Worlds Collide in a Winter Wonderland

The last month or so have been an adventure.

Yes, sunny Florida girl, yours truly…was sent off to the “Great White North” for three weeks between December and January for new day job training. And by GWN, I mean Syracuse, New York. Okay, so I’m a Chicago transplant to Florida. You’d think that would mean I’m used to winters, right?

Wrong!

Jaunty Hat

Winter Selfie in Jaunty Hat

I haven’t lived in a state that has winter since 1999. I didn’t really even own a “real” coat anymore. My sister had to shop for one for me up in Chicago. Because, you know, Florida sells winter coats in the dead of summer, then gets rid of the inventory. True story.

So the first week up there I realized the weather was bi-polar. I arrived to 50 degree weather. The next morning it was in the 20’s. Here’s a picture of me in my jaunty winter hat.

Yes, that’s snow in the background. Not only did the weather drop 30 degrees overnight. It also snowed…but it was a light, slushy snow and the weather was back up into the 40’s the following day. Like I said. Bipolar weather.

Wegmans

Definitely NOT a Castle

But there were some good things about not being overly cold. It enabled us to explore.

And thus my first Wegmans experience was born. Sadly, apparently it was nothing like it should be. I was told Wegmans looks like a castle and is an amazing place to shop.

As a girl who has Publix supermarkets every couple of miles, I’m not easily impressed. I was told that this particular store was a bit old and not in a great neighborhood, so not to hold anything against the franchise. It was not a “true” Wegmans experience. The store was dingy, the employees weren’t overly helpful….so I’ll trust my friends and reserve judgement. Still, a cherry popped while in New York.

Rockin the Boys

Cowboy Plane Selfie

But despite the cold, both the final game of the season and the first playoff game for my ‘Boys were going on. That meant I wore my Cowboy love quite literally all over my body.

Of course, the first person to taunt me?

The TSA agent. Before I even left Sarasota.

When hubby asked how I responded to the “Go Lions!” taunt, I told him I kept my mouth shut.

Let’s be real for a second…. No matter how much one might love their home team, how likely is a person to respond with a return taunt when the person calling you out is the TSA agent at the gate of the airport? While you’re being patted down…

Even I’m not that brave. Not after a friend of mine practically got cavity searched for forgetting she had a bottled water in her carry on luggage. Nope.

Cold Selfie

Bundled Up Selfie

But finally, January came to Syracuse…and brought me back into the cold. This time, sis had come through with a cute winter coat and hand knit scarf. By then, I’d gotten smart enough to buy boots and gloves. At home, such articles are only purchased for fashion purposes.

These were meant to keep my feet warm and dry. Utilitarian. What a novel thought, right? Well, maybe if you’re from the south.

And I discovered that gloves have come a long way! Now they have these little spots on the finger tips that allow you to work digital devices like touch screens without taking the gloves off.

Who knew?

Well, I do now. And I own a pair. A girl’s gotta stay on the cutting edge of technology, don’tcha know.

WindySnow

This is both wind and snow

I confess. I watched my weather updates on my phone like a hawk. When I started seeing sub-zero temperatures I admit it. I got a bit whiny.

And what’s with these reports telling us what it “feels like” outside? They calculate in the wind, etc. Do they really think that telling me that 0 degrees is going to feel like -14 degrees is going to encourage me to step away from the warmth of my hotel room? Eek!

Windy, Snowy Selfie

Windy, Snowy Selfie

I was just relieved that the couple of feet they forecasted didn’t come while I was there! The wind was bad enough.

You see the picture on the side? My hair was blowing sideways, and so was the snow! Yes, I found a way to keep my ears warm…. Unfortunately, I also forgot my jaunty hat at home this trip.

Just a little hint? That face is not my happy face. It’s my “damn, this is cold” face.

If it weren’t for a friend asking me to take snow pictures of myself and the weather, there’s no way I would’ve been out of doors for more than the short time it took to get from indoors to the vehicle, and back inside.

