Usually, traveling home for Christmas means one train. This time, the family decided to make it a bigger event and gather everyone in Florida. (Obligatory Disney pictures to follow.)

That was an awesome and fun idea! Until the storm hit, and Delta completely shut down their phone lines (literally, you got a message saying, “Due to extreme weather conditions, we are unable to answer calls at this time,” and then a hangup, as if the snow had knocked down the single telegraph line that Delta uses for communications). Their site crashed repeatedly, and when I finally got a chance to reschedule online, it told me no flights were available through the end of this week. Helpful!

So, several attempts to contact Delta and one carefully-worded email to their customer service department later, I spent 15 hours yesterday in a van with my family, was at their house long enough to shower and change, and then got on an extremely early train this morning, which rolled me into New York only a few minutes late for work.

It was a little brutal, but it seemed a better prospect than standing in an airport for hours and hoping for the best; given what the news was showing about the Orlando airport when we finally got home in the wee hours, I am happy with the call I made. I got to spend an extra day with my extended family, the car trip afterwards was uneventful, and I never had to stand in line for anything.

That said, when I walked outside Penn Station and looked at the snowbanks as tall as I am, and the three-feet-deep puddles of ice water, and the honking, clomping crowds, I could have pulled a Costner-Robin-Hood and dropped to my knees to kiss the pavement and scoop up triumphant handfuls of slush. New York is my home soil by now, and it’s always good to be back.

I have fallen far off the grid in the past few days; I intend to remedy that today, and then have a nice travelogue post with pictures! Until then, I will be mainlining coffee like you cannot even imagine.