SURPRISE!!! Happy 70th Birthday, MOM!

Real Estate Agent with Realty Professionals, Inc.

I was talking with my family about a week or so ago about making a trip to New York to visit my mother.  We considered going on Spring Break but there were some issues about going at that time so it didn't look like that would work.  On Thursday morning February 26, I thought that I would just go ahead and make a road trip by myself.  I felt that this needs to be a special time for my mother and visit her, not that I am all that special (ha ha).  February 28 was my moms 70th birthday and I wanted to take her out to dinner for her birthday. 

I finished up what I had to do at the office and went home and loaded up the car and left from Arkansas at 2pm Thursday, February 26th.  I went through Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas (this is a stock photo, most of them are the ones I took while driving, yes, I know that is dangerous but if I didn't then you wouldn't be able to read about my trip.) Tennessee.  I feel this was the longest part of the trip.  I had to drive from one end to the other and was 500 miles.  It seemed like you are not going anywhere because you are still in Tennessee.  I then entered  Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas  (this is a stock photo, because it was nighttime and I couldn't stop, too much traffic) Virginia.  This was also a long part because it was nearly 400 miles through Virginia.  I took this picture of water coming out of the mountains and freezing and thought it looked cool.  Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas  Then it seemed like I was making a good time because after driving nearly 400 miles I ended up in Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas  West Virginia.  This was a short trip though.  If you look at the map of West Virgina, it seems like it spreads out all over.  I only had to drive about 35 mile through West Virginia and then quickly came up on Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas Maryland.  Sorry I didn't get a whole picture but when you are driving 70 miles per hour and there is a lot of traffic, it is hard to point and shoot.  Maryland was also a short lived trip.  I only had to drove about 15 miles through it.  Then came Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas Pennsylvania.  It seemed like I was really going fast up to now, because in less than an hour, I went from Virginia, through West Virginia, through Maryland and now Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania was a long trip and I never knew that there were alot of cattle farms here.  I love the old barns and huge farm houses.  I was going to take pictures of them but didn't know which ones because there were so many nice ones.  I would see a nice place and it had a lot of pasture and in the background you could see the tall mountains, really nice.  There were a lot of great photo ops but didn't get any.  I then ended up at the Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas New York state line.  I couldn't get the road sign picture but just as you enter New York on I-81 the welcome center was there so I took that picture.  My mother lives in Binghamton and was only about 20 miles further. 

I stopped to get a city map so I could surprise her.  She had NO clue that I was traveling up there.  I finally find the building she lives in and planning on what to do to surprise her.  She moved into this place about two years ago and I have never been there so I didn't know what to expect.  I entered this little foyer area where you have to buzz the apartment number in order to get into the building.  This is a great security measure but I was there to surprise her.  There was an older lady pacing the foyer inside of the locked doors and she kept an eye on me as she paced back and forth.  I was hoping she would open the door but she didn't know who I was.  I thought I better do something or she will call the police, you know, this is a big city Dorothy, not Arkansas.  I went ahead and buzzed her apartment, no answer.  I then called her on my cell phone and it rang and rang then voice mail.  WOW! What do you do now?  You drive 1,200 miles and she isn't home?!  In her building, they have events like playing games and bingo etc..  There was a guy being dropped off by a taxi and I asked him if they were playing bingo today and told him my story.  He was kind of gruff with me and said no it's poker day not bingo and he didn't know my mother.  So, I still had no way in.  Just as he opened the door to get into the building my cell phone rang.  It was my mother, she just couldn't get to the phone in time to answer.  I told her hi and asked her to push the buzzer to open the door so I could come up.  She was yelling of surprise.  Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas Anyway, I surprised her as well as you could when you have security measures like this.  It was all good.  I got to see the rest of my family that live there and had a good time.  I even went to play bingo with my mother Saturday on her Birthday.  While there, my son sent me a text with a picture that it was snowing in Jonesboro. Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas This looked liked Jonesboro was getting alot of snow.  My sister was sitting next to me and showed me a picture when they get snow in New York.  This was taken out of her windshield Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas .  Well, I don't want any of that I told her.  I checked the weather and this snow was basically taking the route that I traveled getting there.  I decided that I would go a different route back and that I would stop in Pittsburgh and see some friends.  I spent Sunday morning with my mom and had breakfast.  I left New York about 10:30 am.  I entered Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas Pennsylvania and was going to drive from the east side to the west side and down to Pittsburgh.  About four hours into driving, I see the scene Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas.  My adrenalin got pumping.  I thought someone wrecked above off the side of the mountain.  When I got up there, there was a cabin down below and they probably just started a fire.  Oh, my mind was racing and thought the worst.  The smoke was really thick and crossed the road.  I'm glad it wasn't a wreck.  I get to Pittsburgh and had dinner and spent about four hours with my friends.  I left their house about 8:30 pm and continued on.  I went through Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas West Virginia again.  Remember I said it was spread out.  It was pretty short lived though.  I then entered Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas Ohio.  (This is a stock photo also)  I was going to stop for the night around Columbus.  Then I thought about the morning traffic.  I have never been to Cincinnati but I thought the traffic would be congested around 8am so I continued on.  I am really glad I did.  After arriving there about 1 am, Cincinnati is huge.  Here is a tunnel I had to drive through Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas .

