Monday, December 27, 2010

the great blizzard

So, Christmas is over.  I managed to get all the gifts I needed, although it involved shopping on the morning of Christmas Eve.  My parents and Kathy's mother got along great (we knew they would).  We didn't have the kids yesterday, so we planned to take all the parents into New York City to do Christmasy things like see the tree in Rockefeller Center and have a drink in the Waldorf's bar. 

When we woke up yesterday, Kathy checked the weather, and was over at the computer cracking up.  "It says 'BLIZZARD'!"  "Blizzard?" I replied, "That's ridiculous."  We got our new running pants and shirts on, and went for a run.  There were flurries coming down.  We got home, showered, ate lunch, and got ready to go into the city.  "If it's going to snow, maybe we should take the train," Kathy suggested.  So we did.  "It's really coming down," my mom observed.  Undeterred, we put on our coats.  "Do you want a hat?" I asked my dad.  "Nah," he answered.  "It's not snowing that hard."

When we arrived in Grand Central, the people coming in from outside were covered in snow.  "They must have walked a long way to have that much snow on them," I thought.   We shopped, had a coffee in Grand Central, and plotted our course through the city.  When we emerged from the subway at 51st and Lex to walk to the Waldorf for our happy hour drink in the lobby bar, Kathy said, "This snow is great!  It's so Christmasy and romantic!"  Within a half a block, my mom said, "I'm freezing."  It was still snowing, and the wind was blowing.  We had our drink at the Waldorf and headed to Rockefeller Center to see the tree.  We were all covered in snow by the time we got there.  My dad's hair was covered in ice.  Our faces were wet and red.  Our pants were soaked through.  "Take a picture of the tree!" my mom exclaimed.  My dad, grumbling, pulled out his iPhone, removed his gloves, and snapped a picture of the tree.  We barely made it to the subway.  We were soaked and frozen.  My dad's hair was melting into his eyes.  "What a great adventure!" Kathy's mom said.

We went to the Soho Grand, and had another drink in their lobby.  It was kind of a hotel-lobby-bar-crawl.  When we were ready to go to dinner, Kathy said, "Maybe we should take cabs; walking to the subway seems kind of miserable."  My mom was in the bathroom, so I headed down to get in the first cab with Kathy's mom, and Kathy said she would follow with my parents.  After one block, our cab got stuck in the snow.  Our cab driver, who seemed unfamiliar with the frozen white stuff falling from the sky, tried to just push the accelerator.  The wheels spun, and the meter ticked up.  He tried, unsuccessfully, to reverse.  The wheels spun, and the meter ticked up.  When it hit $7.10 after going less than 2 blocks, I said, "Uh, sir, I think you might need a tow truck."  He replied, "You should get out."  That's the thing about New Yorkers, they are direct.  We got out, and saw Kathy and my parents drive by us.  Fortunately, we got an SUV cab, and made it to the restaurant.  But my parents and Kathy weren't there yet.  When they finally arrived 15 minutes later, they were, again, soaked and frozen.  "What happened?" I asked.  My mom could not answer because her face was frozen.  So Kathy said, "Our cab driver had another fare, so he made us get out 3 blocks away and walk here!" 

After dinner, we walked to the subway, made it to Grand Central, and took the train back to the suburbs.  That's when the real fun started.  The car was buried under about 20 inches of snow, and the parking lot to the train station had not been plowed.  After a half hour of Kathy, my dad, and me digging the car out and pushing it, a random guy stopped and helped.  The snow was blowing horizontally, and my shoes were untied. My pants were crusted with snow up the middle of my thighs.  I had been digging in my new leather gloves that Kathy's mom gave me for Christmas.  The car slipped and slid home, and we took our shoes and snowy clothes off.  I hadn't noticed, but my dad had been taking pictures with that iPhone the whole night.  We stood in the kitchen in our slippers and looked at them, cracking up.  He had pictures of our frozen mothers, pictures of that damn Rockefeller tree, pictures of Kathy and me laughing with almost our entire faces covered by scarves and hoods and hats. 

Our hotel bar crawl would have been fun in nice weather.  But it was really excellent doing it in the great blizzard.  And the best part is that the blizzard continued through the night, and there is no way I am making it into the office today.  It's nice having a job that has snow days.  Working from home might still be working, but at least you're at home!

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