When Avilla Erby arrived at Newark Airport he thought that he and his son were going to Niagara Falls - but his son had other plans.
“My dad is the type of person who never asks for anything and sincerely means it.,” Jeremiah told INSIDE EDITION, “He has never expressed a strong desire for anything so when I heard him say a couple of years back how literally the only thing he wants to do before he dies is walk the Great Wall… I knew it was something I could make happen for him.”
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The 32 year old said it was in his best interest to keep the trip a secret otherwise his dad would object to that much money being spent on him.
With the help of his stepmother Shannon, Jeremiah was able to plan the trip for his 60-year-old dad. He told INSIDE EDITION that she was instrumental in sneaking Avilla’s passport to him so he could get a Chinese visa.
The plan was for Avilla to fly from his home in North Carolina and meet up with his son in New York City before catching a flight to Niagara Falls the next morning.
“I used Niagara Falls because I wanted to ingrain in his mind that he would fly in on Friday evening and we would go to the airport Saturday morning to head upstate,” Jeremiah told IE.
"In doing that, he wouldn’t try to unpack when he arrived to my place in Brooklyn and wouldn’t be too suspicious about why I had a bag packed and we were heading to the airport.”
The trip did have one major roadblock: Avilla almost didn’t take the time off work. The United States Postal Service employee was wary about taking so many days off for a vacation but luckily he got fully on board and took the time off.
The father and son spent five days in Beijing and Avilla was able to cross walking The Great Wall off his bucket list, thanks to his son.