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  • jdettmann

What A Lot Of Carry-on

It’s half past six in the morning, which is an uncivilized time to be awake, but in my house we are all up and about and excited, because today is Holidayday! In four and a half hours SuperChief will arrive to drive us to the airport and against all the historical and genetic odds, I plan to be ready to go when he gets here. Or even before, because his personal motto is ‘It’s fun to be early’.

The two suitcases are packed — beautifully, if I do say so myself — using the rolling technique. I am a fairly crap clothes folder, so it is very pleasing to me that it’s acceptable, even encouraged, to roll clothes to pack them in a suitcase, for reasons of space. We have one small suitcase of clothes, and one containing the travel cot, travel high chair, all our warm winter outerwear and my snow boots. I am fully expecting that suitcase to be the one that does not appear on the baggage carousel (top of my list of objects with unreasonably fun names, considering what they really are) at Denver International Airport 26 hours from now.

Our carry-on on luggage is rather less organised, but it’s getting there. I’m watching H pack it now, to a soundtrack of May Blossom squeezing her annoying talking green toy dog’s paw. (It sings several inane songs and repeatedly shouts in an English accent, ‘Plug me into your computer and I’ll learn your name!’ Yeah, and my password and you’ll skim my credit card and download ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ on my iTunes account. Over my dead body will you be plugged into our computer, Green Dog.)

We have been checking and rechecking several weather websites in anticipation of the trip, and it was all looking disappointingly mild and sunny for most of the week. Top of 16 degrees C? Get serious, I can have that at home. You’ll have to do better than that, Denver. But good old Colorado came through, because right now it’s midday there and minus 5 degrees C. And snowing.

I love snow. I know when you have to live with it for most of the year and dig yourself out of your house every time you want to go to work and the salt on the roads rusts the chassis out of your car and whatnot it’s probably less fun, but I think it’s fantastic. When I was a kid and we’d travel to Denver for the Christmas holidays, my brothers and I were gagging for snow from the moment we stepped off the plane.

Our American relatives seemed to have a mysterious and to us nonsensical understanding of the mechanics of snow, which we didn’t really believe. They’d say things like ‘No, that’s not a snow cloud’, ‘It’s actually too cold to snow’ and ‘That’s not the right kind of snow to make a snowman. You need sticky snow, not powdery snow.’ It drove me bonkers. IT’S BLOODY SNOW. Too cold to snow, my eye. It has to be cold to snow. Silly Americans.

See you soon, silly Americans!

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