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Extreme travel delays won't stop Parayko's dad

Tom Parayko needed all day to get from Edmonton to Fort Lauderdale

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

Nothing was going to stop Tom Parayko from getting to Fort Lauderdale to join his son, Colton, on the annual Blues Dad's Trip.

Not well-below zero temperatures in Edmonton.

Not a three-hour delay taking off because the airplane's water lines were frozen.

Not a broken de-icing machine at the airport.

Not a missed connection.


"I was going to make it here," Tom told "There was no doubt I was getting here one way or another."

Here's how Tom described his day:

It was minus-30 something in the morning when I woke up. I believe with the windchill, it was around minus-47 degrees Celsius. I was at the airport by 5 a.m. and I get on the plane, which was supposed to be in the air by 8 a.m., wheels up. But we were on the ground for three more hours because the water pipes and lines had frozen, so they wanted to take care of that.

Finally they got the pipes thawed out, and we get in line to de-ice and one of the de-icing machines was down, so they were down to one de-icer for the entire airport. There was a line of 11 or 12 planes ahead of us, so that was more time that was lost.

We finally got in the air, but I already knew that I was going to miss my connecting flight. By time we landed, my original connection had already been in the air for 90 minutes bound for Fort Lauderdale.

We landed in Houston, and basically it was every man for themselves trying to find another connection. The line was huge. I waited in line for an hour before my flight got rebooked. I was fortunate there was a flight heading to Fort Lauderdale at 8 p.m. that night.

I eventually arrived around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, about 21 hours after I left my house (with the time zone change).

But I wanted to be here, to be with Colton and the other fathers. Over the last several Dad's Trips, we've made good friends with some pretty good people.

These trips are unreal, they're just great. It's something you wouldn't believe unless you were here.

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