Road Trip Maine—Escaping the Blizzard

I’m a little late in the game to be posting this, but it’s been a hectic week (when isn’t it??). Last week, record breaking Winter Storm Jonas hit the east coast in a frigid fury. Katie and I had just finished booking a spontaneous long weekend trip to North Carolina 3 days before, thanks to snagging a cheap flight by stalking Kayak.com’s price fluctuations like travel ninjas. I grew up in NYC, and I’m more than used to snowstorm predictions falling flat. The city air tends to bake those pretty flakes as they fall and turn winter wonderlands into slushy, dirt-stained disasters. Snow days were the myth of my childhood. Because of this, I laughed in the face of a predicted weather mess and hastily booked my flight without worry. Unfortunately, Charlotte and Ashville (our destinations, and my would-be 42nd state) got pummeled by ice and snow so badly that our flight was quickly cancelled, and the concept of leaving from a NYC airport became impossible. American Airlines actually laughed at Katie when she asked about a Saturday departure.

It was Friday afternoon and I began frantically texting Katie in an effort to salvage some facet of a trip. I’ve never actually had a trip cancelled completely at the last minute like that, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I was like a little kid who had the ice cream ripped from my shaking hand. Reasonable people would throw in the towel, buy a bottle of wine, and watch the blizzard roll in from the comfort of their living room. Unfortunately, we’re not reasonable. It’s one of the best parts about our relationship. After getting the idea endorsed by my equally as travel-obsessed mother, I asked Katie how she’d feel about borrowing the car and just driving north ahead of the storm. We knew that if we wanted to get out of town at all, it had to be that night. I’ve never packed a suitcase faster in my life—I didn’t even know if I’d packed socks or not.

I wasn’t sure that leaving in a tizzy was the best response to disappointment. There were plenty of things we could have gotten done during a long weekend at home. We had about 15 errands we’d been putting off for the last few months. I was sitting on the couch just before we made the final decision and feeling pretty anxious. I wasn’t sure if I was being hasty or reactive by needing to get away, and choosing a new plan for no good reason. I’m starting a new job soon and a lot is changing. Katie said she would be fine if we stayed, too. But I thought for a minute, got myself together, and just said:

“I think we should go”

We started driving. It wasn’t long before it got dark, and all we knew is that we had to get above the storm line before we turned in for the night (which was somewhere in Massachusetts). When we don’t know where we’re going, I always feel the most on track. It was amazing how calm it felt to be on the road, almost immediately, despite lingering traffic. My hesitation drowned in the country music playing on the radio, as gypsy plans unraveled. The road is one of my only true constants.

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