Thanks for still checking in on us from time to time. 2008 was a chaotic year for us to say the least. One thing after the next and never seeming to catch a break in between, and lately it seems difficult to to find the + side of much of anything. This simply means that we've yet to learn the lessons that we are supposed to and we should get on it before we let life drag us down that much more. So, having said that, this is how we wrapped up our last year.
On Dec. 23rd, we decided to throw caution to the wind and be all wild and crazy with a surprise trip to Michigan. With about 24 hours prep time we packed our entire Christmas into the trunk of our broke down Civic and hit the road as soon as I finished work that evening 5-6PM. We took a lovely two hour rest in the fast lane of interstate 77 as we and half the state of Virginia waited for an accident to be cleared. We took advantage of the time by watching the awesome movie, Iron Man - an early Christmas gift from Santa. Eventually we started moving again. Slowly for about the first 45 minutes, but then it was clear sailing through the rest of the state and West Virginia as well. It was such a blessing to spend the unexpected time with the family. Marin almost didn't even mind being strapped into the car seat the whole time.
The rain started somewhere around the WV / Ohio border. I slowed appropriately so that we wouldn't get to Michigan too quickly. Driving in the rain can be so soothing to the nerves.
It was right around 2 AM as we were passing through New Philadelphia that the fun really started. Well, suddenly it was as if we were transported from out of our little civ and right onto some fantastic new roller coaster that only did circular doughnuts, probably about 5-6 of them. When our little adventure finally slid to a stop, I realized just how lucky we where. We had just encountered the fabled "black ice" that bad drivers seem to blame everything on (Jason). What a treat to see it firsthand. Additionally we were so luck in that it only took Marin 10 Min to stop screaming. (We really are blessed here as, literally, the only damage to any of us or the car was the memory that we will take with us... not even a scratch on the car.) I used the cell phone to call for help and it only took a police officer 45 minutes to show up. Coincidentally, that is also about the same number of yards that we had slid down an embankment from the road. We found out that it's been a busy night for all towing companies and that it would be about 3 hours before anyone could come out to help us. Marin was a champ and probably would have been just fine to wait but instead we talked the police officer into letting her have her first trip in the back seat of his police cruiser. Did any of you know that car seats do not fit in the back of police cars? So Marin was happy to simply rest on her mom's lap as we are escorted to the closest hotel on the road that we totally didn't just about die on. After not sleeping at all, I climbed out of bed at around 6 AM on Christmas Eve (two hours after checking into the room) and called AAA again to get the process rolling. They told me that they would have a tow truck out to me in about 45 minutes so naturally it took them 3 hours. At 9AM I climbed into the cab of the tow truck and went back to the car where in the daylight I could see that if we had slid a few more yards we would have finished in some random lake... Never to be seen or heard from again. What an adventure. Since the tow truck charges per ft. that they have to tow you back to the road, the bill only came to a couple of hundred dollars. I'm not sure exactly what it came to though because AAA gets that bill. I'm a card carrying member.
We get back on the road after a delicious continental breakfast and arrive safe and sound in Saline, MI. around 2PM on Christmas Eve, the first of my two days off. I was scheduled to catch a flight late Christmas day so that I could make it home in time for work on the 26th. I HAD to be back! Christmas morning, I checked my flight and realized that the first leg of my flight was delayed but the second leg was on time. This would cause me to miss the last leg out of Baltimore and effectively make it impossible for me to get to work the next day. Southwest was so wonderful to rebook my flight to one that would depart in 60 Minutes from the time that I hung up the phone with them.
I threw everything of mine into my luggage and jumped into the car where Craig sped us lickidy split the 45 min. to the Detroit Airport. I made my flight and returned home with almost no sleep and a brand new work day scheduled to start in about 10 hours time.
Katie and Marin drove safely home escorted by Craig (a million thanks) just before New Years Eve.
Both Katie and I feel horrible that her dad had to make that drive and then fly back the very next morning. Sorry, but again - thank you so much.
We had a great time and are glad that we did it but never want to repeat that in a million years.
The Super best part of this is that, within the last two months, this wasn't even the low point. This was the way back up.
2008, we will miss you.
2009, bring it on...
Enjoy some Pix.
Disclaimer - Katie will proof me some time later. For now, you'll have to excuse my many typo's and many staughterings of the english language. I'm going to bed. It's already been a long year.