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12/29/08
Christmas Miracles

Welcome back Internets! I trust that everyone has a wonderful Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza/Festivus? Tony and I traveled up to the Great White North to see his family for the holidays. Instead of a detailed play-by-play kind of thing however, I figured I would just touch on some of the good things about the trip. Little Christmas miracles.

Christmas Miracle #1: Sonic and Krystal are both open on Christmas Eve. I know this because none of the airport shops and restaurants were open (being Christmas Eve and all) and I was hungry. This normally wouldn’t have been a problem except that our flight from Knoxville to O’Hare that was supposed to leave at 7pm got delayed until about 10pm, which means that the dinner I was expecting to eat when we landed in Chicago didn’t materialize. And security was shutting down, so we couldn’t leave the airport to go get food and bring it back. But Mom and Dad totally played Santa for us by hopping in their sleigh and roaming the streets of K-town until they found some open fast food, and then delivered it to the airport in a sack full of Christmas cheer (in the form of hamburgers). So we sat in the mostly-deserted airport (there were 4 other people there with us) at 10:00 at night on Christmas Eve and ate cheeseburgers from Sonic and it was the best. Christmas. Dinner. Ever. And I may have even pulled a Tiny Tim and been all “God bless us every one!”

Christmas Miracle #2: The plane made it to Chicago. Tony was completely sure that they were going to cancel our flight since there were only 6 of us waiting on the plane, (and one was a pilot just hitching a ride) but we overheard some of the airline people talking about how they needed the plane back in Chicago first thing in the morning, so that’s why we were still going at all. (That’s customer service right there. Nothing says “we value our customers” like being all “well we were going to cancel your flight for no reason and leave you stranded in an airport on Christmas Eve, but we need the plane, so you guys can come along for the ride if you want”. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside).

Christmas Miracle #3: We weren’t mugged on the subway. There was some discussion about the wisdom of riding the subway in Chicago at 1:00 in the morning on Christmas Day, since the thought was that only the nut-jobs would be out then, but we soldiered on anyway. And I won’t lie to you, there was a nut-job, but apparently he was a rather harmless nut-job, so we arrived to the Seester’s apartment safely and in possession of all our possessions.

Christmas Miracle #4: Tony’s Grandma’s Christmas cookies. I look forward to them all year. They’re like little bits of world peace with frosting and sprinkles. Soooooo good!

Christmas Miracle #5: We didn’t get lost. Tony and I ran around Chicago by ourselves for three days, and we never got lost. We transferred lines on the subway, took cabs, rode the Amtrak trains, and walked all over the greater downtown Chicago, and managed to know where we were going at all times. Considering that I’m not exactly known for being observant to my surroundings (“Skyscraper? What skyscraper?”) and Tony has the spatial reasoning of a rock (and I mean that in the nicest way), I was pretty impressed with how well we were able to get around on our own.

Christmas Miracle # 6: It was warm! This really was a Christmas miracle ya’ll. You know how I hate cold. Hate it! Hate it! Hate it! Snow and ice and slush and freezing rain are not my friends. So imagine my surprise when Chicago in winter was…well, not exactly warm, but not freezing! I was shocked! Friday had a high of 52 F degrees! Saturday had a high of 61 F! 61! In Chicago! In December! I didn’t even wear a coat! Seriously, it made my whole trip. All of the fun, none of the frostbite. I heart global warming.

Christmas Miracle # 7: I exercised! Officially, I’d given myself the week off from the gym since we were traveling, but I’d eaten so many Christmas cookies by Friday that I had to do something. (Grandma’s Christmas cookies may be world peace with sprinkles, but each one has the calorie equivalent of a 5 tier wedding cake). So even though I didn’t HAVE to, I tossed on some workout clothes and hit the gym for an hour of intense (and heart-attack inducing) elliptical-ing. And according to the machine-o-suffering, I managed to burn off 600 calories, which is approximately two licks of a Christmas cookie. Hey, every little bit counts.

Christmas Miracle #8: I had enough books! I packed two paperbacks and two electronic books for three days, which sounds like a lot but really isn’t. When you consider all of the sitting in airports and on planes and on trains that goes on with holiday travel, you can go through books pretty quickly. The good news was that I received a book as a Christmas present also, so that added another 500 or so pages of literary goodness. Nothing worse than sitting in an airport without any books.

Christmas Miracle #9: We were able to get home again! Despite the entire country hearing news reports about the weather being lousy (flash flood warnings in December?) and Chicago airports basically shutting down and all the flights getting cancelled and bleary-eyed passengers complaining about how they’d been stuck at the airport for the past three days, we had no trouble at all with getting home. We were worried, of course. Flights were being cancelled at gates all around us, but other than a short delay while we waited for a crew member to get there, our flight was fine. It seems that not even flash flooding can keep us down.

So that was my holiday. All chock-full of tiny miracles. Little things that made the entire trip wonderful. Plus we were able to see not only Tony’s family, but my Seester too, which was nice. I think everyone had a good time, and I wouldn’t have minded staying longer. I feel like we just barely brushed the surface. Next time, perhaps we can add another day to the trip. And maybe some more Christmas cookies.

1 comment:

cndymkr / jean said...

Wow, you really did have a lot of miracles. You are the first person I've heard of that made it to and from via Chicago that made it without problems. One friend was sent to Dallas and it took 24 hours to get back on course. I'm glad you had a good time. Feel free to share the recipe for the cookies.