Snow Murder And Mayhem, The Conclusion  

Posted by Heidi in

We were stranded. (Find out how by going HERE and then HERE. It’ll be fun, I promise.) The Spouse had gone off to find sustenance and we were huddled in a cold third story motel room that had many inches of ice on the inside of the window. Even the mold smelled cold.

Since The Spouse was headed for a grocery store only a few blocks away, I was a bit disturbed when 45 minutes went by and he still hadn’t arrived. Finally he called me on my cell phone (the phone in the room was only for calling the lobby for essentials such as clean towels, clean sheets, and what the hey, a clean room) to tell me that the grocery store was closed (at 8:30 at night. On a Saturday. In a resort area) and that he had to go farther afield to find a convenience store. One that charged an arm and a leg for the convenience of actually being open for business.

I was glad he called, not only so I could give the Big Guy a definitive ETA for the food but b/c my cell phone pretty much died at that point. No matter, I had bought a card full of units to fill up my track phone. This was especially important to me since The Spouse and the Middle Child were going to be leaving me alone with the boys whilst they went off to the faaaaaaar away resort whilst we stayed in the resort motel with a phone that only worked for calling the lobby (one which was only actually answered when employees were actually present, which turns out, was actually only about 8 hours a day). Boy, was I prepared or what?

The Spouse arrived with the food. I don’t remember too much about it except that I got a cold salad, there were a few apples, some of what he bought to be heated didn’t fit in the microwave and the lot cost roughly half of our entire food budget for the three day trip. No matter, we fed the kids, got them in bed and all was well until the Big Guy needed to use the bathroom. Oh, how could we have forgotten the fact that our Big Guy needs his own personal toilet, one with no quirky eccentricities and of the industrial strength variety that could send a flock of tennis balls to their watery grave without a qualm? We lay there in trepidation, tense with anxiety, wondering whether or not this was going to be the time the toilet was flooded--or hopelessly clogged--or both. I can’t rightly recall all the gory details and in which order they occurred but I do know that we got up the next morning (or perhaps it was the one after that) to discover the floor awash in toilet water. I believe the clog actually came later that day . . . .I remember it involved the purchase of a special de-clogging tool on the Sabbath (b/c whomever answered the phone in the lobby didn’t work on Sundays, nor, apparently, did the person who unclogged the toilets—whatev!) but those were not our only Sunday expenditures.

First, we had planned on either eating in the hotel restaurant (of which there was none) or buying food at the grocery store (which was closed) Saturday night in order to get us through the Sabbath without making purchases. The Spouse refused to pay the money they wanted at the convenience store for anything but the merest tidbits of food which were rapidly consumed ASAP so it was off to the grocery store Sunday morning to buy food, off to Kmart to buy snow boots (the ones we had bought for the trip were sitting in a nice box in the garage waiting to be loaded into the trunk—no doubt, they are probably waiting still) followed by a frustrating interlude at the pay phone to load up my track phone.

Let me explain. I couldn’t use my phone to fill it up b/c it was out of minutes and therefore did not work. I couldn’t use The Spouse’s cell phone b/c it had mysteriously disappeared. I couldn’t use the phone in our room b/c, well, see above. Finally, my phone working, we went back to the motel, we ate something, the Middle Child and the Little Guy and I went off to play in the snow with our new shiny boots whereupon I became so frozen and stiff that I suddenly couldn’t move (California hot house pansy that I am). The snowdrifts were as high as the Little Guy and I couldn’t pull him out. The Middle Child couldn’t get him or me out so I sat down in the snow and gazed up at the third story window of our room thinking that this was how I was going to die—frozen to the ground, literally a stone’s throw away from salvation. Too bad the stones were all buried under the snow.

We were ready to give up the ghost but I had the presence of mind to snap a photo first in order to document the Middle Child's callous unconcern for our plight

Then I thought about the fact that we had come to give the Middle Child a snowboarding lesson, something that filled me with anxiety considering we only had the one phone which meant I had no way to call The Spouse whilst they were gone in order report any toilet flooding of an apocalyptic nature, any major barfing, out of control tantrumming, etc. etc. It’s not like he could do anything about it, poised as he was bound to be at the top of the mountain with nothing but a snowboard to get him the miles from the actual resort to the actual resort lodging, it just made me feel better to know I could get ahold of him. So, lying there as I was (by this point) I somehow found the strength to stand, got the Little Guy plucked from the snow, and off we went to the parking lot to find that phone.

