I haven’t lived through a real winter (read: Midwest winter) since 1998. To make matters worse, I’ve lived in Southern California since 1999: a place where people wear fleece jackets and scarves when it is 50 degrees outside. Brrr! Ok, so it does feel cold when it dips below 60 in the desert. But it’s nothing like snow and 13 degrees.
Having spent the weekend in Michigan, I realize that I haven’t missed living through the slippery road conditions, almost breaking my neck on the icy sidewalks, scraping the car, wearing a ridiculous amount of layers to go outside and the general ick that is relying on central heat. What I have missed is the beauty of the snow when it first starts to come down and how it coats the trees in this wonderful sheen, outlining all the limbs. And the quiet way that this all seems to happen. It’s kind of magical.
Hubs and I went up to Traverse City for the long weekend to hang out, eat a ton and see our parents. We ate at our usual (delicious) standbys: Poppycocks and The Cooks House. And some new faves: Stella Tratorria and North Peak Brewing Company. I also discovered where the cool people (ok, the hippies) grocery shop: Oryana. It was very exciting!
We got to see some cool ice sculptures.
And some racy snow sculptures. Do you see what I see?
When we were heading to the airport on Monday morning we looked at each other and said at the same time, “I wish we weren’t leaving.” Ah. Hoist by our own petard.
I’m not lying when I say that a few minutes later we found out that our flight out of Michigan was cancelled and that we were rebooked—for Tuesday morning!?!? Wtf? We tried everything we could think of to re-route ourselves. Hell, we were willing to drive all the way to Chicago to catch a flight. Too bad they were all overbooked. Damn you, United!
So we had to suck it up and (pay out of our own pockets no less) go to a hotel by the airport. We tried to make the best of it and trekked out to get some groceries for lunch (we were tired of eating out) and I made us some gourmet microwave baked potatoes with spicy guac, fage and shredded cheese. I cut up celery with a plastic knife (which was awesome) and heated up some soup in the microwave. Fancy, I know. But it was not bad, really.
The main lesson here is: when travelling, always pack a few extra things. Clean undies are a must. Thank god I am neurotic. I will admit that I almost freaked when I found out that I failed to pack a few extra vitamins and tea. I know. End of the world. Somehow I made it. We got up early the next morning, took the hotel van over to the airport (and nearly died—I could have driven better than this dude), boarded the plane and at the gate the stewardess told hubs that his seat assignment was changed: both of us were still in the same aisle but both of us had a middle seat. Good god almighty! So I did what I am never comfortable doing: I asked the woman who was trying to get into my row’s window seat if she would consider switching with hubs. She conceded after telling me how much she was looking forward to the window seat for this long 20 minute flight to Chicago. But she conceded.
And thank god (and thank you, mystery woman!) because we slowly taxied out on the runway then stopped. For 2 hours. I shit you not. Talk about finding your zen place. I decided to put my head down and dive into my book. Thank you Stieg Larsson. We got to Chicago in time to run from Terminal B to C and board the plane. Again, we had middle seats—hubs one row ahead of me. Somehow Lady Luck intervened and no one sat in the aisle seat next to me. Score! Hubs nearly had to knock over Guy Fieri (ok, it wasn’t him but damn did he look like him) to get out of his row and into mine before we took off.
All in all, a crazy ef-ing trip home but it could always be worse. I could have been without any clean undies.
And that, my friends, definitely would have been worse!