My plan, this Christmas, was to spend a quiet fun holiday with my mom, aunt, and uncle in Raton, NM. My aunt Jean and uncle Omer were to pick up my mom and I at Denver airport and drive three hours to Raton.
I arrived on Christmas Eve planning on meeting Jean and Omer at baggage claim. My mom was to be an hour behind me. As I was waiting for my luggage, my aunt phoned to let me know mom's flight was canceled because of mechanical difficulties. She was booked on another flight two days later because Denver's airport was still catching up on flights; in other words, all Denver flights were booked because of Blizzard 1.
Jean and Omer booked a room at a hotel near the airport where I met them. We spent Christmas driving around the Rockies and having fun.
The next day we spent in downtown Denver looking at different shops.
We picked Mom and made the trip to Raton. The next morning we had Christmas and then wondered around the town.
Omer had two appointments in Pueblo Thursday morning. We decided to drive on into Denver and stay at a hotel in order for me to make my morning flight the following day. Blizzard 2 was coming in and I wanted to be in a position to make any flight home.
The drive was increasingly difficult from Pueblo. White out conditions began to set in. In Colorado Springs I took over the driving. Colorado interstate signs warned chain laws were in effect, commercial vehicles are required to put chains on their tires. Many semis were stopped in the middle of the road on Monument Hill putting on chains. (At one point I asked my aunt to yell out the window to a trucker, " What is up with you people? Put your chains on on the side of the road." Jean refused my request for some reason. Shrug.)
We got into Denver eight hours later. My flight the next morning was canceled, but American booked me on an afternoon flight when a lull in the storm was forecasted.
The next day my flight was delayed two hours. My mom flew out an hour earlier than I did. My aunt was stuck in Trinidad, CO for three days, 17 miles away from her home.
Even though I spent more time in Denver than Raton, the holidays were fun and spent with some of the people I love most.