Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Adventures as a Pack Mule, Part One.

First: How I didn't lose readers this past week, I will never ever know!!! I promise the reason I was gone for so long is a good one, but every day I was sure I was losing followers left and right...I typically like to update daily, so a week off with no word, I was convinced I would have lost some of you. But no! You all stuck it out, and I even managed to gain a couple followers in the woo hoo!

Second: On the heels of the announcement that this winter of 2009-2010 is indeed the SNOWIEST on record here in the DC region, I present to you my blog post in which I became a PACK MULE because of this lovely, LOVELY weather (can you sense the sarcasm?)...

I will be doing this post in timeline format, oh, and yes, there are two parts to this pack mule story. Part two (provided we don't lose power--please, dear God, no more) will be tomorrow.

Friday, February 5, 2010:
Reports circulate that the incoming winter storm will be a doozy. We were told that if we hadn't gotten supplies to make it for days on end without power and access to anything, well, we basically had shot ourselves in the feet.

(We had gotten supplies, and thank goodness I had included D batteries in the grocery list!)

10:30 pm: Snow has been falling steadily for a while. Lots of wind and lots and lots of snow.

11:58 pm: While watching Project Runway on DVR, I hear a crack-boom, and lo and behold, the power is GONE. G-O-N-E. Mr. Dina and I furiously try to find the D batteries he had bought so we can use our awesome flashlight. They are GONE. Just like the power. Sigh.

Saturday, February 6, 2010:

12:30 am: Can't find the D batteries, but have found a small flashlight. And some candles and some matches. We can see the bathroom to go to the bathroom. Well, thank goodness.

12:35 am: I find my reading flashlight. Well, yay, I can read the book about mountain climbing in the Rockies. Just perfect...I get to spend the evening reading about blizzard conditions somewhere else. Haha.

9:00 am: Family is up. Still no power. Sadness. Rex does, though, point out where he put the D the cabinet, of course. :P

10:30 am: Starting to get REALLY cold in the house. Children are now wearing overcoats.

12:00 pm: I take a bath. The hot water works, which is a blessing.

3:30 pm: We give up. We call my dad and let him know we have to go to a hotel for the night, possibly two (we have our aunt at my dad's--pretty tight quarters--8 people in 1500 square feet).

And now for the photographic journey (part one) of our adventures as pack mules...

4:00 pm: Goodbye, cold, frigid house. We may see you soon, or it may be weeks. You are lovely, but without power, kind of useless to us in the middle of a driving snowstorm (or two).

4:10 pm: Here is the best photo of me as a pack mule. I have CW in a Bjorn that is *supposed* to only carry up to 26 pounds. CW weighs almost 30. On my back is my backpack full of supplies for two days away from the house. The backpack weighed about 20. Yep, I was carrying 50 extra pounds of weight!!! It was like I was 9 months pregnant ALL OVER AGAIN. Good times...

4:15 pm: We made it to the end of our block. I was not the only pack mule. Mr. Dina was one, too. Rex weighs almost 40 pounds. The Vera Bradley Large Duffel filled with clothes and snacks for the kids? Almost 20. Yep, Mr. Dina got to feel what 9 months of pregnancy feels like, as well. He was a little worn out...and get this...we had to go ALL the way to the edge of the neighborhood to meet my dad...ONE MILE.

4:16 pm: You remember the crack-boom that I mentioned in the timeline? Yes, the one that shut our power off? Well, although there was THUNDERSNOW (great, great word, btw), the cause of the crack-boom was at the end of our street. TREE VERSUS POWER LINE...Tree won.

4:30 pm: Almost 75% of the way there. At about the halfway point, I gave up. I couldn't carry CW anymore. Fortunately, I was able to carry her through the really REALLY deep snow (like 30 inches), and by the point that I was done, the street had been driven on enough (not that we would drive in it, but still, thank you, drivers) so that Rex and CW could walk. This is my favorite picture from the far. So cute!

4:35 pm: One block away from RESCUE!!! Rex was beyond excited to see my dad. He liked the walk, but he is little and was starting to get worn out. Mr. Dina was carrying CW by this point.

4:45 pm: We meet up with my his 4WD. He takes us to the house I grew up in, we have a great meal (YUM!), and then he brings us to the hotel nearest our house (just in case the power comes back on in our 'hood, we could just walk home--yes, we are a bit optimistic).

10:00 pm: We are all done. We pack it up for the night, and sleep, sleep, sleep.

Sunday, January 7, 2010:
Whoops, I meant February 7, only FELT like January! ;)

8:00 am: Wake up on the 18th floor of the hotel nearest our house to a sparkly, sunshine-y morning. But the sun was a was still FRIGID and very snow-covered, everywhere.

