMARA: "Hey, Keddies! We're right in front of you!!"
ME: "Wow, what are the chances, huh?"
DAMARA: "We're driving into the city to have lunch with John. What are you guys doing here?"
ME: "Umm..."
David and I thought for sure the jig was up by then. We never, ever go into the city, and seriously, what are the chances that we would all coincidentally end up at the same exit on the upper west side at the same time?

But because I'm a huge fan of surprise parties, and because Damara was still trying to play it off as a coincidence, I told her on the phone that since it was our first free weekend in a long time, we had decided to come into the city. Which, technically, was true...

Jason was all excited and invited us to join them for lunch. Which we of course accepted. :)

It wasn't until they got to Central Park and saw his mom and a large picnic set up that Jason realized that there were larger things afoot than a simple "getting together with John for lunch in the city." :)

It worked! He was totally surprised!

Damara and Jason

Some of the delicious picnic food

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, from the day of Jason's birth
(Brought by his mother, along with a ton of other baby Jason memorabilia!)

Jason, David, and John

Happy birthday, Jason! We're so glad we could come up to celebrate with you -- and that the surprise was a success, despite our almost blowing it! :)