The snow overnight for Christmas did not materialize.
The white Christmas morning did not materialize.
The rain and slush until 11am did not materialize.
It was not a life threatening choice to hit the Chicago relatives on a day trip there and back again. Hell, the sun came out as we were driving through Chicago.
We left around 9:30am EST and got back at 2:30am EST. I haven't seen the nephews in two years and likewise a big family dinner in Chicagoland, all due to my errant foot.
No real pressure to get there or leave at a particular time, so lots of leisurely conversations. And wonderful food. And pie... Mmm... pie... Also got to play with a 12-week old black kitten named Boris. No weight at all. No brains between the ears yet. Really loud purr. Mmm... kitten...
On the drive home, WBEZ in Chicago did an hour on the history of Handel's Messiah. Now there's a way to finish Christmas.
Gas in Allendale was somewhere around the $1.91.9/gallon level, but the Bravada needed to be filled up in Benton Harbor to avoid the Chicago gas prices on the round trip. But whether by design or error in the segments of the digital sign, the strange Mobil at M-45 and US-31 had regular at $1.77.9/gal Christmas morning. $1.77.9/gal? The national average was $2.39.9/gal.
Benton Harbor was $2.08.9/gal, but I routinely put premium in on longer trips, so paid $2.43.9/gal. In the Loop, gas was $2.87.9/gal, but that's big city pricing -- Oak Park IL, gas was $2.57.9/gal and $2.55.9/gal. On the way home the overly enthusiastic Low Fuel light came on an hour out from home. We decided to fill at a Mobil in Holland that has 24-hour pumps, even if the store is closed. Paid $1.95.9/gal for regular. We should have made it home and out to get gas in Allendale another day, but no point in running down to fumes.
Inexplicably, the strange Mobil at M-45 and US-31, which was closed in the wee hours, was now posting $1.75.9/gal! Did not take the time to verify the actual pump prices. Merry Christmas?
This was the easiest drive to/fro Chicago ever. Always weird to see so many empty parking lots, except for some cinemaplexes. The only real slowdown either way was the exit from I-290 East to I-90/94 was backed up around 10:30pm CST. Really? And Indiana has converted its cash toll lanes to these very slow one bill or coin at a time machines. And one jerk we passed had his brights on.
Otherwise clear sailing.
What a wonderful day!
UPDATE: Oh, and 38°F when we left, 38°F when got back. 40-50°F during the day...