9:00 am: Still taking photos of the view. It is incredible. If we had been on the other side of the hotel, we would have some awesome views of DC. Instead, we have views of...our neighborhood, my old school (where I still substitute from time to time), a new building being constructed near our home (and is looking to be a behemoth), and 395 (also one of the major highways in the area). Go ahead and click the photo above. Based on the photo, you would NEVER be able to tell that is a major highway. I HAVE NEVER seen 395 look like that.

12:30 pm: We have checked out of the hotel, and well, what do you know? We are going to try to spend the night at my dad's, even with my aunt there. The more the merrier, right? Well, turns out there aren't enough blankets and pillows at my dad' we head to Target at Skyline (which is the building in the photo above) and stock up.

BTW, we hear from a neighbor who lives down the street from us (she was at the same hotel as we were) that there may not be power for an ENTIRE week. Sigh. Target becomes our refueling station.

My Improvised Superbowl Look...
My Improvised Superbowl Look... by dinagideon featuring Keds shoes

6:00 pm: I change. I was wearing one outfit, but decided to change so that Mr. Dina wouldn't be all concerned about me wearing Colts colors (remember, Sunday was the Superbowl). (I had been wearing teal, and that was just too close for comfort.) Not that I changed into Saints' colors (keep in mind, I wasn't really thinking about what I should wear for the Superbowl when I was packing for this mini-adventure of ours)...see the polyvore above for what I did wear.

Amazingly, though, Mr. Dina HAD brought for himself an outfit with Saints' colors. Good for him. He says he wasn't even planning to do just happened. Whatever...we all know that he is a budding fashionista (or fashionisto?).

7:00 pm: We look happy, but in reality, I was just along for the ride, happy to be in my childhood home, not freezing, and being able to enjoy electricity. Mr. Dina spent the next 2.5 hours freaking out...but in the end...the Saints won!

PART TWO will continue tomorrow.

Little sneak peek: We went home on Monday, January 8, 2010. It took way less time to get power restored than we thought. We still had to be like pack mules for the journey home, though, so the title sticks.

What I will not be going into in part two: This current in, holy moley...there was ANOTHER big storm...not even three days after the last storm ended!!! (And the current object of my prayers--please, please, please protect our power lines from the wind...I really do not want to have to write a My Adventures as a Pack Mule, Parts Three and Four...)

Thank you all for sticking it out with me. SWAK!


Melissa T. said...

So glad you are all okay. Your last posted mentioned a sick CW, so my mommy worry brain was afraid something terrible had happened. Not that snow and cold aren't bad. Glad your home and pray your power stays on.


dinagideon said...

Hi, Melissa: Oh, thank you!!! She did a have a rough week last week, but by the time she got better, we had to hightail it out of dodge! :) So I couldn't even really do an update...

Pamela said...

Oh my lord. That story is too much. I cannot believe the FREAKING SNOW YOU ARE GETTING!!! The picture of the down tree was too much. Wow. And your major interstate snow covered. Wow. Be safe with the new round of snow coming your way. When will it end?!?! Hopefully in a few months, when it's warm and sunny, you can look back and chuckle. Probably not so much now. Take care guys!!!!

jjc said...

Sunday, January 7, 2010?

can't help but notice it. :) What a story - your timeline offers such a vivid narrative of adventures in snowpocalyse 1.0 (is it 2.0 as we speak?)!

The kids look good in their snow gear, after a one mile trek in the snow!

Kristin said...

Wow is all I can say! Gorgeous pictures but not gorgeous to live through. Stay warm and stay safe. Your followers will still be here!

Summerilla said...

So happy you were able to get to a warm place! That mile walk must have felt like it took forever. Luckily CW and Rex looked like they handled it like pro's! I'm happy to see you are posting, which means you didn't lose power again in this storm.

Stay warm! XOXO

Cloggsy said...

Man and I thought the snow sucked in Richmond! Wowza.

Kristin said...

The CNN weatherman just used the term "thundersnow". Rex should be on the air!

Kathy said...

What an adventure! So glad you are all home safely and no frozen pipes!

JulieStyles said...

Dina, I'm so glad you're all ok. Your last post mentioned a sick little one, and I was very concerned that you guys were dealing with that. The mom in me can't help but worry about little ones when they're not feeling well. I check daily to see what you're up to and I'm glad you're back. As a Calif native, I can't imagine living with all that snow. I am impressed that you've all made the best of it and that you even took pictures. Good luck and stay well!

Drewablank said...

