Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Adventures!

Well, we made it to Portland! We weren't sure we would.

They have been socked in with a record-breaking snowstorm for two weeks. My parents have been stuck up on their hill and were unable to prepare for our impending visit.

After the airport was closed for multiple days and my mother-in-law couldn't manage to fly up there, we started getting creative with our trip plans.

We had planned to drive up there in one day, to maximize The Hubby's days off. We then offered to extend it to a day and a half in order to detour over to my mother-in-law's to pick her up and drive her up there with us. Then things started getting crazy and The Hubby and MIL decided to drive straight through, timing the trip so that we do the Oregon portion during the day.

Meanwhile, I began to stress out that we shouldn't be going at that point at all, because we would be running the risk of getting stuck 60 miles outside of Portland, with six people in our car, and how much would that suck????

I was outvoted.

We left Monday night at 8:45 pm or so. We arrived in San Jose at 2:00 am. My MIL had been sleeping in her comfortable bed, so she got in and immediately took the wheel for a 2am - 6am shift so The Hubby and I could try to get some sleep (the quality of sleep in a car leaves much to be desired, even for the kids).

We were in Oregon at about 8:00 am Tuesday. The snow in the higher elevations was beautiful! Blue sky, sun, snow-covered mountainsides and trees!

Aside from the million straight hours in a car and the exhaustion from crappy sleep, the car trip went well until the last 60 miles. That's when we hit the snowy, icy, rutty roads and the slow going. My fears were coming true.

The Hubby tried to put chains on, even tried to pay the guy to help, but they were too small and wouldn't go on. He drove around, trying to find more chains to buy (all stores were sold out), almost getting stuck in the snow on the side roads.

Just guess at my mental state at that point. Just guess how the kids were doing, already in the car for 16 hours.

There was no way that even if we made it to Portland we were making it to my parents' house, without chains, and since my parents had no supplies it would be kind of rude of us anyway. The plan was to go to my brother-in-law's place.

There was more drama around the fact that my mother-in-law was supposed to be going to my other brother-in-law's house and we were trying to arrange a meet-up somewhere with him (he lives way on the other side of Portland). There were many cell phone all made to try and arrange that. MANY CELL PHONE CALLS.

Then Big Girl started having severe pain behind her knee, causing me to freak out. None of us could take much more.

Freeways were closed, the meet-up was impossible, we had no chains, but we made it part way down my BIL's snowy street and walked the last short distance to his house!!!

After 22 hours in the car, we were in a house! A house of loving relatives including my 15-month-old niece! The kids were ecstatic, and I didn't care what happened from there, I was not in that car anymore!

We ate, played, and collapsed in bed.

The next morning, we all felt like new people. More snow was falling, and the kids went outside to play! What a heart-warming sight that was for me.

The Hubby got the chains on the car, with BIL's help. He thinks they were smaller since they were colder.

After such rejuvenation, we were feeling up to visiting a grocery store (Christmas Eve crowds - that's okay) to restock my parents' house, and attempt the drive up the hill.

It wasn't long until we were with Grandma and Granddad! What a happy reunion!

We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner with them, and Santa came in the night.

Christmas morning.
Children discovered the surprises he left for them, even better than they had expected, presents were opened and enjoyed.

More snow began to fall and we all went outside to play and build a snowman!

For a bunch of Southern Californians, it truly was a Christmas Day to remember!

The Hubby and I are now, Christmas night, babysitting our niece. It's BIL's birthday today and he's got NBA tickets. His babysitting plans fell through and we were happy to step in as our birthday gift to him.

We'll soon have to try to get back up that hill, so hopefully we won't be stuck down here with our kids up at Grandma's... We're cautiously optimistic about that!


Jen on the Edge said...

You are so very brave.

smalltownmom said...

What an ordeal! I hope you get back safely.

Jason, as himself said...

UGH!!! This is my worst nightmare. I am so glad you made it in one piece and that you're having a good time now.

Holiday travel is difficult. Holiday travel with bad weather and road conditions, is a nightmare.

I hope the drive back is better.

LemonySarah said...

Twenty-two hours in a car?! Including horrible driving conditions? I would have been a basket case.

I stand in awe of you. I also bow to you.

Your extended family sounds like a dream, which is very helpful when you're snowbound.

Merry Christmas, etc. to you and yours!

JCK said...

Wow! That sounds like QUITE the adventure. My heart was racing along with your story telling - imagining myself in the same situation.

So glad it all worked out and you are having a good trip.

Happiest of Holidays to you, Barbra!

LemonySarah said...

barbra, I miss your posts! You didn't resolve to stop your blog, did you?