saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
[personal profile] saavedra77
People in the Puget Sound area aren't accustomed to what others in the Northern U.S. would consider routine winter weather--i.e., temperatures that hover below freezing for weeks on end, snow that actually accumulates on the ground and stays there for more than a few hours, icy roadways. Longtime area residents tell me that they haven't seen this kind of weather since before their grown kids were born. And the city of Seattle in particular doesn't seem well-situated to cope with such conditions: much of Seattle proper is spread out over steep hills, and the city understandably lacks the snow- and ice-removal infrastructure of a predictably wintry Boston or Chicago.

The region has experienced two winter storms during the past two weeks. Neither would have constituted a major weather event by the standards of New England or the Upper Mid-West: a few inches of snow at most, persistent freezing temperatures, negligible wind. In Seattle, however, this has meant perilously icy roadways, especially on the hills (in one case resulting in a nearly-disastrous bus accident, near here); school and business closures; canceled bus routes; and numerous canceled flights out of SeaTac Airport.

The ground was still coated with snow and the roads were still slick ice from the earlier storm when the latest one arrived. By Saturday afternoon, weather services were predicting "blizzard conditions" in the Seattle area from Saturday night into Sunday. Predictions of 50-MPH winds and widespread power outages proved wildly exaggerated, but we did get about five more inches of snow overnight, followed by freezing rain--meaning a new coat of ice--early this morning.

This was right about the time that a lot of us were planning to fly out of Seattle for the holidays. The airlines started preemptively canceling flights before the first snowflakes fell, including my connecting flight back East, [livejournal.com profile] sarrabellum and [livejournal.com profile] sleepwhenimdead's flight to New Orleans, another friend's flight to Cabo, etc.

So my holiday travel plans, like a lot people's, have run afoul of the winter weather. Thankfully, I found out about the cancellation in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday (over 16 hours before my flight), and thus did not have to risk life and limb getting to the airport on these icy roads only to be placed on "standby" for what would probably be a more crowded, more expensive flight, God-knows-when.

When the airline failed to provide me with a practical, affordable alternate to my canceled flight, my travel agent even got them to refund my ticket. So there's that.

I broke the news to my family back in New Jersey, last night. We're all really disappointed, but agreed that at this point it would be more sensible for me to reschedule my visit for some time less likely to be affected by snowstorms or holiday demand. I might try to make it out there this June for my great-niece's high school graduation, instead.

Meanwhile, I'm stranded here in this snow-globe of a city with the week off and no firm plans. For those of you who may be similarly situated, do you think you'd be up for a little "Stranded in Seattle" holiday get-together? Possibly with my homemade coquito (basically, Puerto Rican eggnog) on the menu? My place is small, but I might be able to put together something. Alternatively, I could bring a very large thermos of coquito to your holiday event ...

Also: I'm always up for trips to the movie theater (assuming they're open ...), might be into some sort outdoor winter activity ...

Blizzard, day 3

Date: 2008-12-21 11:00 pm (UTC)
drglam: Cloned kitten, in a beaker (Default)
From: [personal profile] drglam
I'd take you up on that in a hot second. Except that the snow-globe I'm stranded in is a continent away.

Re: Blizzard, day 3

Date: 2008-12-22 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saavedra77.livejournal.com
Also, I imagine that Bostonians are having a good laugh at the kind of weather that has us immobilized, out here ... :)

Date: 2008-12-21 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarrabellum.livejournal.com
Haven's flight to Denver was cancelled, too, so he's here for the next few days as well. I don't know what tomorrow will be like, but I was hoping that people could get out and about and we could have friends over for Hanukkah.

Date: 2008-12-22 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saavedra77.livejournal.com
Maybe, if I can find a way up there.

Also, I'm going to try to bestir myself to make that coquito batch, today.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2008-12-22 01:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saavedra77.livejournal.com
Thanks, Wells. We're managing to have some fun in the neighborhood--making the most of the closed streets and steep, snowy hills.

And safely, for the most part. :)

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