Trickery at the Airport!

Last weekend, Caleb (one of “our” kiddos who we took in a few years ago) flew into town for a couple of weeks. He wanted to surprise Max and Mason so we had an elaborate plan to trick them. We told them we were going to Tampa to see the sea creature exhibit at the MOSI Museum (that much was true). They didn’t know about the pit stop we’d be making. On the way, I said what I’d been practicing for a few days.

“Honey, my throat hurts. Can we stop at Starbucks for a frozen coffee?”

Remembering his lines precisely, Richard said, “Well, dear, the closest Starbucks is at the airport. Do you want to stop there?”

Right on cue, I replied, “Let me check my phone for the closest location.” I pretended to punch a few buttons before saying, “You’re right. The next Starbucks is 20 minutes from here. Well, let’s go to the airport then.”

The boys were happy. They love Starbucks and they didn’t think it was odd that we were willing to pay for parking to get a coffee.

Once we arrived, we ordered our coffees, and sat down. Caleb’s plane hadn’t yet landed but it was close. About 15 minutes later, the loudspeaker came on: “Due to lightning in the area, some incoming flights may be delayed.”

Uh oh! Our coffees were already almost empty so I looked at Richard and he looked back at me. We had to improvise, and quick! I raised my eyebrows at him. He raised his back. I widened my eyes and pursed my lips at him. He widened his eyes and pursed his lips back. Clearly, there would be no help coming from my partner in crime. So, I pulled this whopper out of my pocket: “Well, we’re now under a lightning warning and they’re not letting anyone leave the building so we’ll have to hang out here for awhile.”

Max and Mason said okay, and went back to their contented people watching and coffee slurping. They were quite happy to sit there and watch the hustle and bustle and they never questioned the my story about airport personnel not allowing people to leave. They were totally clueless!

Only about 10 minutes later, Caleb texted me to say he was off the plane, and almost at the Starbucks. I saw him coming at a distance and I turned on my phone to record it. He walked up behind Max, and put his hand on his shoulder. When Max turned around, his jaw literally dropped and he just stared at Caleb with his mouth gaping open. It was priceless! He was in complete shock. Mason immediately started jumping up and down, exclaiming his glee. Max gave Caleb a hug but he was still in shock. It brought tears to my eyes and the moment was well worth the trickery we had to commit in order to pull it off. 😉

Here they are, having sushi that evening:


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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