Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Best Cup of Hot Chocolate I ever had.

This morning, after dropping my kids off at school, I drove through the McDonald's drive thru and purchased a cup of their hot chocolate.  We got fresh snow last night and there is nothing better than a cup of warm hot chocolate after a fresh round of snow.  If you are curious, they make really good hot chocolate and it got me thinking back to a time about 13 years ago, when I had the best cup of hot chocolate ever.

It was November, Dentist husband and I were engaged and soon to be married in December.  We both had cars that had been given to us by our parents and we decided in order to save money on car insurance, we would get rid of one of the cars.  I had a 1985 Honda Civic Wagon and he had a Plymouth Sundance America.  My husband's little sister was soon to get her driver's license and we agreed to give her the car.  So, over my husband's (then fiancé's) Thanksgiving break from dental school, we headed out over the mountains between Colorado and Utah to drive it to her.

The car had one little hitch.  The heater had quit working.  We discussed this problem beforehand and thought, "The engine still gets hot.  Once the car has been driven for a while, we are sure the radiant heat from the engine will warm the inside of the car."  Just to be safe, we packed extra blankets and of course our winter coats.

For some reason, we decided to do this trip in the middle of the night.  It is an eight hour drive and I remember we went to bed early, (as in right after work and school) and he came and got me at around 2:00 am.  We might have been trying to drive ahead of a snow storm but I can't really remember.  What stands out about the trip was how dang cold it got.  The inside of the car NEVER warmed up.

I was actually better off than Dentist husband because I wasn't driving and I was wrapped up head to toe in a blanket.  But poor Dentist husband had to drive and while he had his coat on, he really couldn't drive a stick shift with a blanket wrapped around his legs.  At first we just pretended like it wasn't that cold.  We tried to "talk" our way through the cold.  We shared stories; we laughed and we joked about the cold.  We even started to sing some songs, hoping it would distract us from the cold.  Unfortunately, as the hours went on, we were driving higher and higher up the mountains to colder and colder temperatures.  We were freezing.  We were grumpy.  It took too much energy to talk.  We had reached a point where we just had to endure.

In Glenwood Springs, CO, we stopped for gas.  Dentist husband looked at me and said, "Do you want a cup of hot chocolate?"  I said, "No."  At this point, I was in my cocoon of suffering and nothing was going to improve it.  Dentist husband came out with a tall styrofoam cup filled with chocolate powder stirred in hot water.  You could still see the paste of chocolate around the inside edges of the cup.  I put it to my lips and started to drink.  Dentist husband did the same thing.  In 10 minutes, I was warm inside.  I couldn't believe it and neither could my husband.  We started talking again.  At first, it was just a few uttered words, "I'm warm."  It later turned into sentences about the amazing event that had taken place.  One hot beverage had warmed us from the inside and made the trip warm again.  I even checked the heating vents to see if maybe the heat had spontaneously started working again.  No, it was just the hot chocolate and the amazing power of a hot beverage.  The rest of the trip was uneventful.  The sun came out around 6:00 am and helped warm up the car.  It actually felt balmy as we drove through snow up Highway 6 toward my husband's home.  We made it to Salt Lake City in great spirits.  All because of one cup of hot chocolate.

So, you see to this day, that is the BEST cup of hot chocolate I have ever partaken.  Hot chocolate has never been the same for me since.


ash said...

Loved this post! What a great memory. The magic of hot chocolate. I dig a hot cup too this time of year.

btw: thanks for the car!

noelle said...

love. this. story.

jo said...

not to mention that Plymoth Sundance was an awesome car. It safely carted around three "generations". love this story, too.

Kari said...

Janice-- What a great story surrounding a cup of hot chocolate! Sorry, I don't want to drive in a freezing car for 8 hours to experience the same. But I loved that! :)