Spring snow day: a photo essay

If you know anything about me, you know that I loathe winter. I hate the cold and I hate the lack of sunlight. But when it snows it redeems winter in my opinion, even if briefly. Growing up in the south meant snow days were rare, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been delighted by snow.

And who isn’t? It’s absolutely gorgeous!

I’d waited all winter for a real snow day and been disappointed, but it turns out this year I just had to wait winter out in order to see some real snow. This definitively proves that so-called global warming is a hoax!

Being excited about snow after the official end of winter feels a lot like celebrating a 70 degree day in January or February: it shouldn’t be happening but damn, it’s amazing. A few years ago I went hiking on the first day of spring and there was a fair amount of snow on the ground. That’s not nearly the same thing as a snowstorm on the second day of spring! The most surreal part about a post-spring equinox snow day? Normally it’s dark by 5:30pm when it’s snowy, not still light out 90 minutes later.

While I was out frolicking in the snow and indulging my inner child, I was decidedly not thinking of a topic for a blog post. A few hours later after I’d finally accomplished a few of the MANY things I had on my overly-ambitious to-do list for the day, I still hadn’t thought of a topic for this post.

But I had a bunch of snow day photos. So by “photo essay” I really mean “a bunch of photos I took during my two forays out into the snow this morning,” but that doesn’t make for as catchy of a title.

As wonderful as the snow was, it obviously wasn’t great for all of the plants and trees that are starting to bloom. Approximately half of these are photos of DC’s iconic cherry blossoms in the ice and snow. Since it’s unclear how many of the buds will survive this brief return to winter, I figure this might be as close to peak bloom as I get this year. Plus I love the contrast of the subtle pink against the white snow.

My favorite kind of cherry blossom is actually the much darker pink ones that bloom later, so here’s hoping those are far enough behind that they’ll still bloom!

On to the photos

I was pleased with myself that after waking up at 7 (half an hour earlier than my normal alarm, this is why I can’t have nice things), double-checking that we had the day off, being disappointed that there wasn’t any snow yet, and going back to bed, I managed to actually fall back asleep until 9:30. And by that point there was wonderful, glorious snow to go walk around in!

When I wake up at 9:30 on a snow day, the first priority is breakfast and coffee, right? No! It’s to go walk around in the snow!
The first of the many cherry blossom photos.

Poor little flower!
Most of the trees in my immediate neighborhood don’t seem to have bloomed yet.

The first walk was a quick foray because eating breakfast and having coffee are two very important things that needed to happen. The snow was coming down pretty quickly, so two hours later it was time for a longer walk (yes, I got 9,000 of my 10,000 steps for the day in during these two walks).

The same street from the first photo, two hours and a few inches of snow later.
Shortly after I went back inside after the second walk, the snow started falling off the trees in earnest because it had piled up too high.
Some actual cherry blossoms.

I was wandering around fairly aimlessly, but did want to end up at the Capitol eventually. I’d heard tales that sledding down the hill on the Capitol lawn were a DC (and especially a Capitol Hill neighborhood) tradition—especially after the removal of the sledding ban in 2016—but had never seen this for myself. The last time we got any appreciable amount of snow (a foot and a half of it!) was two years ago, back when I was working at a company that didn’t follow the Federal government closures for snow days. I have since remedied that situation and could therefore check out the sledding action.

Sledding: best done as a mini-human who weighs way less than I do!

Has anyone been sledding recently? Turns out it doesn’t work so well as an adult. A wonderful parent let me borrow one of their sleds so I could indulge my inner six-year-old for the approximately 30 seconds it took for me to figure out how to fit my legs completely on the sled (it was one of the round ones), push myself down the incline, build up about 0.05mph of speed, and ultimately tip over nowhere near the bottom of the hill. Adults and saucer sleds don’t mix!

It was super fun. #nevergrowingup

A tree with especially pink blossoms.
The last one, I promise.

The accumulation on my car, just before the snow started melting and compacting down.

Oh, right. I should be tying this back to personal finance, shouldn’t I? I spent $0, got in my exercise (I suspect my legs will be a bit sore tomorrow since walking in a few inches of snow requires a different gait), and had fun. How’s that for a frugal win?!

18 Replies to “Spring snow day: a photo essay”

  1. Not gonna lie, the photos are gorgeous πŸ™‚ I’m still a snow hater. Glad we only got like 1/2 inch and it was gone by the afternoon… I do miss sledding though. Well done on the steps! Snow days do tend to be no spend days huh? Hooray for #frugalfun

    1. I think I told you this, but next time it snows a lot down there, you live right by the awesome hill I used to go sledding on!

      Hah I suppose you could do a lot of online shopping during snow days, but I prefer to spend my time out in the snow anyway πŸ˜‰

    1. Yeah that totally sucks you didn’t get the day off from work. I’m actually cautiously optimistic about the cherry blossoms—some of the trees by me look like they might be about to bloom anyway!

  2. Ha – I love the last paragraph mention of how a snow day is a frugal win. We live at the top of a steep dead end street, so lots of sledding is to be had whenever we have snow (which was actually multiple times this winter). We have a toboggan though instead of one of those round sleds, and they work a lot better for adults πŸ˜‰

  3. I hate winter and I hate snow. I might be the worst Canadian ever. But, I do love all the beautiful pictures you can capture when it has snowed. Even with growing up used to 6 foot high snow drifts all around us, something about seeing snow is very magical (even if I wish it would just go away). Since we moved to Northern Ontario, this winter was very light on snow (I know that doesn’t make sense, but.. geography). We really only had one or two ‘bad days’, but even then they were sorted pretty quickly. The background on my phone right now is of the one snow storm we got. I managed to drag myself out of my office at work and snapped a quick photo – so worth it!

    P.S. I love posts like this! Does it make me weird that I like seeing people’s real lives? Hope not!

    1. For me snow is the only thing that makes the cold bearable since it’s at least pretty! Agreed that ideally after you get the nice photos it would be nice if it could just disappear instead of sitting around in huge gray piles for weeks. I also remember the photos you got that morning where everything was frosted over—those were gorgeous! ?

      I also love reading other people’s posts like this, so if it makes you weird, at least we’re both weird!

    1. What?! It’s supposed to be in the 70s tomorrow and the 60s for the next few days so I can’t imagine dropping back down to have it be cold enough for snow!

  4. Hi Erin! At the risk of sounding very creepy…I recently found your blog and over several days have binge-read every post. I am just in the very beginning stages of getting my financial life together and honestly this all felt so relatable and inspirational at the same time. I especially can relate to feeling stuck in unfulfilling and not at all challenging administrative potions.

    Soo just here to say thank you for putting this all out there and I am looking forward to continuing to read along! πŸ™‚

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