Thursday, November 26, 2009

planes, trains, and automobiles

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine. Spending a day with family and good food is my kinda holiday. And like my friend Christie said, spending a day in gratitude for the blessings we have is the perfect segue to the Christmas season.
I have always had so much to be thankful for. My life has been so filled with joy and comfort and I am truly grateful for my blessings. Just to name a few: my husband and my kids, my parents and siblings and Jason's parents and siblings, our beautiful first house and our wonderful community, the health of my family, and my husband's job in this tough economy. And while I am grateful for those things, I know that they are not necessarily all lasting blessings, and so my gratitude for my Savior and the Gospel is even greater.
And now, my most memorable Thanksgiving story.
Thanksgiving 2005: Jason and I had been married for almost 8 months and living in Laramie since August. We were excited for Thanksgiving break so we could go back to Utah to visit friends and family, eat at all of our favorite restaurants, and go shopping (those are all things that Laramie lacked for us at that point). We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving weekend and grudgingly left on Sunday morning to get back to Laramie. I had work in the morning and Jason had a paper due (one that he hadn't actually finished yet). The drive was going fine until we got to Rawlins, which is only about 90 miles west of Laramie. That's when we noticed this:
(except the one we saw said "Return to Rawlins" and the lights were flashing)
Ok, this was our first experiences with I-80 closing, and to be honest, we didn't really believe it would be closed, so we kept driving until we got to the gate that blocked freeway access. Then we finally turned around, ate lunch at Subway, and waited in vain for the freeway to reopen. We finally accepted the fact that it wasn't reopening any time soon, so we started to look for a hotel room. Which was really fun, because I was wearing pajama pants and flip flops and getting out to slosh through slushy parking lots to hotel offices, only to find out that they hadn't turned on their No Vacancy lights even though there weren't any rooms left. We had tried about six hotels with no luck when a car pulled across the parking lot exit, blocking us in. The driver got out and ran over to our car, and when Jason rolled down the window, the guy told us that he and his girlfriend managed to get a room at this particular fleabag motel, but they had charged them the rack rate and they were looking for someone to share it with them and split the cost. We didn't see any other options, so we told them we would.
They took us up to the room: one bed. They showed us the receipt: $140. This was a fleabag dump, folks. So we handed them a check for $70 and Jason got started on his paper while I watched Dude, Where's My Car? with our roommates.
It was awkward.
They decided to go out for dinner, and while they were gone, we discovered the roads had reopened, so we wrote them a note and left. Luckily Jason had been able to finish his paper, so we considered the $70 money well spent. It took us about three hours to go the 90 miles from Rawlins to Laramie, and it was white-knuckle all the way.
This was not our last experience getting stranded while living in Laramie, but it was by far our most memorable.
Goodness gracious, I am glad that we don't have to worry about driving conditions this weekend!!


Denise Faulkner said...

You missed it -- a really warm and nice Thanksgiving in Laramie, WY! Can you believe it? I hardly can. I loved your story:) Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

Adorably Distracted... said...

omg that's so scary!!