Welcome back to the daily grind! One week down, thirteen to go. I hope you all made it back to the ‘burg safe and sound last week. While that phrase is most often used as a general conversation filler, I feel that given this past winter break, it is a most necessary one. Anyone who was lucky enough to have exams until the last possible day knows that Williamsburg was hit with a bit of a winter storm that night. More importantly, the highway between Williamsburg and Northern Virginia was hit with the same winter weather. What was normally a three-hour drive for most in-state students became a seven hour, survival-of-the-fittest journey. As most cars appeared to ice-skate up the interstate, the most stressful aspect of exams turned out to be getting away from them.
As my in-state friends were sliding home, I smugly boarded my flight to Atlanta, thinking how grand it was that I live in the South. This attitude quickly evaporated when I landed in Atlanta, and my parents called to report that every roadway was covered in ice. Our drive home took us past at least 20 accidents and spinning cars. Southerners, unaccustomed to snow, were seen skidding down sidewalks on the seat of their pants as they vowed to move to the tropics before next winter.
Thankfully, the weather improved. People shed their winter coats for some welcome balmy 60 degree weather prior to Christmas. However, luckily, my family had decided to spend our vacation shuttling between Michigan, Oregon and Vermont. These three states have a reputation for being the coldest, snowiest, most winter-y states of them all, and this winter was no exception. I like to think I became a highly skilled and proficient layering expert during those three frostbitten weeks when hand-warmers, fireplaces and hot chocolate became my new best friends.
After this experience, it was with some relief that I drove to the LaGuardia airport to fly home to ‘Hotlanta.’ Imagine my surprise when I learned that Atlanta had experienced its worst winter storm in decades. My cousin informed me that he had seen Atlanta on the news and mistaken it for Sarah Palin’s Alaska. My parents hadn’t had to work in days. Highways were closed. There were more snowmen outside than people. By some act of the airline gods (who so rarely show their faces these days) I was on one of the handful of flights to make it home. I spent the next week snowed in, doing puzzles and making homemade bread and catching up on every television series produced in the past decade. Cabin fever seemed an increasingly appropriate way to describe my winter vacation.
Now that we are back on campus with classes, meetings and homework, the snow has been shoveled away. While it seems that everyone else had snow days this week, we have ever so unfortunately been spared. True to Williamsburg form, it has only been rain and gloom for our first week back. Despite my complaints about snowstorms over vacation, I am currently keeping my fingers crossed for a snow day.
For those of you readers who made it to the end of the article without thinking: “Oh no, is she still talking about weather? How mundane can you get?” I salute you. I also propose that we organize a mass exodus to the Caribbean for our next winter break.