Monday, December 28, 2009

Lazy in Massachusetts

So, I've had the whole week off while I've been in the VolksRepublik for the last week visiting with the In-Laws. I've thought several times about posting, maybe throwing in a picture of two for the non-believers, but, I'm basically a lazy guy when I'm on vacation. So I didn't. I'll try to make up for some of that here in the near future, but thought I'd go ahead and fill you in on my holidays. First off, I hope all of yours were happy, and that you got exactly what you wanted, or at least, what you deserved :)

We drove on up to Charlotte last weekend to catch our flight into Yankee-Land. I, for one, had no idea it would be that crazy at the airport, almost a full week before Christmas. Apparently, the time doesn't matter, as long as it's the Saturday before Christmas. The airport was absolutely packed, and we stood in a line for almost an hour, just waiting to check in our bags and get our boarding passes. Though there was entertainment while we waited. Directly in front of us in line stood a couple. The gentleman was probably mid to late 40s, his companion a few years younger. The gentleman was dressed in a nice suit, a little flashy for my tastes with the silk and the bold color choices, but what really made the outfit, was the floor-length, grey fur coat he was wearing. I'm not talking a coat with a fur collar and cuffs, I mean beautiful grey fur top to bottom. It was like straight out of a 70's blacksploitation movie. The entertainment part came next. Do you know how hard it is to keep two small children under 4 years old from reaching out and 'petting' the 'pretty'?? Well, I certainly do now, and let me tell you, it was exhausting. But to be honest, that was the hardest part. The flight was smooth, the kids behaved, and everything went well. The only hiccup at all was dealing with TSA in Charlotte. Some woman who really shouldn't be in a position where she has to deal with people, got her panties all in a wad because I didn't push my little bin far enough into the machine. While I was trying to wrangle a 3 year old and a 19 month old as my wife was getting her own stuff into her bin. This led her to pull us off to the side, so that she could force us to open up my 19 month old's sippy cup of apple juice, which she was drinking from(!), so they could wave the sniffer over it and make sure it wasn't some sort of liquid explosive. Absolutely ridiculous behavior, from someone who should not be in a position of authority over a turnip, much less, honest citizens.

So we land in Taxachusetts, and make the drive out to the In-Laws on Cape Ann, bout an hour or so North and East of Boston. The temp there, is hovering right at about 30 degrees....Fahrenheit...and it was the high temp for the day!! Bad news, storm forecast to blow in that night. We get settled in, have a good evening, and toddle off to bed. I wake up the next morning, or should I say I was woken up by my 3 year old wanting to snuggle at about 0600. That lasts for maybe 20 minutes or so before all the squirming gets to be too much, and we just go ahead and get up and get the day started. I look out the window.....not good. 6+ inches of snow on the ground, still snowing heavily, and not predicted to end any time soon. I see shoveling in my future. My Father In Law confirms shoveling, but states it won't begin until after lunch. I watch the approaching hour with dread. You have to understand, I'm a good Southern Boy, and to me, snow means sitting tight for a day or so, it'll melt and go away. The biggest problem will be power outages from all the ice building up on trees, causing them to fall and break power lines.

When they say snow up north, they don't mean the heavy, wet, stuff the glops on your windshield and forms slush on the roads. (as an aside, whenever it snows down south, you almost always see cars in the ditches, and often as not, it's someone from up north who thinks they know how to drive in snow, they don't realize that in the south, an inch of snow on the ground means a quarter inch of ice underneath it, and there's no driving on that crap) The snow falling that day, was light, dry, fluffy, and plentiful. Plentiful meaning that by the time we got out there after lunch, there were between 12 and 14 inches on the ground, drifts of two to three feet, and still snow falling. Here's where the real craziness kicks in. I was standing knee deep in snow, trying to shovel off a clear spot to stand so that I could shovel snow, while it was still snowing! I don't know about you, but that's just unnatural in my book.

3 hours plus of shoveling, and you'd think the driveway would be clear. You'd be wrong. There was another three quarters of an inch on the drive that had fallen while I was shoveling, but I left that where it lay. I thought it was particularly tortuous, that might wife and Mother In Law bundled up the girls and brought them out to play in the snow while I was shoveling it. They got to go back inside when they got cold, I on the other hand, got to keep on shoveling :/

Aside from that, it was a great trip. I kept meaning to get on and make a post, but things kept getting in the way, usually either small children, or, after they went to bed at night, bottles that needed emptying. No apologies, I enjoyed myself immensely :)

One note, we flew back this past Saturday, the day after Christmas, and the day after the attempted airline bombing. The staff at Logan airport in Boston were exemplary. The only delay was because of weather affecting the flight coming into Boston, so that we were about a half hour late in boarding and taking off. Even then, they somehow made up that time while in the air, so that we landed at Charlotte at the originally scheduled time. Both the airline staff and the TSA employees at Logan were courteous and helpful, and restored me somewhat after my TSA experience in Charlotte.

Over all, a great trip, and I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as much as I did mine.