as I mentioned, the realities of January weather thwarted our plan to venture down into the Canyon (next time!) via the Bright Angel Trail. it did, however, provide for some fun uncommon sights …
|tiny snowpeople enjoying the view
|sunset with the snow-dappled South Rim
|mule deer looking for dinner
|waiting for security to open at DCA
at the end of February, I went to the Florida Keys for the first time. it was also the first time I’ve been on vacation in the winter with the expressed intention of escaping the weather. for the most part this winter has been eerily warm but, as if to mock my attempt to “get away to someplace warm,” one of the worst storms of the season swept through the Midwest and completely knocked out Chicago. and O’Hare. due to a transposition error on my part, we got to the airport later than intended and the shuttle bus to Chicago (which was ferrying passengers on our canceled flight to O’Hare to, theoretically, make their connections) had already left.
really, the whole situation turned out for the best since by 2:30 Thursday afternoon most of the Friday flights out of Chicago were already canceled. after dealing with one of the oddest (but surprisingly competent) gate agents to figure out a solution that wouldn’t leave us stranded in Dallas or Denver overnight with no guarantee of getting out in the morning, we found a workable solution that gave us about six hours of sleep in Washington D.C. unexpected layover (which, on balance, turned out much cheaper than making it to Key West as intended) in unseasonably warm weather! besides, seeing that skyline at night is really something.
it was also nice to be able to enjoy the drive down the Keys in the daylight, too, rather than arriving after midnight on Thursday. traffic in Miami was about as gnarly as I expected (due mostly to construction re-routes, delays, and related accidents), but once we were away from the airport and Dolphin Expressway it was smooth sailing. I had my first iced tea of the season and, perhaps more than anything else, I wished to bring that seasonal feeling back with us. I miss the fact that I could enjoy my iced teas at the Coffee Bean year-round when I lived in San Diego.