Undaunted, we managed to overcome even these obstacles. To remedy item 1), I shoveled my driveway and much of my little cul-de-street to enable us to drive on nearly 75 yards of snow-free pavement before any serious slipping and sliding began. This was at 4:30 on a Friday morning. We left at this ungodly hour to allow for plenty of time to get to the airport, which I heard would be cheek-by-jowl with travelers stranded over the previous two snow days. Even though I felt certain that our flight would be delayed – or even cancelled – I wanted to make sure I spent the precious time that I might’ve been en route to our dream ski vacation staring at the cheeks and jowls of thousands of similarly discouraged travelers.
In the end, our flight was only delayed an hour, due to NOBODY AT THE CHARLOTTE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAVING A SHOVEL. The tarmac around every plane was an obstacle course of rutted, frozen snow and the poor luggage handlers looked as forlorn as the Donner Party trying to get our stuff on the plane.
Item 2) – my wife being un-present for all the excitement – was due to her leaving town on a business trip before the snowstorm hit. She was supposed to return on Thursday, so she could constantly harangue me and the boys to pack for the trip. No luck. That was the worst day of the “blizzard.” The poor woman was forced to fly directly to Utah and start her vacation early. Without the boat anchors of a husband and kids. Best day of the trip, I think I heard her say later.
Item 3) we handled the way any loving parents would – we told No. 5 tough toenails, we bought you airline tickets, lift tickets, took you out of school – you’re skiing.
We ultimately arrived in Utah in good order – four out of five kids, No. 2’s girlfriend, my wife and me. There was something like seven feet of accumulated snow on the slopes in Park City. And get this, you Nawth Caylina wimps – they apologized for NOT HAVING MORE!