NEW CASTLE — I planned my holiday travels carefully. I knew exactly how many hours it would take, how much gas was required, and had prepared for the hefty tolls levied by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
I purchased the required snacks and beverages to appease my wife and daughter on our five-hour drive to the other side of our glorious Keystone State. For some reason, they are unable to complete a car ride of any substantial distance without a bag full of junk food and multiple drinks for each of them.
I rearranged my work schedule to accommodate my early departure on Christmas Eve. I worked over thirteen hours the day before in an attempt to complete all the needed work so I could easily escape and begin my winter journey. Everything was falling into place. I arrived home a full twenty minutes ahead of schedule to find my wife putting the final touches on packing the car. It was chocked full of what seemed like a hundred presents for my in-laws, my family, and, mostly, my daughter. Such is life when your in-laws live 350 miles away.
We were doing good, and my time management was impeccable. We even had enough time to drop my car off at the mechanic's for some brake work (Can't wait to see that bill.).
We were on the road, and I glanced down at the clock on my dash. We were a full two minutes ahead of schedule. What a great start! We would arrive at our relative's house at around 7pm. Just in time to partake of the Christmas Eve festivities, food, and company.
We flew across Route 80 avoiding any trouble, traffic, or delays. A quick halt at a rest stop and another to get gas and visit the local Subway for some grub. As we reconvened our trek down the highway, the snow began to fly.