Thursday, July 3, 2014

the night the tree fell

It's been one of the weirdest 36 hours on record. Wednesday was my last day at work. I'm starting a new job next week, but leaving an old job is always a little weird. I was looking forward to sleeping in on Thursday morning, but Jon woke me up early with some unexpected news. A tree branch fell on our driveway. We have a knack for middle of the night crashes. This one didn't wake us up, but it was a nice surprise when Jon went to get into his car and found a huge tree branch blocking his way. We got really lucky…this time. The tree fell across the driveway right behind his car. It did minimal damage to one bush. It could have been so much worse. Our neighbor was kind enough to help Jon move it into the street so he could drive to work.

Jon went to work, and my day was full of errands and packing. We were leaving late Thursday afternoon for Arkansas to visit Jon's family. The weather had other plans. We were under a severe thunderstorm warning as we drove to the airport. That should have been our first sign of trouble. The airport was total chaos. The departures board was full of delays and cancellations thanks to the local thunderstorm and the hurricane causing problems all along the east coast. Our flight to Little Rock connecting through Charlotte was one of the few that was still scheduled on time so we checked in and went to our gate as planned. They made one promising announcement about taking off once the ground stop was lifted, but three minutes later, the monitor had changed from on time to canceled. Apparently things were such a mess in Charlotte that they just canceled most incoming flights due to the congestion. 

Since so many people were in the same boat as us, the soonest they could rebook us was Saturday. Arriving Saturday with a Sunday morning departure really didn't make much sense so we canceled the entire trip. Then it was down to baggage claim to try to retrieve our bag. Although we were disappointed about our trip being canceled, we really were lucky - at least we were home. People who were connecting through DC were having trouble getting their bags and getting other flights. One woman's bag was ahead of her in Orlando, but she had no idea when she would arrive to meet it. Another guy was renting a car to drive 11 hours overnight to be where he needed to be. A family from Florida opted to just drive all the way home. Two hours after arriving at the airport, we were back home with bag in hand. 

So what do we do now? Our bag was already packed, and we were already planning to spend the weekend away. Why not find an alternative destination? Although the weather was terrible on Thursday, the rest of the weekend was supposed to be beautiful. I had read about Salamander Resort in Southern Living. It's a new resort that opened in Middleburg, Virginia about one hour from us in the heart of Virginia's horse and wine country. The horses I could leave, but the wine I'll take. We didn't think they would have availability on such short notice, but we decided to check anyway. Surprise! They had a room. So we hopped in the car and by 8:30 p.m. we were checking in for a weekend of spa treatments, poolside relaxing, small town shopping, and winery hopping. I'm not complaining. 

view from our balcony
I quit a job, a tree fell in our yard, our trip to Arkansas got canceled, and we ended up at a resort in Virginia. Just a normal 36 hours with the Hardins. 

P.S. Happy 4th of July! 


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