February 20, 2013

Sidebar: Embracing winter

The weekend before Valentine's Day My Sweet Baboo and I were booked for a short getaway to rejuvenate and refresh after the long and somewhat logy holiday season of 'too': too much rich food, too much sugary candy, too many leftovers that keep finding their way out of the freezer and onto our table, and too little exercise. 

Typically, for our February escape, I'll find a bed & breakfast somewhere in the Finger Lakes so we can do some winery-hopping.  But this time, with more than enough wine on our racks, I set my sights on the Catskills and started looking for places we could go. I picked The Washington Irving Inn, in Tannersville, and made our reservations before the end of January.

And then...Yep, you guessed it, another of our all-too-frequent 'storm of the century' events loomed on the horizon.  We had a coastal storm. We had a west to east storm. And the two storms were looking to hook up, if you get my drift, somewhere over the New Jersey-New York-Massachusetts area.

The predictions were horrific, they came days in advance and were unending on the local news, in the paper, on the national news.  The weather people were out in full force, trying to come up with the most provocative forecasts, if not the most accurate.  For example, here's the warning that was in my local paper, Syracuse's Post-Standard, the day before we were scheduled to leave:
If you have travel plans in and out of Central New York, here is some information which might be helpful.

First, if you are traveling east, or coming into Central New York from the east, travel Friday will be difficult. Even if you leave early. By 10 or 11 AM, snow, or some sort of a wintry mix should be entering the mid Atlantic all the way up into the Catskills and Poconos.

If you absolutely have to travel tomorrow, it's best to leave leave early. If you can travel this evening instead, all the better. Less stress.
Really? A massive blizzard?  Leave early to avoid the weather and stress?  Rather than listen to the weatherman, we decided we'd stick to the plan and leave Friday morning. We packed plenty of stuff to read and a laptop, in case we got snowed in. We stopped for gas, bought a new snow brush, and headed out shortly before 10AM, expecting to drive straight into the storm.

Traveling down the Thruway, we saw literally dozens of snowplows on the move; there was no snow on the roads, no ice or anything - it looked more like the plows were getting into position to wait for the inevitable.  Leaving the Thruway, we meandered off  through Schoharie on Route 10, then to Route 23, then to 23A which took us to Tannersville. 

We did not see a single snowflake until around 1:45, when we saw three or four (total).  By around 2:30, it was snowing pretty good, with a few inches of accumulation.  After dinner, backin our room,
we were bombarded by weather reports and dire predictions of 15 - 25 inches of snow, getting them not only from multiple NY stations (capital district and Catskill/Hudson area) but also from Eastern Massachusetts and from NYC.  (Note to self: spend more time watching HGTV and less time on local stations.)

In the end, we saw less than a foot of snow - in some places, way less than a foot, more like three or four inches. Saturday morning, the roads had all been plowed, and in many cases we were driving on bare pavement just a few short hours after the storm had ended. 

So much for needing to leave town a day early.

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