MODESTO (CBS13) – A mom left stranded across the country finally made it to California to surprise her daughter. CBS13 went to Modesto to witness the reunion that brought both women to tears.

Hugs and love fill a Modesto home as this surprise holiday homecoming brought nothing but tears of joy. The emotional reunion actually began at the Sacramento International Airport.

“They told us to take another plane. I was like ugh,” said Stacey Krause.

It was at the airport where we met up with Stacey. She and her son, Travis, were traveling from South Dakota and had been on been on planes since 4 a.m. They were hoping to make it to Modesto by Christmas.

Stacey hadn’t seen her daughter, Dakota, in months.

“For it being Christmas there’s a lot of people in the airports,” said Stacey.

Traveling is tough. A powerful winter storm moving across the country is slowing down people trying to reach their holiday destinations. Stacey wasn’t sure if she’d make it in time.

“She’s kind of homesick, so it’ll be good to see her mother,” said Jeff Hudec, Dakota’s uncle.

Dakota is staying with Jeff’s family. He picked up Stacey and her son from the airport.

“Well, I’m just glad I get to see my sister,” said Travis.

But here’s the Christmas surprise: Dakota is not expecting to see mom and little brother until Wednesday. We followed them home to capture it all. And under the cover of Christmas darkness, we moved in.

Merry hearts absolutely filled the house. Everybody knew about the Christmas surprise, except for Dakota.

“And that’s what Christmas is about — being with your family; the ones that means the most to you, that you love the most,” said Andrea Hudec, Jeff’s wife.

Dakota was obviously excited to see her mom.

“I just couldn’t believe it, and I’m so happy,” said Dakota. I just love her and I have the best mom. What kind of Christmas gift is this? The ultimate; the best.”

Stacey says she’ll be in town with her daughter for the rest of the week.


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