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Tue, Dec. 29th, 2009, 01:58 pm
Jade's Incredible Holiday Adventure

On my holiday adventure, I:

  • got trapped for 19 hours in I-81 S in the car in a blizzard. My insistence on bringing food and bottled water (causing grumbling from AgtOrange as it necessitated a third trip to the car while packing) ended up being a bonus. Also in the car -- my alcoholic, tobacco-chewing brother, who has this tendency of reading every sign we passed. This included mile markers.
  • peed in a snowbank during said blizzard. The downside of being a girl who doesn't wear skirts is you have to bare your entire lower half to the storm in order to use the bathroom.
  • learned how to put snow chains on tires, provided by aforementioned brother (and possibly the greatest holiday 'gift' ever).
  • discovered how truly inefficient VDOT can be in a natural disaster. It was the group effort of those stranded that saved us cars, not the National Guard (who never actually made it to our spot) or the ineffectual officials, with the exception of the guys towing the semi-trucks one by one up the hill (you dudes are awesome). I would like to personally thank the lady in the RV who passed out coffee to everyone with a cup, the guy who organized the 'push parties' and the carpushers themselves, the one man with a snow-shovel, and the trucker passing out granola bars.
  • watched a VDOT snowplow get stuck in a ditch and have to be towed by the guys who were supposed to be working on the stuck trucks.
  • watched a semi-truck jack-knife, nearly roll, and nearly do a 360 before causing a 20+ mile backup on I-81 N (this was on the opposite side of the highway).
  • went on a ski trip after finally making it to North Carolina. I only made two runs down the mountain (rental boots didn't fit and I'm not as recovered as I thought) but I did try every alcoholic hot chocolate and cider drink on the bar menu.
  • met both my sisters' new boyfriends.
  • stayed in a fancy lakehouse in Alabama where I made friends with the neighbors' dogs by feeding them sausage biscuits.
  • shopped in Auburn, AL and received a Yoda Lightsaber.
  • ate too much barbecue and southern food. I never thought I'd crave whole-grain oatmeal.
  • brought rave breakdancing to a country bar in the Deep South.
  • threw up in the bathroom of said bar after singing three rounds of karaoke. I missed AgtOrange singing The Gambler.
  • introduced AgtOrange to my mother in Florida, whom I haven't seen in over a decade.
  • hung out with AgtOrange's cousin in a bar filled with biker-types (his cousin included). They were very nice.
  • ate at the best Korean BBQ place so far, oddly just north of Atlanta, Georgia (exit 267A??). I think it had the silly name of "Tofu House" or "Tofu Place". It shares a strip mall with a cigar store, so you can sit and have a smoke in the store after you stuff yourself with bulgogi and kimchi.
  • saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie.
  • visited an awesome (yet slightly creepy) antique bookstore in Chattanooga, TN. These are the best kinds of bookstores. Note to self: don't paper-train a dog that lives in a bookstore.
  • recoiled in horror at the worst bathroom I've ever encountered, EVER. It was in a combination Wendy's/BP truckstop somewhere in VA. A sewage line had busted (probably from the snowstorm) and the handwashing sinks were backed up with raw sewage.

All this in less than 10 days and I am EXHAUSTED.

I am home now, but so hopelessy behind on everything including news, television shows, and chores (not to mention my NYE plans) that I've told everyone I'm officially on vacation unter January 3rd, which is when I hope to start really catching up on my online things. HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Tue, Dec. 29th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)

That's quite an adventure! Isn't it great that people pull together like that? I love that. We were in California during the '89 earthquake in San Francisco. People did the same thing there - pulled together to get commuters home when the trains and roads were down. Amazing spirit!
I'm glad there were people around to help you get going finally. Very cool that you had snacks and water with you, too.. and snow chains (you had those with you?)

Wed, Dec. 30th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
jadxia: The snow was expected

which is why it was so amazing VDOT remained unprepared. There were 1500 accidents on I-81 & I-77 because the Interstates were a mess. None of the travelers expected the state to be so slow in responding to the weather conditions. In contrast, the roads we avoided (like Highway 11, which runs parallel to I-81) remained clear throughout the storm, because local contractors with pickup trucks and plows kept them clear.

Wed, Feb. 10th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Another blizzard - Korean tofu

Maybe during this third storm you can relive part of your adventure & make it a local "Lighthouse Tofu" for some more Korean food. The one in Annandale is probably the most well-known http://www.meetup.com/koreans/venue/1176038/

Except who would be open today?