Thursday, January 27, 2011

Best Commute Ever

Last night the sky exploded snow all over Philadelphia. I got up early to find more than 14 inches on the ground. I expected to avoid digging out my tiny Nissan and to avoid braving unplowed roads by taking the bus to work. Thank you SEPTA, for cancelling all busses (in fact the main route I take to work is still not operating more than 15 hours after the snow stopped).

Where I work the rule is this: Regardless of how much junk falls out of the sky you must roll up. If not, you have to use a day of vacation time and face the risk of all sorts of disciplinary stuff. To me, it's worth it to go in. I hate being in trouble and I love hoarding my vacation time.

This morning driving was clearly not an option. I hopped on my bike trainer for an hour while I contemplated the best way to get to work (fortunately we are, unofficially, allowed to be late).  I dismissed running to work as an actual option and was prepared to ditch work and face the consequences. Then, I remembered that a friend and co-worker has all of the following qualities: She's nice. I like to hang out with her. She drives sort of close to my house on her way to work. She has a car that is sort of SUV-ish. I called her and we agreed that I would walk to the nearest highway, she'd duck out at the closest exit and we wold be on our way.
I packed a pack, bundled up, and headed out for the few-mile walk.

It was gorgeous out. The upside of the city sort of being terrible at digging out the roads is the fact that everything still looks beautiful. Clean snow everywhere, kids rolling snowmen and stacking snow forts. Bill joined me as I hustled to meet my friend (Josicar, you are my hero!) and she safely wove us through nasty city streets to get to work... not quite on time, but we made it.

Here's something I learned today: It is weird to walk into work in a windbreaker when it is 20 degrees and thermal running tights while soaking wet.

The plan for the trip home was similar to the plan for the trip to work -- my buddy dropped me off not too far from the exit and I shuffled home in the fading daylight. I wish I lived farther away. I wasn't cold, it was quiet and the snow was still mostly untouched, aside from the fact that I had some actual shoveled sidewalk to walk on.

I wish every commute home from work was this sweet.
It sounds like I am eating SunChips in this vid but really
it's just my screw shoes on packed snow and ice.

Sometimes I wished I had my snowshoes.

If every commute into work was this scenic and relaxing I'd go in on the weekends. I am lying, but I totally do not mind the disruption and change of pace that comes with a massive snowstorm. The city quiets down, neighbors meet for shoveling and beer (I skipped the morning beer -- didn't think it would jive well with working in a NICU) and everyone is forced to slow down a bit. Although I freely admit I miss the magic of snow days -- this is the first job where I am not mandated to stay home (with pay) when we get buried in snow.

That's my only complaint though. There's something rewarding about sitting here right now on the couch with a gin and NUUN in hand (my new favorite drink) after a few hours outside in the snow, a few challenging hours at work and knowing that more snow is (hopefully) on the way.


Abby said...

I wondered if you ended up making it in today. I am now officially jealous of your commute (as I sit here mildly panicked about tomorrow morning's drive to NJ).

Anonymous said...

Gin and there's a runner's drink.

Mallory said...

That's awesome!! Yeah, this snow needs to be done with. I just can't shovel anymore!