After going through Cincinnati you immediately arrive in Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas Kentucky.  I didn't realize Kentucky was coming that fast and was in traffic so I couldn't get the best shot of the sign, but you can make it out that it is Kentucky.  I finally stopped about 50 miles before Louisville for some much needed sleep and shower.  I got back on the road about 9 am and traveled through Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas Indiana and then Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas  Illinois.  I'm surprised they don't have Home of President Obama on the sign yet (ha ha).  After driving several hours I was approaching this bridge Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas and finally felt like I was getting closer to home when I seen this sign  Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas.  I drove several more hours then seen this sign Larry DeGroat, Searcy, Arkansas .  I have been waiting for this one but I still had about 3 1/2 hours to go.

This was a long but short weekend.  I left at 2:00 pm on Thursday and drove 2,544 miles through Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and back to Arkansas (12 different states), spent nearly two days with my mom then arrived back in Searcy at 5:30 pm Monday, March 2, 2009.  That's 4 days and 3 1/2 hours!  WOW! What a trip!  I hope you enjoyed my travel and hopefully you're not as tired as I am!

My name is Larry DeGroat and I am a Realtor in Searcy, Arkansas and I sell new homes, existing homes, commercial property, farms and land as well as manage and own rental properties. If you are looking for real estate for an investment or a home, I will be glad to assist you! You can call my personal cell number at 501-278-7659 or e-mail me at Visit my website at if you are looking for Searcy homes for sale or other areas.

Comments (5)

RE/MAX Advantage Realtors, Searcy, AR - Searcy, AR


I really enjoyed that blog!  You went through a lot of states!  You are a good son to take the time to visit your mother for her birthday, I'm lucky my 83 year old mother lives in Judsonia. 

Mar 03, 2009 06:10 AM
Tinker Hulsey
Century 21 Wright-Pace Real Estate - Jonesboro, AR
Century 21 Wright-Pace Real Estate

Hi, Larry

I enjoyed reading your blog....WOW!! I know your Mother had to be so surprised. She will always remember that birthday..


Mar 03, 2009 06:26 AM
Larry DeGroat
Realty Professionals, Inc. - Searcy, AR
ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI in Searcy

Thanks Mary and Tinker.  I know that was alot to read.  I thought about this blog while I was driving and had to take those pictures so I can share them here.  I'm glad you liked my story. 

Mar 03, 2009 09:50 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Larry, I'm tired just reading this blog.  It was nice of you to go see your mother and surprise her.  I'll bet she wanted you to stay longer.  I'm glad of one thing.  I'm glad I was not in the passenger seat.  You blogged once about being my personal driver but you didn't mention my screams and pleadings for you to get me away from the semi beside me as you were barreling down the road in the fast lane at 90 mph and talking on the cell phone!!!

Mar 03, 2009 11:49 AM
Tracy Mahar

Hi from Larry's way younger sister in New York!  Larry, did indeed, make Mom's birthday the best.  She has not yet stopped saying how blessed and wonderful he made her birthday!  He did leave a few things out.... like he did not tell you that everyone at our small table won a game or two at Bingo.  Alas, he did not.  I was the big winner of the night!!  Since it was Mom's birthday, all money went to her.   Larry had to practice being very very quiet because you are not allowed to even think in whisper form or you will be eternally doomed and shushed!    Larry and I got shushed a lot!

He also did not tell you about this CD of pix Mom gave him of old family shots.  He initially claimed that there is not bad pix of him....after all he is the cute one!  Ha.. I promptly discredited the statement and threatened to post a couple here!! I will be nice ... sooo....  (for now... I am armed and dangerous now!)

Now, are we talking the same Larry driving for Barbara Duncan.  As the guide car that Larry followed I was positive that he did not know how to press down too much on that gas pedal!  My mother will vouch for the uncountable times I said he drove like a grandma!  (Coming from a Grandma that is kinda funny...haha)  Also...not only would you have not had to worry about him driving too fast (swear he doesn't have it in him!) but he found out the easy way that it is illegal to talk on your cell phones while driving in New York State.  Lucky he did not get a ticket!  Next time he comes, feel safe to ride along! 

I must say that I am impressed with my big brother going to such lengths to make his mom happy.  He succeeded.  I enjoyed his visit almost as much as her.  He is welcome to come back any time (prefer some notice but hey... if he'll come without it .. we'll take it!)  New York was at it's gloomiest when he came... he should try coming up for a couple days in our not so hot summer!  hahaha!


Mar 09, 2009 10:47 AM