snowed-in for christmas!

Matt and I had planned to leave for South Dakota on Christmas Eve, but the weather had other ideas about that. By the time we got to work on Wednesday, it was pretty clear that we would have very little chance of making it there if we waited til Thursday. At my boss’ urging, we dashed home at 1:00, threw things into suitcases and bags, and headed westward.

Despite freezing rain, the roads weren’t too terrible until we got past Montevideo, which is basically a no-man’s land anyway. Then we had to slow to less than 40mph because of ice. We switched drivers at the South Dakota border, because Matt was exhausted from white-knuckled driving. As I got behind the wheel, the crazy blizzard began. It was all we could do to make out the lines on the road, but eventually we made it to Watertown. We celebrated by going out to dinner for beers and awesome Mexican food.

The snow continued, but we managed to make it to Christmas Eve service at their church, and to stop and pick up bread. After that, we were officially snowbound for the rest of our stay. To ease, the pain, I baked this gingerbread. Oh my god, it’s so good. I want to use it to make a loaf of bread, and then make that into french toast.

We played pinochle and four different kinds of dominoes, ate about eight meals a day, watched sports, had cocktail hour daily around 5pm, swing-danced in the living room, opened a ton of gifts, and I knit every other waking moment. The cabin fever didn’t really get bad til Saturday night. There was 16″ of snow on the street, and no chance of the cars leaving the driveway. We were stuck there til the plows came by. The interstates were all closed for most of the weekend, too.

We finally managed to leave yesterday around noon. The roads were decent til we hit the Minnesota border, at which point it lived up to the ‘State of Hockey’ nickname, and highway 212 turned into a rink. It was absolutely terrible, even worse than the drive to Watertown. I would like to know who’s responsible for cutting the plowing and sanding budget, because they need to be soundly beaten.

We eventually made it to the edge of civilization (ie Montevideo), and the roads improved. We got home to find our sidewalks cleared; I’d told our landlord we were stranded, and he got his service out there to snowblow so we wouldn’t be fined by the city. Best $75 we’ve ever spent, in my opinion. I’d have been really sad to be out there chopping ice in the dark last night.

We had a fantastic time in South Dakota, but realizing we’d only spent something like four non-sleeping hours in our house since December 10? That basically makes me not want to leave there til New Year’s Eve. I have a feeling I’ll be accomplishing that, too!

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