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I thought we were just taking a long drive in the morning. I was saying things like “I’ll just throw my big coat in the trunk in case the temperature drops” and “Should I fill up a couple water bottles to put in the car?”

That’s when M had to tell me that we would only be driving to the airport… The Airport! Yes, I should pack for the airport. It took me a while to believe he wasn’t joking.

The next morning, just before we boarded, I finally learned that we were going to CA for the weekend.

Seriously, isn’t this the kind of thing you see in movies??

He put together frequent flier miles and some other rewards to plan an unforgettable weekend. I finally got to see Highway 1, which was so stunning with blooming flowers and wildlife. We saw sea lions along Hwy 1 and again in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Wharf Pier 39. We hiked in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. And my favorite part was horseback riding through Redwoods.

My birthday fun just kept going…that is until the actual day of my birthday when I came down with a cold! While this cold was another “surprise,” in some strange way, I didn’t mind. It’s the first illness I’ve had in over 3 months, and that shows that I’ve come along way from Afghanistan.

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