Monday, September 08, 2008

How To Become Your Father In 17,857 Excruciating Steps

This past weekend was girl's weekend, and me and my two best girlfriends (and cp's) went to Jefferson, TX to stay in a haunted hotel. Unfortunately, I cannot report any spooks, but I did pick up a really cool purse. :) It's been forever since I traveled - thank God - but just packing one bag brought back all the memories of my traveling days when I was a corporate trainer. So I'm going to tell you about my crazy trip to Denver.

I was doing a two-day accounting training in Denver the week before Christmas, 2006. Fly out on Sunday, train Monday, Tuesday, fly back Tuesday night. I checked the weather and it was supposed to be in the high 40's and sunny all week. For someone who's always hot that sounded like a bit of heaven. So I packed my carry-on with two days of regular business clothes, grabbed a light-weight jacket and headed to the airport in blue jeans, tennis shoes and a T-shirt.

Class went fine on Monday, until Monday afternoon when the students started talking about a blizzard that was coming. Excuse me??????? Yep, there was a blizzard coming - the next day. Now, did these people do the smart thing and send me home figuring they could do the last of training by webex sometime later? Noooooooooo.

The next morning I wake up to a foot of snow on the ground and more on the way. I get in my rental car (which of course, is NOT a 4-wheel drive) and creep off to class, glad their office is only two miles away. I get to the office, but only three employees from the whole company are there - again, did anyone call me and tell the Texas girl with the non-4-wheel drive not to leave the hotel? Nooooooooo.

So I sit there until 10:00 am when the manager finally decides that the storm is getting worse and no one should come to work. You think? So I head to my rental and start skating back to the hotel. The hotel entrance was slightly elevated and all the roads were covered with ice, so I gunned it and managed to get the car to slide into the parking lot sideways where it promptly stopped against a snow bank. I got out and left it there.

Went into hotel, which only serves breakfast mind you, and asked where I can get food, because apparently I am going to be there a while. They say there is "sorta" a grocery store across the street. So I change into my blue jean and tennis shoes and throw on the light jacket - mid 40's, remember? The wind was blowing almost 50 mph in a straight line, and I had to walk head into it to get across the street. The snow drifts were already 3 foot tall in some places. It took me twenty minutes and three falls to get across the street into the "sorta" grocery store. And that's when I realized what the sorta part was for.

It was an organic health food store!

It was then that I really started wondering exactly what I had done to send such horrible karma my way. I am not organic or healthy and I was literally stuck with trying to find something I could choke down for however many days I was going to be stuck here. I finally settled on bread and organic peanut butter - which is nasty!

The storm raged on for two days and was the biggest mess Denver had ever seen - yep, that's right - I was in THAT storm - the one that left thousands of people trapped at the airport for days.

On Thursday, I woke up and it had stopped snowing. Yeah! I looked out the window and couldn't even see my rental. It was completely covered. People were riding bobsleds down the street and a group passed by on cross country skiis. But it looked like some business were open. And that's when I decided to become my dad.

You see, I walked two miles in the snow for groceries.

C'mon, we've all heard the story about how lucky we are because our fathers had to walk two miles in the snow to get to school. Well, I trumped him. I had to walk it for food!

Two miles creeping on ice laden roads in Nikes and blue jeans for a chicken pot pie and some hot wings. Even more dire, I'd run out of books!!!!!!

After sitting at the airport for 17 hours on Friday, I finally managed to get on the last flight leaving Denver. If that flight had not left, I would have gotten home for Christmas on the 29th.

Ask me again if I miss traveling? Ever?

Deadly DeLeon


Keri Ford said...

YUCK! Need I say much more? That who trip sucked. Glad it sounds like your trip with your girlfriends was better--except for the lack of spooks, which I would have been forever thankful for.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed you didn't see any ghosts! Not that I'd really care to see any myself, mind you. Nor would I want to walk two miles to a grocery store! Yikes! Actually, I don't think I could walk two miles. Even in good weather.

Christie Craig said...

LOL, Jana.

Yup, I think we all have the story of walking two miles, uphill, in the snow.


Wendy Roberts said...

Yes, travelling sucks. Now suck it up and come to the Bouchercon conference in Baltimore next month... pulleeeese!

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Keri - But I was REALLY wanting to see a spook! What a great story that would have been.

Jana DeLeon said...

Tori - I didn't even remember to mention how I got to dig my rental car out from the snow drift too. Apparently that is not a service the Hampton Inn offers. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Christie - Yeah, I'm pretty sure all our fathers lived at the snowy bottom of that same hill.

Jana DeLeon said...

Oh Wendy, I wish I could! Maybe next year. (sigh)

Anonymous said...

Given Hampton Inn is in the hospitality business, you'd think they'd be more hospitable!

Gemma Halliday said...

I am SO glad I'm only traveling on the west coast this year. Heat wave is abut the nastiest thing we have to contend with.