So glad to hear you're back at home! Nothing beats being at home, granted the home has electricity. :p

I'm just glad that you all were together when things happened and went south and that your dad was there to be you all's knight in shining armor! :) Praying that we all don't lose power! Be safe!

Oh, and congratulations to Mr. Dina for the Saints win!

Cari (Is Not Fashion) said...

glad your power is back on and you are safe!

Rachel said...

Dina -
I feared you had a power outage when you weren't posting - UGH!
So glad you are safe and warm (And posting again)
Hope this storm wasn't as bad for you.
We are going a bit stir crazy around here.
Talk to you soon

Ema said...

WOW, that's quite an adventure! I can't even imagine how you could carry CW and your backpack for almost a mile, my daughter is so heavy that I can't even carry her for more than a block (and I don't even have a backpack most of the times!)

Looking at the positive side, these are memories that will stay with you and you have pictures to show your little ones when they are older and you will commemorate the time when you lost power due to the snowstorm (ehm, I meant, thundersnow)!

Also, I must add, you look glowing in the last picture, all that exercise and wind suits you!

HeidiG said...

On the positive side, when you were a pack mule, at least you were balanced front & back - that doesn't happen when prego!

So glad your dad was able to get you all and ferry you to warmth & safety. Good luck with the power! I'm sitting here doing a little reading and watching the news before bed. They just said that Germantown (closest to us) got 18" in this last storm, and I think you all got 12" more. But this wind is just killer - and it's supposed to be bad through tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed...Good luck!!

3-Penny Princess said...

I'm so glad you're safe and sound and back in your home! And hopefully your power is on right now after this day of monstrous snow and howling winds. You're such a trooper! I love your rendition of your "pack mule" tales. On the bright side, just think of the muscles you're toning for summer... Which is good because J.Crew's hemlines are clearly not getting lower.

Anyway, stay safe and stay away from those trees! I hope to see you again next week.

Anonymous said...

What a story! I hope you are safe and warm tonight! I do miss the snow ever since I moved from East Coast to West Coast, but I just can't deal with the power outage. Please take care and let us know that you are doing OK.

- S

C said...

power got very shaky here tonight and I was not happy because no one is plowing anything.... sigh. I think they will stop mocking people who do buy bread and milk before a storm because, hey, sometimes you get stuck without anything and you really get snowed in. Nice work carrying your kids... maybe you need a sled?

The Outfit of the day said...

That is unbelievable!
...and I am here complaining that the weather in Okinawa is too hot (on 70s) right more complains for while!

lucegirl said...

O.M.G.! That is an adventure of a lifetime. The pictures are increadible. You cannot even see your house. The one of you with the Bjorn and the one of your Hub with both kids are so cool -- mommy and daddy to the rescue big time!

And just think of the mileage, literally, you will get out of this. "I carried you for a mile through 30 inches of snow, at least you could TRY the brocoli..."

Glad you guys are safe.

PS - I just ordered the Neon Danis yesterday and am having them fed'xed! LOL. I'll let you know how they are IRL. I assume you will be doing a review when you get yours! I am currently planning my life around those shoes, so they better be good!

dinagideon said...

Hi, everyone:

First I want to thank everyone for their well wishes. It was such an incredible week on so many fronts. On a very positive note, I was able to see what my neighborhood looks like from 18 stories up (there are A LOT of trees in my 'hood), I was able to see my aunt, and I was able to (for the first time in almost 9 years) sleep in my childhood bedroom (so sweet)!

I have so little time before the kids wake up from their naps...I am only able to respond to questions, etc. I know you all understand, but I like to put it out there!

Kristin: Based on Rex's personality, if he doesn't end up on the air as a politician or newscaster, I will be shocked. He definitely embodies the term "big personality!" :)

Ema: I think years and years of swimming has made my back really strong. I can lift things that people would think I couldn't based on my upper-body size. I always find it kind of amusing when people freak out over how much I can carry... ;) Thank you for the compliment, btw, I felt good, but definitely no makeup, etc.

S.: Based on the responses I received from my absence, I will DEFINITELY make sure to update next time I have to be away for a while. Even a few sentences is all I need to post...I could have done that during the storm (from my dad's at least)! :)

C.: I actually thought that I could have used a would have very much made the ordeal a bit easier!!!

TOOTD: I want your weather SO DESPERATELY. I am not a winter person. I like coats and tights...but for about five days. I could very much live with HOT over COLD... :)

lucegirl: I want my neon danis so bad!!! I now have 6 packages (total from multiple weeks) at UPS. If I don't see the UPS guy by Tuesday, I might just have to give them a visit. Some of my packages are outstanding from almost a month ago! :P Definitely let me know how you like them!