Hi friends! Today I have something kind of random to share that I thought some of you might find interesting.
While driving home in a serious snow blizzard last night, I started thinking about all of the things I have learned while living up here. For those of you who are new to the blog: I am a Florida native, born and raised in Orlando, who just moved up to Michigan under a year and a half ago.
Last winter was considered “mild” and this one is off the charts unbearable. I guess it is comforting to know that locals are even saying it is by far the worst one they have seen in over twenty years!
If I can survive this I should be just fine from here on out. Or so I think! 😉
• The four seasons do exist.
I often joked with my Florida friends that we could only tell what season it was by the Starbucks flavored lattes available. It’s fall because there’s Pumpkin Spice right?
Since moving to Michigan, I have found a new appreciation for the changing of the seasons and it is something I really look forward to as the months pass by.
Seeing the autumn leaves and spring blossoms puts me in the best mood. Ahhh I can’t wait!
• Winter clothes are expensive… but you can build a (cute + warm) wardrobe by investing in a nice piece (or two) of winter apparel per season.
Check out the outlets and look for the essentials during the off-season. I have been calling our local North Face outlet asking them for a specific coat I have had my eye on for a year now! I refuse to pay over $200 for it but need it in my closet, so I am being patient. This one is second on my list.
That’s also where I got my one pair of versatile snow boots I wear almost every day.
• Layering is key.
If you live in cold enough climates where it snows, you need to layer. And I’m not just talking about an overcoat and gloves here.
If you are going to be outside walking around in frigid and windy conditions, throw on a tank top, an extra pair of socks, and tights under your jeans. Also, bring a spare pair of socks in case yours get wet from the snow. I learned that one the hard way!
• Cider mills are the ish.
Any time somebody plans a visit, we try to get them to come during cider mill season. Generally, they only open the weekend after Labor Day and close the weekend after Thanksgiving.
If you haven’t ever tried freshly pressed cider (and cider mill donuts!) I highly recommend you put that on your bucket list. YUM.
• Nobody says ya’ll. You might as well go ahead and replace that with yuh guys or eh.
When we first moved up here everyone said I had a Southern accent. To me, I have a regular accent, but doesn’t everyone say that?
Our friends thought Scott had an extreme Southern draw (being from Arkansas) and say we both over-pronounce our words. Actually, people just combine words up here. This article nailed the Michigan accent right on the head.
• You have to really need that gallon of milk.
After our first snowfall, I finally understood why people get real friendly with their neighbors around here. Running to the store down south seems like a breeze compared to the process you have to go through to pick up that one grocery item during the winter months up here (i.e. October through April) Eek!
(Get bundled up, warm up the car, scrape the windshield, drive extremely slow, walk in the cold wind into the store, un-bundle, get your item, re-bundle and do the same process all over again!) Sigh.
• Goodbye, humidity.
Coming from someone who grew up fighting the humidity and frizzy hair that followed, I am extremely grateful that is now a thing of the past. It doesn’t rain that often in the Greater Detroit area, and when it does the humidity doesn’t even compare to a “low humidity” day in Florida.
It may sound weird to some, but this does wonders for my hair washing and styling schedule. Spray a little dry shampoo in your hair, throw on a cute hair accessory (ear warmer headbands are becoming my fav!) and you’re good to go for days!
• Basements are also the ish.
When looking for a place to rent or buy, the basement doesn’t even count in the square footage. All of the ones I have been to up here are fully furnished with carpet, paint on the walls, and even some furniture. Ours serves as my home office slash home gym slash entertainment area.
The best part of it all is if you have people over you don’t have to worry about it getting loud. Take the party into the basement and your neighbors will never know!
And the last few are specifically related to driving in the snow… because it’s a real struggle.
• Slow and steady wins the race.
Before attempting my first drive in the snow, “slow and steady” is all I heard. I didn’t realize it meant actually drive 20 m.p.h. on the highway. Also, I have learned that you should drive “where it makes sense” as opposed to in the real lanes. If there is a tire track, follow it.
Also, another huge tip is to only stop when it’s absolutely necessary. Breaks tend to disappear in the snow and ice and it’s not the most comforting feeling.
If you ever find yourself in this position, give yourself more than enough time to stop and more than enough room to do so. Try to follow tracks to avoid getting stuck, and NEVER slam on your breaks!
• Rear wheel drive is ridiculous.
Both Scott and I moved up here with rear wheel drive cars. In Florida, if you purchase an all wheel drive you’re just wasting money. If the car you want even comes in all wheel. Up here, rear wheel drive vehicles get sent right back down south.
My first time driving in the snow (in my rear wheel) was awful. My breaks jumped ship, I was slipping and sliding all over the place, and I ended up turning around right outside of our neighborhood to have Scott drive me. I replaced my tires the next day, but even with brand new grips the experience of driving with rear wheel power is scary. Always go for the front or all wheel option!
Other than driving and freezing my butt off for more days of the year than necessary, I have enjoyed living in the mid-west. Fall runs are my favorite way to break a sweat and I really want to check out more hiking trails when the snow melts.
I love having the excuse to enjoy a warm beverage at any (or all) time(s) of the day, and sitting by fireplaces. I adore the copious amounts of running leggings I now own that I could never pull off wearing in Florida, and I learn something new about handling the cold temperatures every single day.
I have to admit, however, that I am really ready for spring to get here already. Until then, I’ll just keep bundling up and think of more things to share with you!
I’m hoping to check back in with a soup recipe before I need to get ready for tonight’s home game. Stay tuned!
Question of the Day
• Have you ever relocated to an extreme temperature difference? How have you/did you handled it?
• Any tips for this Southerner turned Northerner?