After delighting our southern friends and family, Winter Storm Grayson has effectively stopped our Ecuador travels in their tracks. To be honest, they never even got ON the tracks to begin with.
Our flight was canceled five hours before departure on the 3rd and as a result, we’ve spent an unexpected 6 hours on the phone and two extra days in CT. But it’s not all disappointment! This is life, right? As Andrei 3000 says, you can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather (i am for real!). And as our friend, Reuben, told us the day we were to leave, “It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.” Looking at it that way, we’ve been on an adventure for the past two days.
We woke up yesterday, a tad anxious due to our delayed travel plans, to the blizzard. Grayson. . .so we meet.
But, we weren’t to be intimidated and stuck in the house. We decided to venture out into my (Juliana’s) first ever snowstorm to get some milk to make pancakes. We trudged out into the weather, leaving the first footprints on the freshly falling snow.
Never having been in a snow storm, I learned some things. Like, snowstorm snow is worse then regular soft, no-wind snow because it flies at your face and gets you all cold and wet. Also, if you throw a snowball in a snowstorm and you don’t really know how to pack a snowball, more than likely, you just threw a snowball at yourself. Or, the little orange rods stuck in the ground along the edge of roads/parking lots are there to mark curbsides that would otherwise be invisible in the snow, thus keeping you from looking a fool. And, fields and open water (rivers, ponds, lakes) look pretty much the exact same during a snowstorm. Look alive.
But it wasn’t all learning, we got some play time in there too. 🙂
Home again, home again, jiggity jig, pancake time.
Pancakes have a bit of a superstitious meaning for us: they’re a good luck charm. Explanation: When we were in Colombia last year, we visited the Amazon Rain forest. On the day before we were supposed to return to civilization, our boat broke down.
Not just any ole, boat, though. The-return-home-safely boat broke down. The boat that was supposed to take us to the nearest town 2 hours away. By the next morning, the morning we were to leave, there was still no sign of life in our return-boat and we knew we might miss our flight back to Bogota at 2pm. Instead of stressing out about it, we decided to just go with the flow, knowing there really wasn’t much we could control and no reason to waste energy on worrying about it. We sat down to the breakfast table and were served pancakes and Juliana commented “no bad day has ever started with pancakes”. Despite the odds, we made it to our flight on time braving the Amazon river in a motorized canoe, the slippery Brazilian clay roads in a stranger’s car, and the armed guards at the Brazil/Colombia border along the way. What happened to us between our Amazon Lodge and the Bogota airport is a wonderful story. Ask us about it some time.
Ever since then, though, for us, pancakes became a symbol of unexpected success.
So, pancakes was a must yesterday morning. And it turns out, we did find a better flight than what had been offered to us after our 6 hour phone call the night before. We spent the rest of the day lounging around and testing each other on birds we’d see down south. We even drew some “flash cards” (Jake’s idea) to help ourselves study. Some of my personal favorites are below ❤ (And, as it turns out, JZ is a pretty good bird artist)
Getting stuck in a snowstorm in CT when you really want to be in the jungle in Ecuador isn’t ideal, but it’s not all bad. I (Juliana) got to do a lot of things for the first time that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Like, throw a snowball in my own face. And shovel snow, play poker, and have a real life snowstorm-stuck-in-the-house day. Plus, we were able to spend more time with Jake’s parents, which is never a bad thing.
Today, we have been humdrumming around the house. Ran a couple of errands and re-arranged our suitcases for efficiency’s sake. We’re currently slated to take off tonight at 3AM and we’re REALLY HOPING THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS. We’re not holding our breath, though. This flight has already been delayed three times, it’s original take off time was at 10:30pm.
Fingers crossed they get us out of here or else JZ might do to Grayson what he did to these pancakes.
Wish us luck, y’all (or suerte, in español.)
Here’s Juliana standing proud in front of a slice of a Redwood tree at the CT Audubon, the oldest Audubon nature center in the US. We visited this place the day before our original “leave” date to go see Melissa Groo’s art gallery. This is the woman Jake thinks we ran into when we saw the Snowy Owl and I’ll be darned if our mystery lady and Ms. Groo don’t look alike. Her photography was beautiful AND educational, which is just how we naturalists like it.