This is what I knew: The Spouse had phoned me from the car the night before on his way home from the convenience store. The last time he saw the phone was when he tucked it between his legs. I figured that, in his exhaustion at having been done to death all day in a series of incredibly frustrating events, he forgot the phone was there and when he got out of the car, the phone tumbled to the ground where I hoped it was still. As I mentioned before, one could only park in certain areas b/c of the whole snowplow situation. The night previous, The Spouse had parked (and later reparked after our morning of Sabbath-sinning) in the last space allowed in that particular row. This space was now empty so I began inspecting the huge drifts of plowed snow just adjacent to that space. Me--cold, stiff, in a weakened state and a hot-house flower to boot, pitted against foreboding towers of snow. Nevetheless, I was going to find that phone if it killed me. Finally I had the bright idea of sending the Middle Child back upstairs with the Little Guy to ask The Spouse if he would please use my track phone to put a call through to his cell phone. I would follow the sound of the ringing like bird crumbs.

. . . . . . . The mounds of snow I was temporarily (read: until I got a clue) obliged to search

Sure enough, ten or fifteen minutes later (two frozen kids going up six flights of stairs with huge heavy metal doors at regular intervals along the way is a journey of epic proportions) the phone began to ring. But it wasn’t coming from the snowdrift. No, it was coming from a strip of snow right next to where our car had been parked the night before. I only had to dig through about an inch of snow to find it. Hallelujah!

Later that day we headed into Incline for pizza. Turns out that the highway was totally free of snow even though our little resort area looked as if the world had been snowed in for weeks. Crunch crunch crunch went the snow chains. We had to pull over and try to remove them with the icy wind blowing us to bits. I believe The Spouse had to break them to get them off. Did I mention they were brand new?

That night, as we tried to sleep through the stench of the flooded and clogged toilet (yeah, it just wasn’t getting much better in spite of our higly-experienced efforts and our Sabbath-sinning purchase of a tool that was supposed to fix it) I felt grateful that at the very least, I would have a tether, a lifeline if you will, to The Spouse whilst he and the Middle Child were off doing the thing for which we had come.

The next morning, they had their snowboard lesson. They each got two runs down the mountain. (Two!!) They were gone a frightfully long time so I called The Spouse’s cell phone to see if they were going to be back by checkout time but to no avail. It turns out that retrieving a cell phone from your heavy coat whilst wearing heavy gloves during a Snowboard lesson is one of those impossible things. In the end, we had to pay extra money to keep the room for an additional hour. As soon as they walked in the door, I threw some luggage at the Middle Child and bade her load the car then pushed The Spouse onto the bed and stripped him of all of his snow gear. Before he had even so much as caught his breath, we had wiped the dust of that place off our feet.

Fifteen minutes later, we realized we were passing the same snow-chain rest stop that had taken us four hours to travel from on our way there. We watched it go by in utter disbelief. The best part of our little adventure? It cost us a mere $800 (that’s two zeros). Due to the Middle Child’s strong sense of self-preservation, she has never uttered the word “snowboard” again.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 20, 2009 at Friday, February 20, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

37 wise, witty and wonderful comments

This actually makes ME never want to snowboard! I can't believe the phone was in the snow!

February 20, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Hey, I'm second. Now I'll read the post.

February 20, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Oh the pain. Dagnabit, that's a lousy vacation! Did you have a sedative to take? How did you manage to avoid going berserk?

February 20, 2009 at 11:37 AM

I am still crying for you. I don't know what I would have done. I'm already a little crazy, I think this trip would have thrown me into the loony house!

February 20, 2009 at 11:42 AM

I don't think I could even LOOK at snow again.

February 20, 2009 at 11:43 AM

These things should not be allowed to happen. Blech! Thank God I have no interest in snowboarding! :)

February 20, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Where was the exactly so we NEVER go there. Sounds like something from a Stephen King novel. Sorry----maybe next time pick surfing in Hawaii???
I imagine you will be laughing about this down the road...a long, long way down the road.

February 20, 2009 at 12:44 PM

wow.... really! wow!!!

can you get a rain check on a family vacation gone sour?

sooo sorry

February 20, 2009 at 12:53 PM

I just love the way you weave a story, genius! It was well worth the wait and all of your trouble just for our entertainment, lol

February 20, 2009 at 12:53 PM

ha! finally a conclusion! Just hope middle child doesn't choose Scuba Diving next!

February 20, 2009 at 1:17 PM

So, do you get premonitions of when the next Almighty-sanctioned getaway might be?

February 20, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Heidi, you would have had to chaim me to the chair to keep me there. You are such a good sport!

February 20, 2009 at 2:28 PM


The UPS guy just delivered my very own copy of Miss Delacourt. I don't dare start it until I've finished His Excellency George Washington for book club, but I'm quivering in anticipation!

February 20, 2009 at 2:47 PM

I'm not sure I could have conceived of a worse vacation! Only 2 runs out of all of it! I am so sorry.

February 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Hey, thanks you guys--thank goodness this happened three years ago and the pain has receded. In fact, I doubt I would have been able to talk about it much before now what with the emotional scars and all. Since then we have had a lovely house on the beach vacation and a house in the woods vacation, both of which were very healing. Pam--woo hoo! Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

February 20, 2009 at 3:59 PM

THIS is a post I'm going to bookmark for next time the boys and the M.O.T.H. try to drag me out for a fun day in the snow...

sorry - glad you've mostly recovered... I've always said that Snow is the S word... but really - not we know it's true!

