Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A WINTER STORM WARNING

This is the warning on every website, radio & TV station in Chicago: A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW... SLEET... AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.


Tuesday night, 6 pm

  • After risking our lives to drive in severe snow drifts, grey slush and extreme freezing rain icy conditions just to eat Fleming’s Macaroni & Cheese, Ann is amazed by the pretty white trees and snowflakes as big as quarters. All smiles with “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland” playing in our heads.
  • It’s cold. Marci attempts a shortcut through the parking lot, stepping into a small snow drift with her “California” boots and pointy heals.
    • Marci falls, slow motion, face first into the snow drift. Ann panics and wants the old Gramma Marci to be more careful.

Wednesday morning, 8 am

  • 5 – 6 inches of snow and some ice have accumulated on the rental Suburu Outback. Ann is in charge of heat management inside the vehicle while Marci brushes off the snow with the toothpick quality brush that Hertz provided and her mit - ens.
    • Ann is extremely impressed with Marci’s snow abilities and sings her praises as we slip and slide the whole 1.2 miles to DFS campus.
    • Marci forgot hat and is absolutely soaking wet. This is timely considering she’s meeting Sally today.


Wednesday evening, 7 pm

  • Our hunger couldn’t keep us contained at the Embassy Suites (remember, there’s no room service here – it’s not the Westin!). Ann and Marci travel again, despite warnings from everyone, to PF Chang’s. Make it there safe & sound, laugh at all the vehicles that are stuck alongside the road or in personal driveways.
  • Return to Embassy parking lot, which hasn’t been plowed in about ½ hour (which means pulling into a spot is like driving over Mt. Everest). Marci sees spot that appears wide enough and is conveniently located next to a beautiful shiny red sports car.
    • Marci seeks Ann’s expert approval of parking in snow conditions. Ann approves of spot.
  • After wedging the car into the spot and being stuck ½ inch next to the rear bumper of the shiny red car, a stranger recommends we get a shovel and offers to park his car & return to help.
  • Marci runs out of hotel with shovel, slips on ice in middle of parking lot, falls face first into the slush and nearly wets her pants.
    • Ann laughs and pulls out camera phone (pictures to follow).
  • The kind stranger (after seeming slightly annoyed at our photographic records of the evening) assists Marci in pushing the Suburu out of the spot and away from the nice car. All while Ann manned the steering wheel and took direction like a champ!

Let’s hope Ann and Marci can make it to the airport tomorrow, let alone get on a flight out of town.