How a 2 year old salvaged a holiday traveling nightmare (no, I’m not kidding)

Much of this blog, inevitably, concentrates on the struggles and difficulties of raising a little one. (Wouldn’t be much of a blog if I regularly posted things like, “This parenting thing’s a breeze! No problems here, no sir!”) But after the day my little family and I had today, I felt compelled to share the way Lily, our 2 year old daughter, managed to make a pretty crummy, delay-riddled day of travel into a tolerable, downright relaxing experience.

In order to celebrate Christmas with my family, Joe, Lily and I had traveled to my father’s home in North Carolina late last week. We’ve done this for many years now (since my parents retired to NC in the late ’90s), and we’re accustomed to getting off the plane to find warmer (than Michigan) temps and sunshine. So it never dawned on us to check the weather forecast before leaving this year. Aren’t there already enough details to worry about during the holidays?

So imagine our surprise as we watched, through the windows in my father’s house, six or more inches of snow accumulate on Christmas Day. Now, I knew from my two-year grad school stint at the University of Georgia that snow both excites and terrifies many folks who live south of the Mason-Dixon line, and judging by the local television coverage of the storm, this notion certainly seemed to apply to the people of Western North Carolina. But Joe and I soon became far more wrapped up in the snow’s consequences for us, specifically. As we checked in on the multiple flight cancellations out of Asheville that day, and heard forecasts calling for another couple of inches of snow the next day (when we were scheduled to fly home), our hearts sank. It’s one thing to be staring down a delay or an isolated cancellation on a regular day; it’s another thing entirely to wonder how an extremely large, upset backlog of people, all of whom would (understandably) be scrambling and jockeying for spots on outgoing flights in the coming days, would eventually all get to their destination – us included. Continue reading

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