February 20, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I am still shivering from the ice inside the window. Yipes! That sounds like a tough trip. It is finally 50 here in UT today, and I am still so craving a warm-weather vacay!

February 20, 2009 at 5:31 PM

T--snow is pretty to look at but that's about it. Kazzy--I so wish I could get you to come out here (it's beautiful right now) and so wish I had a place to put you once you got here. I would love it though.

February 20, 2009 at 5:50 PM

That is truly the vacation from hell! Definitely a Crisis+Time=Humor experience!!

Wow! I would have given up at the toilet flood - you are a better woman than me!! (or I - I never remember which it is!)

February 20, 2009 at 6:30 PM

OMGosh Heidi! How can you write so freakin' much so fast? I'm going to have to come back when I can sit down in a comfy corner and curl up with all your latest posts. I guess this is the reason you're a published author, and I never will be.

February 20, 2009 at 7:13 PM

Val, I know but the MC had to have her snowboard lesson. Being that she is the MC and often gets the short end of the stick, I had to stick it out. No pun intended. Rachel, it took me quite a while to write that. I wish I could have made it more laugh out loud funny---it really is LOL funny when you think about it. I'm still just too traumatized to give it the right spin, I guess.

February 20, 2009 at 8:21 PM

That was laugh out loud funny, in a sad, cold, stinky way. What about the murder? Were you just leading us on like with the word secret in your title yesterday? I think if I were there the murder would have happened when they charged extra for an additional hour in a cold, stinky, toilet flooded, far away from the slopes, with a small microwave, in an understaffed hotel, room.

February 20, 2009 at 8:36 PM

HEY, I think we stayed at that motel, only it was in the middle of summer, in AZ and the A/C consisted of opening the front window in the am and the back window in the pm. All in the name of a family reunion. We will never do THAT again!

BTW, you are an awesome story teller! I loved the sarcasm about the room phone!

February 20, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Okay, so I WANTED to do murder . .. but I refrained because I am law-abiding like that.

February 20, 2009 at 10:18 PM

There are so many nuggets of hilarity in this that I can't mention them all. I am sorry that you had to suffer through it but hey! It's all fodder for great writing, huh?
How did the other booksigning go? (The one you attended.) I bet their cake wasn't half so awesome!

February 20, 2009 at 11:04 PM

Frankly, I am amazed that you all are still alive. That's a testament to your character. Wowee.

February 21, 2009 at 8:50 AM

First I am shocked this didn't happen to me.

Second how many weeks of therapy/medication did it take?

February 21, 2009 at 11:13 AM

This is why I NEVER want to live where it snows like I did when I was a child. Imagine the same elements of your story happening regularly. That's what my childhood memories are packed with. UGH!


February 21, 2009 at 1:09 PM

My husband is nuts for the snow, but not so much for me. Beautiful as a decoration out the window though.

February 21, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Hey Heidi I tried to send you an e card to thank you. I hope you got it. I sure had fun talking about the book with you and we were just so amazed to have the actual author at book group. Thank you so much for coming. I can't wait to blog about it when I get a computer set up here at the new house.

If anyone wonders, Heidi is super fun in person!

February 21, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Laura--I'm going to blog about book group sometime this week--no cake but there was other goodies. Yum! Luisa, thanks but it's actually how things go around here a lot. Nutty--therapy and medication is pretty much a regular thing around here. Cindy--so sorry! I would hate that! Kazzy, I agree, I love to look at it and even be out in it for a few minutes, but that's it. Janelle, you are so sweet. I had a great time--I'll be blogging about it too!

February 21, 2009 at 4:26 PM

This will make me keep my mouth shut whenever I whine about our vacation mishaps!

February 21, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Day 3 of the Where’s Wenda? Contest is here. Today I am visiting all of the SITStas that commented on Three Bay B Chicks. That means you! Thanks so much for stopping by and for being a great SITSta!


February 22, 2009 at 5:42 AM

Oh my gosh, that whole experience is HORRIBLE! I bet you make doubly sure now that your trips to anywhere are sanctioned by the Almighty!

February 22, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Oh, I am so glad to finally get the rest of the story. I kept looking for part 3 while I was out of town but afraid I had somehow missed it. I am sorry your trip was so difficult, but it did make for a great cliff hanger on your blog.(Silver lining:-)

February 22, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Sheesh, Heidi. I cannot believe that cocoa sipping getaway. What a nightmare. I guess you'll be talking about this on many family gatherings for years to come. (Except the details probably can't get worse with every telling like they often do. They're about as bad as it gets already.)

February 23, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Yup this is why I don't do anything involving, snow, cold, and money...

February 23, 2009 at 1:51 PM

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