Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Disneyland trip that ended in hell frozen over.

by Jan Farnworth
  I am sure we all have tales at least in the northwest about the ice storm that hit Christmas of  1996.  That Christmas was the year my mom decided to treat me and my two younger siblings to a trip to Disneyland.  We were all excited it was counting as my future graduation gift and our big family trip for the year.  To boot we were flying on a big airplane.  Now for me this was a real delight cause any other time I been on a plane was just a little puddle jumper that went from Walla Walla, back to Seattle or from Portland to Seattle.
  So time for the trip arrived and we all headed out to Disneyland.  The stay in California was relatively pleasant we did not stay in one of the really expensive hotels but my mom and her current boyfriend did splurge for some of the nicer treats that you can do when you go to Disneyland like breakfast with the Disney characters,  seeing the big Christmas parade, and getting all the autographs from the various characters in the park.
  We rode on all the famous rides, visited it’s a small world after all, and  even visited most of the other attractions near Disneyland.   The day arrived for us to head home little did we know what we were in for.  Now I was in high school so I did not pay much attention to the news or weather reports like I do now a days.  If I had I probably would have had an idea of what was going  on.  My two sibling and I settled on the plane for our ride back to Portland chatting on about what we did and what we wanted to do once we got back home.
  As we got nearer to Portland the pilot started suggesting that the weather was nasty and that he may have some difficulty landing the plane so we should all be prepared for a hard landing.  Okay no big deal later on though he made an announcement that none of us expected to hear.  Portland airport was incased in ice and the pilot would not be able to land.   Okay I thought he just turn around and take us back to warm California no big deal.   No we got routed to Seattle, my mom smiles and says that’s okay your sister will come collect us from the airport and we hang out with her tell we can fly out.
  Once we arrived in Seattle my mom and her boyfriend collected our baggage and located a payphone to call my sister.  After a quick phone call my mom relayed to us some very bad news.  Due to the ice storm my sister could not get out of her driveway to come get us so we had to stay at the airport.  Now we all thought okay this will be fine we get out on the next flight in a few hours or maybe early the next day.  My mom’s boyfriend was in the army so of course they would put us up and we just enjoy another day of vacation.  Well that never happened I am not sure if the hotels were all full or what but the army did not help us out with our plight .  I think they gave my mom some food vouchers but that about it.  
  My mom pleaded with the airport people but not much sympathy was to be found so for the next week me and my siblings along with my mom and her boyfriend survived in the Seattle airport till the big thaw happened and we got to go home.  Needless to say I did not fly again for several years and I worried each time I did that I would be stranded.  A word of warning always watch the weather and be prepared that things maybe not go exactly as you would of hoped.

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