Christmas Trip, Almost Thwarted

Our plan for Christmas to visit Cute W’s parents in Kansas City. Fun fact: did you know that you can fly to Europe for about the same price as it takes to fly to Kansas City? True story! But it is a smidgen cheaper if you travel when nobody wants to travel, so we got ourselves tickets to fly out “Oh-dark-early” on Christmas Eve morning. Yes, it meant we’d have to be up at 4 am to get rolling, but at least then we’d get to spend Christmas Eve afternoon with family. At least, that was our plan.

So much for our plan. We checked in at the airport, went through security, and were waiting at our gate when we found out that the flight would be delayed. And then our flight was cancelled. There was heavy fog at Midway in Chicago, and no flights were arriving or landing there. Cute W jumped into action and motored to the head of the line at the service desk, but even from the front of the line, all the flights were booked up until the next morning, Christmas.

Well this was a bummer. We were very tired and cranky, our house had already had a chance to get chilly, and we’d done our best to empty the fridge prior to our week away, yet had zero motivation to go grocery shopping. We decided to take a nap. Or, at least, I took a nap.

Then, faced with our empty kitchen, we decided to take the opportunity to visit Star Halal‘s new restaurant and buffet, which is the same folks who run the Indian food place we’ve talked about.) I didn’t think to take any blog-ish photos, so here’s one picture with Cute W cropped out because, frankly, after the morning we’d had, none of us were looking our personal best.

After lunch, which was pretty late because of my extended nap, we headed back home and basically slobbed around. Oh, and my extraordinarily disciplined daughters each did their official track running workouts. Then Cute W and I took a little walk around the neighborhood. And I was so glad we did, because I had had absolutely no idea that a substantial chunk of the Old Niskayuna neighborhood between Nott Street and Lexington Avenue sets out luminaries on Christmas Eve. They were getting set up as Cute W and I walked, and the girls came back out with us later so that we could see them lit up in the dark. It was lovely.

Then it was back home for a “snicky snack” dinner. We’d ordered a couple of extra samosas as take-out for dinner, and then luckily we had some fancy cheeses and crackers still left over from Thanksgiving. Not bad, really.

And we had just a few gifts, ones delivered straight to our house, that we had originally planned to leave under the tree and open after our trip. But that ended to the festivities.

Cute W tends to load up on games as “gifts to the family,” especially if they’re on sale. This year he couldn’t resist a deal on the classic Clue, which the girls had never played. So that rounded out our Christmas Eve festivities.

Christmas morning was another 4 am wake-up to try to fly out again. I was feeling rather sorry for us and self-indulgent, so I bought myself a somewhat pricey avocado toast at the new Wolfgang Puck restaurant at the airport.

Oh my gosh, y’all, I was so glad I did. It was delicious. Like, so delicious that I wish it weren’t past security. The toast itself was fresh and warm and the avocado nestled between it and egg was pleasantly cold, plus they had flavorful tomatoes (in December!) and feta and pickled onion and it was actually such a delight that I am seriously tempted to replicate it to the best of my abilities right now, just remembering it.

Once on the airplane it started to look possible that we might actually get out of town soon, and so I started getting punchy and taking random pictures like this one.

The “Literature Only” stickers everywhere made me laugh because I was thinking how fun it would to pull out all of the safety brochures and barf bags and distribute copies of War and Peace and My Antonia and Wuthering Heights. Because I am a nerd like that.

Well, anyway, we made it: huzzah! We had a lovely visit. Then on the way home, there was talk about troubles with Midway again, and we ended up reorganizing our flights to avoid Chicago entirely.

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