December 19, 2009: No Party Day for Us

The original plan for today was that we were going to hold a large “drink all of our booze in our empty apartment” party.  The theory being that the apartment would be pretty much empty at this point with nothing left except for the furniture.  Unfortunately, as we were stuck without vehicle this week that did not happen at all.  So the apartment is still as full as it was when I left on Tuesday.

First thing this morning I got a ride down to Enterprise Rent A Car and picked up the Kia Sedona that we are renting for the weekend.  We got that home and shortly thereafter Katie arrived to help us get ready for the party tonight.  Katie helped put down the seats in the minivan so that we were able to fit a ton of stuff into it.  The Sedona will be awesome for moving things to storage.  Each load in it is three or four loads in the BMW.

We got the Sedona loaded and then Katie and I ran down to storage to drop off the load.  That was a super productive trip – the best one of the entire process thus far.  So far, Dominica and I are liking the Sedona much more than the Grand Caravan that we rented in Texas a few months ago.  Sitting in each is about the same but driving the Grand Caravan is terrifying to drive as it has no control and slides even on hot, dry pavement.  The Sedona felt solid and safe.  Considering that it is less expensive and has a better crash rating it is clearly a better choice.  We are definitely going to be considering getting one of these once we live in Texas and have lots of kids to drive around.

That one load with the Sedona made a huge impact on the house.  You can completely see that the house is much more empty now.  It is a relief to see some progress actually happening on the packing.

There is a huge snow storm, a big Noreaster, predicted for today expected to hit our entire area so our attendance for the party tonight is rapidly dwindling.  We had a few cancellations yesterday and all morning more and more people have been contacting us to tell us that they can’t make it or feel that they should not because of the weather.   Katie arrived way before there was a hint of snow so we didn’t have to worry about her and Ryan was coming via Metro North so he doesn’t have to worry about snow either.  Brian and Tara were leaving Philadelphia when their dog sitter canceled on them due to the inclement weather that they were expecting down that way so they had to cancel as well.  So our party of ten or more dwindled to just four (including Dominica and I) in no time.

Katie and Dominica prepared for the party most of the day while I did some work for the office and some packing.  Not a lot of spare time today.  Ryan came up around six thirty, if I remember correctly, we had been clear all day but the snow started a little while before Ryan came so when I drove down to the train station to pick him up the Kia Sedona slid a significant way down Hudson Street which is very, very steep.  It was a little scary driving out there even though there was not very much snow.  They are not plowing the streets yet which is rather a problem on these crazy Peekskill hills.

We had our small party which was fun.  It was nice to get to see Ryan for the first time in more than a year since we moved out of Eleven80 in Newark.  Ryan is the only one of the “old gang” left at Eleven80 since Kevin and Pam bought a house recently.  Ramona is still living in China.

After the party I drove Ryan down to the train station so that he could begin his long trek back to Newark, NJ.  After I dropped him off I quickly realized that I had no way to get back home.  With it having snowed quite a bit more than my last time out driving and still no plowing having happened I didn’t even have the slightest hope of making it away from the train station.  I started sliding backwards down Hudson as soon as I tried it.  Very scary.

After some experimenting I was able to get around to downtown Peekskill and made an attempt at getting up the hill on Maple rather than Hudson which is less steep and less likely to have me slide out of control backwards into heavy traffic.  On Maple I actually made it fairly far, but never to the steep part of the hill, but lost all momentum because someone was stuck sideway in the road (and then, when they got unstuck they drove straight at me like crazy people even though they knew that they had trapped me in the middle of the road.)

I spent a good thirty or forty minutes trying to get the car someplace safe.  I was stuck going down the hills backwards as I could control the car enough to turn it without it becoming stuck mid-incline.  Eventually I managed to get the car stuck in a snowbank downtown where I got out and began the long trek, on foot, from downtown Peekskill up to the house in Chapel Hill.  It was very cold and the roads were so slippery that I was almost unable to walk up them.  No wonder the car wasn’t able to make it.  I was actually considering whether or not I would have to crawl up the hill to be able to keep moving.

It took almost an hour of walking in heavy snow uphill to get back to Chapel Hill.  Katie and Dominica were still waiting up for me with hot coffee when I walked in the door.  Boy was I exhausted.  I was pretty frozen too and my right ears had a piercing pain in it (which is still bothering me a week later as I write this!)  It was pretty much time for bed after I arrived home.

So much for our packing plans.  Now, once again, we have no car at all but now we are paying $175 per day for it!  This is really bad.  We couldn’t possible have worse timing for this level of automotive disaster.

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