Left Chicago for Atlanta on Monday for a business trip. I was a bit worried about flight delay or cancellation due to the snow and unusual cold weather. But it was no problem. I even landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule at 5:15 pm. Atlanta was gorgeous with 52 degrees and sunny sky. Two weeks ago when I was here, it took me almost two hours to get from the airport to the restaurant to meet with my boss and some of my colleagues. Luck was on my side on Monday. I arrived at the high-end, newly opened Mediterranean restaurant when everyone else was still drinking at the bar. After a delicious and exquisite meal, I checked in at the hotel getting ready for my 8 am meeting the next day.

On Tuesday, when we got out of the office building to go across the street for lunch, the snow was coming down in big flakes. You have to understand that it doesn’t snow in Atlanta. By the time we got back to the office, almost everyone had gone home. Our afternoon meetings were cancelled. One brave guy stayed and my 1-hour meeting with him turned into 3. Sitting in the same conference room face-to-face, we got a lot accomplished. At 4 pm, Mike who had just arrived from Charlotte peered in and said we should leave for dinner. His normal 4-hour trip turned into 6 and the last 5 miles took 2 hours. Mike left with my boss and I was going to ride with Keith who is also from the Chicago office. The restaurant is only a mile away. We tried 3 different routes but were stuck no matter which way we turned. Cars were driving at speed close to zero. We saw many vehicles parked on the side streets with people standing around chatting. There were also quite a few school buses carrying children who were dismissed from school early and hadn’t got home after 3 hours. Keith decided we should just forget about dinner and get back to the hotel. He dropped me off at mine around 5:30 pm. I was just going to get some dinner at the hotel, go work out and then continue working on my laptop. The hotel café was uncharacteristically busy. When I told the woman what I wanted, she sighed, frowned and fidgeted. I was like, “Anything wrong with my order?” “Oh, we are too busy today.” She responded with a strong Spanish accent.

As I was waiting for my dinner, my boss called and said that they had told Keith a route without traffic and he was going to pick me up in a few minutes. Finally we got to the restaurant after 6 pm. Most restaurants nearby had closed and so this one was crowded. Only a waiter and a waitress could make it to work. Dinner was awesome though. Mike turned funnier and more entertaining after a few drinks. Right after lunch, my other colleague headed back to the hotel 10 miles away from the office. When we checked with him at 7:30 pm, he still had a mile to go. For us Chicagoans, it’s hard to imagine a couple inches of snow could cause so much inconvenience and headache. By the time we left the restaurant, the parking lot and the roads were covered with a sheer layer of ice. Luckily, there were hardly anyone on the road and our hotel was within walking distance.

I woke up at 5:30 am this morning and the first thing I did was check my flight status. My 2:30 pm flight is still on schedule. However I couldn’t find any taxi driver who wanted to take me to the airport. They are either not in business today or roads are closed and therefore they can’t get to me.

The hotel front desk finally got hold of someone who said yes. I have been waiting for him in the lobby for almost an hour. The road must be treacherous. I have a feeling this is going to be a very long day. I just want to be home!