Another week, another snowstorm. Another week of switching flights around. Another week of early dismissals and school cancelations. I was in Seattle/Tacoma giving a speech on Tuesday, and then my flight home to Philadelphia on Wednesday was canceled due to the snow. I wound up buying a ticket on a different airline connecting through Denver and then crossing my fingers all day that my Philadelphia flight would go. It did, landing around midnight. Unfortunately, I had only been able to find parking on the garage roof deck when I had left a few days prior, so I came out to this sight (pictured). Not only was my car covered, the plow that had been through had shoved a big pile of snow behind my tires. I didn’t even have a scraper in my car (I’m not sure where it went to — I think it went to one of the other cars, since mine is normally parked in the garage at our house). But some wonderful gentleman who’d just managed to dig his car out stopped as he saw me walking to my car and asked if I needed a scraper and wanted his. Yes! I spent about half an hour getting the ice off my car, and using the scraper to dig out from behind my tires. By the end my fingers were frozen (no gloves) and my knuckles bleeding (the ice was rough!) but my 4-wheel drive got me over the pile. The 27-minute drive home took me 50 minutes.
I cannot believe we are still experiencing blizzards in late March. While looking at my speaking schedule earlier this year, I identified the late February stuff as potentially problematic, but not stuff around the official first day of spring. Someone posted on Twitter that at this point snow doesn’t feel like weather, it feels like a personal attack. But a few things in the mess that I am happy about (or were at least memorable):
The aforementioned airport garage Good Samaritan. I have no idea how I planned to dig my car out. As I think about it, I probably would have called the garage manager (they have a lock-out and jump start service, so I imagine they might have helped), or used something like a shoe or my curling iron. And my arm. It would have taken a lot longer and my knuckles would have been bloodier.
Having drinks with an old friend in Seattle. As I was sitting down on my flight to Seattle on Monday, someone said “I thought that was you!” My friend Amanda from choir days in NYC was on the Philly flight there, and in fact was on my same (original) flight back on Wednesday. So when our flight was canceled, we both wound up with extra time at the Seattle airport on Wednesday morning. We had beers. At 10 a.m. Because why not? (We did not take the waiter up on his offer for shots as well). It was great to catch up. She also made it back to Philadelphia very late, on a different route that took her through Dallas.
Seeing Mt. Rainier while walking around Tacoma. I was giving my speech in downtown Tacoma, so I walked around a bit that morning. While it was cold, the sky was stunningly clear for the Pacific Northwest in March, and I had a great view of the mountains.
Experiencing the kitsch of the Silver Dollar Casino. Since my original flight was leaving early Wednesday morning, I stayed near the Seattle airport on Tuesday night. My hotel turned out not to have a restaurant, and so the desk clerk directed me to the next door casino, which she said had decent food. It did indeed have decent burgers, and craft beer, even if I was flummoxed by the whole concept of a menu containing a suite of Chinese dishes AND Mexican dishes. And by the outside, which struck me more as something you’d see on the set for the opening crime scene in a police procedural. (Pictured).
Knowing my kids were in good hands. When I woke up in Tacoma the first morning, I immediately got messages from all my kids’ teachers that school was being dismissed early, and what should they do with them? Fortunately, G (nanny) had not gone far, so she and the 3-year-old went to school to pick them all up. She also covered the subsequent snow day, with surprise help from my husband. He had flown to Europe on Sunday, and then had come back Tuesday because a client had scheduled a Very Important Meeting. Which may not have even happened with the snow. But the upside was that he was around to take them out sledding and such.
Taking advantage of my husband’s travel expertise. When my flight was canceled, I called American Airlines to have them rebook me. The itinerary I was on was pretty bad. Then my husband called and reminded me that other airlines also fly, but American was not going to put me on any of those flights. He looked on United and told me to check Southwest, which is not on Travelocity (where I usually look) but which, as he put it, is a “pretty badass airline” in the sense that they will fly when others won’t. And that turned out to be exactly what happened. Even with the car scraping and crawling along on the highway, I got home before my first flight on American would have left Seattle. As I was getting in bed, I was seeing reminders on my phone about my upcoming departure. I was very glad not to be getting on a flight just then!