The Time We Went To The Snow And I Almost Did Murder  

Posted by Heidi in

Until recently, The Spouse and I were so lacking in resources (read: money, energy, sanity) and so abundantly blessed with abundantly troublesome kids with abundant misdirected energy that going anywhere was pretty much beyond our means. However, we did get one or two little vacations back in what I think of as “the dark days”. In each case we would start to thinking how we really needed a break and wouldn’t it be lovely “if”? We would plan it all out, see how much money it would cost, then throw the whole thing up in the air and set it on fire. Meanwhile, some guardian angel would write it down in the book of heaven and viola!--the exact amount of money needed would magically appear and all other obstacles would be made smooth. Clearly (at least it was clear to us), each of these trips was sanctioned by the Almighty.

Then one January day we decided we would give the Middle Child the birthday wish of her heart--snow-boarding lessons. Since a six hour round trip to the nearest snowfall and back was out of the question (our then 16 year old Big Guy, with his propensity for barfing, laughing maniacally and talking non-stop at 100 decibels, was in danger of being tossed onto the road an hour into any car trip) we decided to stay the three day weekend in a lovely establishment highly recommended by a sister who said--and I quote--“It is so fun to sit there by the cozy fire and watch the skiers outside while you sip hot chocolate.”

I pictured the Big Guy upstairs in our room with cable and chow (it had worked in the past), the Little Guy playing happily with toys and books at my feet whilst I sipped said chocolate, The Spouse and the Middle Child enjoying a snow-boarding lesson somewhere within shouting distance. So, we packed the car and left around noon, smug in our cleverness at leaving after the morning rush of traffic one generally encounters going up to the snow on a Saturday morning.

True, we had to sit at the toll bridge for nearly an hour before we got through, but I still had no presentiment of disaster until we stopped at some gas station/restaurant/gift shop two hours later to use the facilities only to find that the wait for the ladies room was 45 minutes. (The wait for the men’s room was five. That’s a subject for another post, one better written, no doubt, by Shelle). So, okay, we were only an hour and forty-five minutes behind schedule. Good thing the snowboarding lesson was for Monday morning! We still had plenty of time to get to the lovely recommended establishment and play in the snow before going out to eat our nice warm dinner.

When we hit the snow, we avoided putting on our chains for as long as possible. We laughed, a bit snidely, at the folk who were pulling over at the first hint of a flake, especially the woman with the Tahoe license plates. Surely she knew how to drive in this little bit of snow! When we could avoid it no longer, we, along with everyone but the smart lady from Tahoe, pulled into a rest stop to put on the newly acquired chains, the ones The Spouse vehemently assured me he could put on himself and, despite 1,000 attempts, could not. That was when it hit me—this trip had not been sanctioned the way so many others had been. No planning it out to the penny, no throwing it up in the air, no guardian angel, no money falling from the sky . . . we wanted to go, so we went. We were doomed.

After forever in the freezing snow and forking out $10 for someone (conveniently lying in wait for rubes like us) to put on our chains, we were finally again on our way. So, we were another 45 minutes behind but we were still doing good. We pulled up behind the other cars waiting to turn off onto the road to Tahoe and waited. And waited and waited and waited. We waited for an hour before The Spouse turned off the key in the ignition, got out and went to speak with the police officers we spotted up ahead. We were told not one, but two big-rigs had jack-knifed on the road ahead and we should turn around and go home.

Go home?!?! There was no way we were going to go home! This was no day trip! We had reservations at a very nice establishment and a whole weekend planned. We made a quick call to the hotel and let them know we would be late. They said, no problem, as long as you are here by ten, it’ll be fine. (It seems all the employees went home at ten. We thought this strange but no matter—we would be there in plenty of time!)

We had “planned” to be in Tahoe by three P.M. It was now nearly five and we were driving at about two miles per hour. We wondered how an accident, even two accidents, could possibly take so long to clear up. It became dark and then darker, the kids were starving (but barf-free) and we had no idea how much longer it would take us to get to our destination. Finally, after three hours of this, The Spouse had had enough and decided he was going to pull around the clump of cars to see what in the world was holding us up. That was when we realized we had been caught behind a pack of knock-kneed California drivers crouching in the beam of light from a giant snowplow.

Once I got The Spouse calmed down and driving was once again safe, we drove the last few miles to the hotel with humiliating ease and speed (on the way home, we learned that the $10 chain-fiasco rest stop was a mere 15 minute drive from the turn off to our hotel). We made it to our destination two hours shy of our ten o’clock deadline and boy were we cold, tired and hungry! We couldn’t wait to unload the car and run down to the hotel restaurant and have something hot to eat and drink. Little did we know our troubles had just begun.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at Tuesday, February 10, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

31 wise, witty and wonderful comments

I can't wait for the rest! It's kinda like the Black heels to tractor wheels story!

February 10, 2009 at 12:36 PM

First, what are you doing posting on a Tuesday?

And second, this sounds like an exciting trip!

February 10, 2009 at 12:43 PM

You have me on pins and needles waiting for the rest.

