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This was what it was like yesterday:


And this is today:


See that pretty, snow-covered tree on the right? As more covered it, this is what happened:


My mother tells me two big branches broke and fell from the trees outside her house, something that has never happened before. You wouldn't think leaves and snow together would make such a difference in weight, but I suppose it must.

I am still in New Jersey. Today was an object lesson in the new world of information: I needed to know how badly my flight would be delayed, or if it would be canceled. The phones at the airline were constantly busy. I checked their website, which only listed the normal departure time for my flight, with no indication as to whether that was simply routine automatic information, or whether it took the weather into account. Because the Newark Airport site mentioned long delays, and said to "call your airline" for more information.

The news people on TV started talking about airport delays of four, five, and six hours. And it was still not far past noon! Lots of storm still to come. Back to the airline site. It gives the option of getting a "status update" -- I signed up twice, for an email four hours from flight time, and a voice message three hours from flight time.

At four hours, the automated system sent me an email saying everything was hunky-dory. Why did I not believe it?

I used one of those "get a human" sites, called the airline again, and waited on hold for forty minutes. Finally someone picked up. They confirmed that they'd been hearing about a lot of delays at all the tri-state airports. I decided the website and the "status notifications" were lying liars, and that if I didn't want to be dozing on the floor of the airport at 2am, I'd better grab this chance to switch my flight to tomorrow.

And so I did. Of course, my hotel was sold out -- but fortunately they got a cancellation just as I was standing there sounding pathetic. So I have a room for the night! Good thing, too, because the phone at the front desk has been ringing constantly and I keep hearing, "No, we're sold out for tonight."

It's still snowing! I returned my rental car yesterday, so I'm trapped here, and the hotel doesn't have a restaurant. (There's a very fancy restaurant next door, but you need reservations well in advance.) But I'm sitting here by a fire in the main room, with a cup of tea, and things could be worse. I'd better go and buy some snacks before the ravenous crowds grab them all.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 29th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
Bloody hell! That poor tree and poor you. I'm glad you're okay. I admire your perspicacity in navigating the information non-super highway (makes me nuts when companies don't use the available tech correctly - grrr!) and in getting yourself some shelter. Stay warm.
Oct. 29th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
I know it's all horrible and inconvenient, but OMG pretty snow! (Down here in Georgia we mostly just hear tales of that cold stuff that falls from the sky).
Glad you were able to keep your hotel room and hope you find some food. Best luck on getting out tomorrow.
Oct. 30th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Not the weight of the leaves, but the superior snow-holding capacity of leaves over twigs.

The snow in NJ means a family obligation has to be shifted from tomorrow to a weekend we had hoped to spend out of town. A fairly indirect impact, I know. I'm glad you're not sleeping at Newark Airport, though it's a pity there's no hotel restaurant. We had Japanese food delivered before it got too bad here.

It is pretty - your pictures are wonderful - but I suppose getting to experience NE snow instead of just foliage doesn't make up for being stranded.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
I really dislike the heavy, wet snow we get at the beginning and end of winter; the lighter, powdery snow we get in January is much easier to deal with, both in terms of shoveling and tree damage. (I live in Minnesota.) Glad to hear you have somewhere to stay -- I'm also amused at thinking of the near-infinite number of fics using the "Oh, noes! We have to share this hotel room/apartment/bed!" trope. *g*
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )