Well, I had a great birthday this year.  I took the day off and hung out around the house while the kids were at school and got a few things done (brushing up on my Encrypted Packets tunes, playing some XBox, and just plain relaxing).  The kids got home and we goofed off for a while.  The family gaave me the choice of where to go for dinner (Mexican or steaks/burgers).  I picked DC's Grill here in Sammamish.  I opted for the meatloaf which was awesome.  It's highly suggested for anyone who is in to the "hearty" home style gut filling type of thing.  Not for every visit but it hit the spot.

During the meal we glanced up and saw the Seahawks game on the tv in the bar and the kids commented on the snow that was coming down.  We were playing the Packers and not being a die-hard fan I figured the game was in Green Bay.  Boy was I wrong...

We walked out of the store to 4 inches of snow on the car and a heavy downpour of snow continuing.  Our neighborhood is up and down a series of hills so we headed out in the minivan to make it home.  We made it about a block from the restaurant and hit deadlocked traffic.  About 45 minutes later and nearly at an empty tank we had only made it about 1/4 mile up the 2 miles or so to our house.  Some bone-heads decided it was a good idea to bypass the uphill stuck traffic by going in the opposite direction in the downhill lane.  Needless to say they got stuck as well and many got smashed head-on by the downhill traffic that couldn't stop on the ice.   We decided to turn around and head back down the hill to the Safeway, get some gas, and try to get some info on the traffic situation.

The news wasn't good...  The snow came down fast enough to melt and then freeze all through the Seattle area and we heard stories of clogged roads, accidents and many stranded people.  We would have checked into a hotel but Sammamish doesn't have one and we couldn't make it to the nearest town that did have one.  We sat in Safeway for an hour or so and decided to head out in the car and possible sleep out there with the car running during the night.  We called a few friends and found out one of my son's had a classmate that lived very closed to the grocery store so we called them up.  They were very gracious and invited us over and let us sleep the night on their pull-out beds - much better than the car.  I dont' even want to think how my 2 year old would have fared in the car...  Thank you so much Greg and Denise!  Turns out Greg is a software developer as well and is working on Halo-3 right now.  Pretty cool stuff and it didn't hurt that he was a big Star Wars fan as well...

At around 11:00 the next morning we headed out from our new friends house and made the trek home.  The roads had been sanded by then but it was still very slick and it took us quite a while to make it past all the abandoned cars up and down the hills.

All in all, it could have been a much worse birthday but for the goodness of our new friends, my birthday turned out to be one I'll fondly remember.

*BTW, the picture is outside the front of our house this morning (2 days later).  The skys look good now but we're prepping for more snow tonight.  Wish us luck!

-Joe