And, believe it or not, despite having not driven in snow in about 20 years, I drove in this weather. Yeah, I’m feeling pretty proud of that, too.

But none of that compared to the coolest experience of the trip, ever!

It had everything to do with this guy….

Meeting my friend, author Mark Bialczak

Meeting my friend, author Mark Bialczak

My friend, fellow author and blogger, Mark Bialczak braved the freezing cold (and I mean freezing literally) to come out to meet me for dinner. First, if you haven’t met Mark yet, you should check him out HERE. He’s a fun, engaging blogger and an all around great guy.

Syracuse guide

He remembered I love my sports, and was generous enough to bring me a copy of his book, also now a memento of my 3 week stay in Syracuse, and autograph it for me! How cool was that? He even teased me a bit about the book not being about my Cowboys!

Even better, despite the fact that the only place we’d interacted was online via our blogs, it felt like meeting an old friend. We never ran out of things to talk about. There was no awkwardness. Just a lot of good conversation and fun!

Have you ever met any friends from online? What was your experience?

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27 thoughts on “Worlds Collide in a Winter Wonderland

  1. ramblingsfromamum says:

    See I’d be saying ‘shit it’s cold!’ Photo. You look freezing you poor love. Yes I met a lovely lady over from England, we went for lunch with her husband. I just gabbled on and on like I’d known her forever. Felt sorry for her hubby, but it’s a surreal experience. 💜

  2. ratmom says:

    I’ve been enjoying your pictures on fb as you posted them. I don’t mind the cold, I don’t like the summer though. I have met a couple of online friends years ago and one was a lot of fun while the other turned out to be strange and when it turned out she was too stalkerish for me I blocked her. lol

  3. ksbeth says:

    i’m glad you survived and happy you were able to meet mark in person. i know him online too, and he is one of the warmest, kindest guys around. and a great writer to boot. nice when two great people finally meet. i’ve met one blogger, who i discovered lived locally, and had mutual friends and once we met it’s as if we’d known each other for years. )

  4. Mae Clair says:

    I’ve met several online friends which was a cool experience, though it was years ago. Got a chuckle out of all of your winter woes, LOL. As a northern bird, when January and February hit I always whine I want to move to Florida. Glad you survived the norther! 🙂

  5. L.J. Kentowski says:

    I saw you had to experience a bit of what we were getting. I’m glad you survived lol! Very cool that you got to meet your friend in person. Loni and I met online as book bloggers years ago. It wasnt until we both went to NY a few years ago that we actually met in person 🙂

  6. markbialczak says:

    We were warm with good conversation, thankfully, Kitt! You are a kind and fun friend in person, for sure. You didn’t tell me that night that your friends had taken you to that Wegmans. Definitely the worst-case of the chain. Dagnabbit. Enjoy life back in the south. And I still think Dez caught that pass.

  7. Emma says:

    Bipolar weather! Lol. Ireland gets 3 to 4 seasons per day.
    I hope to meet my online pals in person someday. I want to get to the states in the next few years. Fingers crossed.
    Great pics, Kitt.

  8. anna@herding cats & burning soup says:

    Your jaunty hat is so cute! Our weather here is bi-polar like that. 30s at the beginning of the week then 70s within a couple days. It’s crazy.

    That is so fun getting to meet your online friend. I love that. I’ve met a handful. Sometimes it’s like you’ve known em your whole life and then I’ve met a couple who are so fun online and great people but a bit shy in real life so was a little hard visiting. But still neat to put the face to the person 😀 Glad you survived the cold Kitt!

  9. shanjeniah says:

    I’ve met MANY of my fellow unschooling parents IRL – at conferences, campouts, our homes…almost always a wonderful experience, and I’ve made some lifelong friends (as have the kids!).

    Last September, I went with Elizabeth Mitchell (who was first an online friend) to meet August in NYC for WSHD! What a trip, what a day! August infused me with new confidence and energy and her very cool, funny, lovely all the way through self! I came back braver and more me than I left!

    Syracuse really isn’t all that far from me!

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