let it snow

SnowThis week, 8 inches of snow fell on Nashville and I was absolutely delighted!  I was expecting to wake up on Friday to a bleak, drizzly landscape (with snow starting around lunchtime) but instead woke up to a wintry wonderland outside my bedroom window!

I immediately bundled up and went outside to play in the snow.  (After all, living in Florida for 23 years, I’ve never seen snow in a place I called home – just on vacations from time to time!)

The snow continued to come down for hours and hours and, though I was stuck inside working, it brought me such joy to see the gorgeous sight outside my house.  I took the opportunity to build a snowman on my lunch break (note to self: get waterproof gloves) and frolic a little more.

LivingRoomViewOn Friday night, the snow had stopped falling but was covering Music City in a sparkly blanket.  Not many people were on the roads, so Alli and I took the opportunity to walk to Mafiaoza’s, a nearby restaurant, to meet some friends for a birthday dinner.  It was quite a chilly walk!  I came up with the brilliant idea to hitchhike, but we didn’t fully commit on the walk there.

LoveSnow.jpgWell, the walk home was another story!  It was positively arctic, and we did not feel like trekking a mile through the snow and ice!  We stuck our thumbs out as we walked and waited to see if any of the cars would stop to offer us a ride.  Surely enough, a Jeep full of cute, young guys stopped to see if we needed help!  We jumped in the Jeep and they kindly took us the remaining 3/4 mile home.  (If you are my mother or grandmother reading this and freaking out that I hitchhiked…don’t freak out!  It was a fun and unexpected adventure.)  They actually invited us to go play pool with them at a bar down the street, but we were chilly and ready to be in bed.

Saturday was wonderful, with no place in particular to be and the snow still making our neighborhood look like a Thomas Kinkade painting.  Alli and I walked to Frothy Monkey for coffee and FlipSide for brunch, where we ran into both a childhood friend of mine (who does not live in Nashville, mind you) and the Chrisley’s from my dad’s favorite tv show, Chrisley Knows Best.

SevierPark.jpgWe walked around Sevier Park, watching all the adorable sledders and even having a snowball fight with some strangers, before making our way back home for a lazy day of eating and watching tv.

All in all, I have absolutely loved the snowy wonder that has filled Nashville the last few days!  It’s been a breath of fresh air not to drive anywhere, and to adopt a more relaxed pace.  Perhaps it’s easy for me to say this because we got 8 inches of snow (versus 2 feet like some places a bit north of us), but what can I say?  I picked the right city.

take me home, country roads

Last month, I had a great time BLAST visiting my friends in West Virginia!  My friend Jordan and her husband Evan moved there last summer and I’ve been plotting a visit ever since.  We wanted to go when we would have a chance to ski, so I found myself there in the frigid month of February.

photo[22]I drove from Gainesville down to Orlando, FL to fly out.  I flew Allegiant Air (super cheap but still good service – I highly recommend) up to Roanoke, VA.  When I landed in Roanoke, it was a whopping 5° F…talk about a change for this Florida girl!  I was wearing a t-shirt, some running pants and a light fleece pullover…but I wasn’t cold!  I actually think the excitement of being up north in the snow pumped adrenaline through my body keeping me warm.

In Roanoke, I rented a car and drove (two hours, in the snow and ice, by myself in new-to-me states) to Bluefield, WV where my friends live.  I arrived and there was even MORE snow than I imagined.  It was everywhere!

Once I made it to their house (a feat in itself…I wound up parking in a church parking lot and hauling my stuff up a giant, icy hill because the car couldn’t make it into their driveway), Jordan informed me that we were going sledding!  I was psyched.  We ate some lunch, layered up and drove over to Bluefield College, the spot of the sledding hill we’d be conquering.

photo[11]Let’s just say, my first time sledding was far scarier than I would have guessed!  I had what can only be called uncontrollable speed and wound up with a lot of snow in my clothes, ears and even mouth.  I trekked it back up the hill and did it all over again until my hands were completely numb from the soaking wet gloves.  (Bear in mind, temps were still in the ‘teens.)

That night, we ate dinner in a gas station (because, West Virginia) and drove around to some of the surrounding coal towns for a tour.  It was such a beautiful natural landscape but some of the visible signs of poverty were absolutely shocking — formerly grand homes now falling to ruins, unoccupied houses looking like their owners had just stepped out, occupied houses looking like they ought to be abandoned…it was tough to see.

photo[3]On Saturday, we built a snowman (my first ever), had a snowball fight and watched entirely too many episodes of Friends.  We also went to an event called the Winter Warmer at Jordan and Evan’s favorite local bar/restaurant.  I’m pretty sure the entire under-30 Bluefield population was there…it was live music and lots of beer.  Tough to resist!  I even made a few local friends (which Evan would tease me about the rest of the night).  It snowed a LOT this day; I want to say it was at least 6-7 inches!  When you combine that with the foot of snow they’d gotten throughout the week, it truly felt like we were in a (dangerous driving conditions aside) winter wonderland.

photoThen on Sunday, we went skiing!  I hadn’t been since 2011 and wasn’t sure if I’d still be any good, but I was.  I skied all the way up to black diamond runs and I even did a few jumps in the terrain park.  It definitely wasn’t Colorado-level conditions, but it was cool to be skiing with my friends (and none of the snow was man-made).  We definitely exhausted ourselves skiing all day long, and went back to Bluefield around dinnertime.  At home, we ate dinner, played Monopoly (Evan was so ruthless) and watched more Friends; the perfect night!

photo[9]Monday meant my departure and let me just say, it came way too quickly.  I woke up at 5 am and Jordan and I had to dig my car out of massive quantities of snow and ice…like, it took 45 minutes.  Then I drove back to Roanoke where I boarded my plane for the Sunshine State.  I landed back in Florida later that afternoon where I immediately had to strip down to my t-shirt and enjoyed my drive back to Gainesville with the windows down.