Monday, July 1, 2013

Surprises, Sparklers, and (Glow) Sticks

Throughout the course of this past year, we've celebrated many milestones and occasions as a group. Birthday parties have been attended ad nausea, either at a bar, club, or in someone's apartment (corresponding theme included, of course). Holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even St. Patrick's Day, have all garnered celebrations and lost memories. However, one of the coolest events that occurred this year was the engagement of one of our members, Hala, to her long-time fiance, Hans. This happened back in February and just this past Thursday, we threw both of them a surprise engagement party.

Now this party was a surprise to Hala and Hala only. Lots of planning, scheming, and preparing went into this night. Cathy worked on securing the venue, Phetsada worked on creating the perfect cake, Sara worked on the ideal back story, and I worked on staying out of the way. We ended up having it at our supervisor Brad's house and hatched the perfect plan to get Hala out there without her knowing:

On Thursday, Teradee (another AC member) was having an end of the year potluck for her learners. We had Hans call Hala saying that he had to go to work at the last minute and couldn't come and pick her up from the library. Sara volunteered to take her back to West Palm, but had to run a few extra errands before taking her back. This gave everyone (especially those that helped at the potluck) ample time to get to Brad's. The theme of the party was a black and white affair and everyone followed through! It had been a while since we've had a large social gathering, so this night ended up being a great time!

Hala arrived, surprised, shocked, and a bit overwhelmed. Once the initial shock wore off, we toasted to the couple, enjoyed some delicious appetizers and cake, and danced the night away in Brad's living room. Oh yeah - can't forget the sparkler toast as well! Unfortunately, it wasn't any cooler outside than it was in Brad's house (30 people in one room will raise the temperature quite a bit), but sparklers and conversation were still enjoyed by all! At the end of the night, we were tired and sweaty, but knew that we had pulled off a great surprise!

This past Saturday, I took part in another Color Run type of race. This time it was actually at night and in Fort Lauderdale. The Neon Vibe Run was a lot of fun! Erica, Spencer, JaRon, Tavia, Belle, and myself completed the 5K course, which led us through the parking lot of the BB&T Center. There were probably about 1000 people there taking part in the festivities and we had a blast! The color stations where marked with black lights, which really made the color pop. Covered from head to toe in colored powder, we all crossed the finish line together.

Following the run, we headed back to the hotel that we for the night, cleaned up, and headed back out into Fort Lauderdale and met up with a bunch of other members that were also down for the night. We ended up at America's Backyard until around 3 AM! Talk about a long and draining day! By the end of it all, we were exhausted, but felt accomplished and rejuvenated! Can't wait for the next round of 5K's, 10K's, and half marathons!

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