So THAT'S a Real Winter
So this Cali boy spent five days in Minnesota winter.
My parents initially planned this trip in December to visit my sister, currently in her final year at U of M's School Psychology PhD program. Traveling during the holidays is hell, though, so thankfully we pushed the trip back to early January, perfectly coinciding with my sister's 28th birthday. Just in time for the snow.
I come from the Bay Area which is filled with absolutely perfect Mediterranean climate that I would be hard pressed to trade in the world. But we also only get two real seasons: "hot as hell" and "hey, it's going to rain... probably." Now, imagine my face when my sister shows me Minneapolis' forecasts: highs at 10˚ and lows around -8˚ with a -26 wind chill. Human beings are not meant to live in those conditions, y'all. Going into the trip, I was nervous about not being prepared enough for the cold. Once I left, I only felt more appreciation for the fact that nature can have a real winter.
In spite of the fact that I have been to snowy places in the past (Lake Tahoe and Klamath Falls, among others), I still had a childlike wonder and amazement towards the falling flakes, the bitter bites of cold on the face, and the awing at your visible breath indoors. The delight came much as a surprise to us all, especially when my parents decided to walk around in 0˚ weather, totaling 3 miles that afternoon. We were probably insane doing that, but it felt phenomenal.
As for the trip itself, it was wonderful getting away from the Silicon Valley for a while. The food was wonderfully fulfilling, ranging from fried lobster rolls, Red Cow burgers, south asian cuisine, and the always necessary fried cheese curds (sadly no Jucy Lucys, so until next time, Matt's Bar). We also got Izzy's Ice Cream while it was 3˚ out because, as I said earlier, we were probably insane. The Minneapolis food scene is low-key so great.
My family and I are also a bunch of nerds. We stopped by the Guthrie Theatre for the architecture, immediately followed by a perusal through the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Then we'd spend the dark nights at my sister's apartment either watching Warriors games (bless you, NBA League Pass) or whatever movies my sister has on her hard drive (Spy is fantastic, by the way).
If there is anything I'm taking away from this trip, though, is how much I really enjoy traveling and I'm thankful for all of the chances I've gotten. In just the span of over these past 12 months, I've gone to Los Angeles (Jan '15), Las Vegas (Apr '15), Camarillo (May '15), New York City (Oct '15), Albuquerque (Nov '15), and Minneapolis (Jan '16). I can't wait until I'm much more financially stable to continue jet-setting, be it for a weekend, a week, or a month. Whether I do it alone, with my partner, with a group of friends, or with my family, I'll just be happy to experience more foods, more climates, and more culture. And for damn sure I will be back here writing about it.