February 10, 2009 at 12:45 PM

OOooooh, you're a tricky one you are! Way to reel us in and leave us hanging!! Great (or not so great?) story so far!! :)

February 10, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Sounds like this trip was sanctioned not by the Almighty but the guy that lives in that hot place.
On the bright side...I guess you lived to tell about it!

February 10, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Hillary--you honor me! Kristina, I had to give up novel writing day this week b/c I have so much to do for Saturday. Lara and Melinda, sorry but if I were to tell the whole thing in one post, you would still be sitting here reading it. Loonnggg and, yes, Megz, hellish story.

February 10, 2009 at 1:03 PM

oh boy! what a ride, so far, can't wait to hear the rest :)

February 10, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I'm agreeing with Megz on this one. That Luci is a clever one!

February 10, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Stacey--I hope you'll be glad you went for the ride when it's all done. Laura--I had to think for a minute (or longer, something I am ashamed to admit) who the heck Luci is but I finally figured it out. sheez!

February 10, 2009 at 2:00 PM

sounds like someone is wishing they'd turned around and gone home after all? I'm looking forward to the conclusion

...maybe someday I'll post my road trip from Hades story... it has all the barfing that yours is lacking :)

February 10, 2009 at 2:32 PM

I love Tahoe, but we always went in the summer and went tubing down the Truckee River, or took the ski lift up the mountain and went hiking. We knew better than to go in the winter. That's a nasty road, that "highway" along the lake!

February 10, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I was just talking to my husband about a getaway over Spring break in April. Now I am getting nervous about it! Looking forward to reading the next installment!

February 10, 2009 at 3:04 PM

I'm looking forward to the rest. I can't believe you were only 15 minutes away and it took you so long!

February 10, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Uh oh. This is officially a Bad Beginning.

February 10, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Wah! You can't leave it there!

February 10, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Wah! You can't leave it there!

February 10, 2009 at 3:52 PM

That is one rocky road adventure Heidi. You left us hanging over a cliff.

Anyways, I love Tahoe. We were there a year ago for a wedding. Lovely. Thanks for stopping by today. I have seen you around before. Us Mormom Moms. We just like hanging out with each other.

See you around.

February 10, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Ha! I can only imagine what happens next! There are days when we get stuck in ski traffic on the way home from the mountains and it takes us and hour to go one mile... totally worth the trip to the "pow" though!

February 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Your life is never boring is it?

mmm hmmm, that's what I thought.

February 10, 2009 at 6:22 PM

T--I wanna hear your barf story! Kazzy--it better not be while I'm in Utah!! Heatherlyn, neither could we! Luisa, it was! Annette--yes I can! (It's too long!) Jan--I see you on Hillary's blog a lot . . .Fiona, if we were skiers, we wouldn't have been so dumb! Heather, no it isn't. I comfort myself with that thought b/c boring is deathly (but so is much of my life!)

February 10, 2009 at 6:46 PM

I love the way you tell a story...you should write a book! j/k!! I can't wait to hear the next installment!

Thanks for the comment and suggestion on my blog - I have a follower space now!!

February 10, 2009 at 9:39 PM

I love the image of you hoping to stay with your oldest while he is watching TV and eating and the youngest is playing with toys all so the middle child can snowboard with dad. Now that it putting family first, and I feel guilty for wanting to stay home when my whole family decided to join me for a trip to the library tonight.

February 10, 2009 at 9:43 PM

Oh my goodness, I can't belelive this did not happen to me. It is just the kind of thing that always does happen to me. Great story, can't wait for the finish.

I guess we all need stories like this in our lives, huh?

February 11, 2009 at 7:54 AM

Ah-the cliff hanger is just too much. I'm already dreading/looking forward to what comes next.

February 11, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Are you sure we're not related? Cause this would DEFINITELY happen to me....oh wait, I have been stuck on the freeway when it was closed down because of snow!

Finish the story already you great story teller you!

February 11, 2009 at 8:13 AM

I hope your adventure was pleasant, with only the rocky start?! Can't wait to hear more....

February 11, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Heather--I don't do well in the cold so not as selfless as it might seem. I hate to ski, and there was no way the Big Guy was going to do anything--he is multiply disabled--so, I never had visions of doing much but hanging around and reading and getting to eat good food I didn't cook. Okay, I'm off to write the next installment!

February 11, 2009 at 9:19 AM

I live and breath snowboarding, and I just got the new the new Sean White game for Wii and I love it (check out some reader written reviews of the game at EverHype – www.everhype.com/?utm_source=bc). I’m blessed to live in a ski community and owe my life to the sport. Thanks for such a great blog and for sharing my passion of the sport.

February 11, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Oh, I hate driving (super) slowly through the snow! And I was almost swearing along with your husband after finding you'd unwittingly been following a snow plow for eons. Ugh.

Well, I don't think you said he swore, but I sort of imagine that's how he might've felt.

February 11, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Jay--all I can say is, you probably don't want to read part two of this story. LIsa--yes, I believe that is exactly what happened. I don't remember for sure--I think I have blocked that part from my memory. :)

February 11, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Hahaha! This reminds me so much of our seven hour trip home from my sister's over Donner Summit last year that usually only takes two hours. I was completely unprepared for snow, had no food, and my 7 year old had to pee in a Jack in the Box cup :)

February 12, 2009 at 10:28 PM

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