Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ice Harvest

Has anyone seen that movie? Or read the book? They're both really terrible - mobs, strippers, foul language...but it takes place in Wichita, and John Cusack acted in it. Which means, at the time, it was a MUST SEE. Then I saw the book in the library this week, and checked it out to see if it was as bad as the movie...it is.

Anyway, that's not the point of my post. It just reminds me of our fateful trip we took to South Bend while we were in Indiana over Christmas. But, before I get to the story, here are some Christmas highlights.

The cousins started the tradition of opening Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve. They had a little bit of a rough start, though, as they were unsure about opening the presents. Lil Major loved the paper, and Captain just wanted to push his present around the room. But, how stinkin' cute are they???







We opened gifts in the afternoon on Christmas Day, so that my brother and SIL had time to drive down from Wisconsin. Once they got there, we ate brunch, and then hit the gifts. My sis gave me this fork...so that I can steal food from The Colonel's plate w/o getting stabbed. =)



The Colonel got a hat to match his son's...




After an afternoon of playing Wii, eating some more, and playing with new toys, we went to bed with the goal of leaving for South Bend at 7am the next day. We were heading to visit some friends from WAY back. Our moms were pregnant with us together, and we've been friends ever since. We're scattered all over the country now, so this was a treat that we were all in the same place at the same time.

Over the years, we've spent countless hours playing with their family (3 kids about the same ages as us), causing trouble, camping, hiding out in each other's cars to see how far we could get before being discovered. And we even call each other's parents Aunt and Uncle. Still. To this day!

South Bend is 150 miles from where we were. Should take about 2 1/2 hours, maybe a little longer if you stop for the babies. Wanna guess how long it took us??? Over 7 hours!! Why, you ask?? Because we hit a massive ice storm. Did anyone hear about the terrible ice in Indiana the day after Christmas? Well, we were smack dab in the middle of it.

Now, we're not idiots, we checked the weather before we left. I mean, come on, my dad WAS leading this expedition, and he's Mr. Travel Safety (except when I had to remind him to put his seat belt on, but I digress). The weather report said there could be some freezing drizzle north of where we were going. No big deal.

But, about 90 miles into the trip, we started seeing that freezing drizzle. The roads were slick, but we slowed down and were doing ok. Then we started seeing cars in the ditches.


Then I started panicking in my very small space I had in the back seat of the Accord next to Lil Major's HUGE carseat. And then we came to a standstill. For 90 minutes!

Sister was in a different car, but looks like she felt the same way I did.



We thought we were waiting for an accident to clear, but we finally found out that the highway had been closed, 4 hours earlier!! Before we even left home! There was no news about it, no signs on the road, no nothing. We all just sat there, for a LONG time. Finally, the left lane started moving, and we realized that there was an intersection up ahead where people were turning. We followed and ended up in a small town where we ate lunch at Burger King and decided our next steps. I was completely outvoted for going home. Which, was probably a good thing, because we were only 22 miles from our destination and 130 miles from home.

We mapped some side roads (thank goodness for GPS!), and headed out again. 2 1/2 hours later...we finally got there. Besides driving 25 mph, we had to stop several times for the cops to pull people out of ditches. They shut down the whole road to do this.

Are we really almost there???


FINALLY! There's the house!


Our friends were amazed that we made it. They should be, after what we went through! =) We had a wonderful visit with them for a few hours. The house was full of people, kids, laughter, yelling, food, fun, oh, and don't forget the wine (which I very much needed after my day in the car)!

We debated about spending the night in a motel, but the boys in our group vetoed, and we headed home. It had warmed up to 50 degrees while we were there so all the ice had melted. BUT, do you know what happens when ice melts b/c it warmed up to 50??? FOG! Yes, we still had to drive home going no more than 40 mph because of the fog. Grr! At least the boy and I were able to nap on the way. It was worth it, but I think my life will be shorter because of the experience.

So, what started out as this...



turned into this...



and now we're this...minus the photographer, a few kiddos in bed and a grandma who's helping the kiddos...

10 comments:

Jenn said...

I think I would have gone insane. Glad you made it safe and sound!

Eliza said...

Seriously. What a trip! Is that Marianna and her family?

Sally said...

Yep, that's Marianna and her family. Her boys were in bed already and her mom was with them.

JJ said...

I got a kick out of the fog comment! The same thing happened in Chicago that day. That's only the second time in my life that I've seen snow go directly from a solid to a vapor. And yes, driving in it was terrbile!

Mama2 said...

I think I had an anxiety attack just reading about your trip. That would be one of my worst nightmares. Would my cell phone have reached 911 to helicopter me out?

MammaMia said...

Glad you made it through the ice storm okay.
Your hubby stabbs you to? Don't worry once Lil Major starts reaching on his plate things will get better!

HouseMama said...

That is the longest drive EVER!!! I can't believe you didn't spend the night at a hotel. I can't believe I'm old enough to have babysat all of you!!! (Thanks for sharing the photos.)

Paulette said...

Well, I hope you're missing California now...

:)

abbagirl74 said...

Wow, what a trip! But you were all together and safe. That's all that matters.

Terri said...

that's a cool story and I'm glad you all made it safely! Is it just me or does Lil Major look about the same size or bigger than his cuz?