Most people around here, when they make spring break plans, head south toward Florida. Not us.
We head north. Not to ski but to sight-see. More often than not, we run into non-spring break weather, and we aren’t always prepared for it.
Like last week. Our daughter was on a mission trip, so Mart and I took my mother to Virginia to visit her sister. The morning we were going to drop her off at Aunt Jenny's, snow started falling.
It fell fast and hard and covered everything in white. Beautiful, yes, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. But still, that much snow falling that fast was a bit of a concern to a carful of Southerners with miles to go before we could stop.
“It’s too warm for the snow to stick the roads,” we reminded ourselves as we watched it pile up.
Thirty minutes later, we pulled into my aunt’s driveway and let out a collective sigh of relief that fogged the windows. After suitcases were taken in, hugs given, and gifts exchanged, my mom and aunt waved us on our way: Mart and I still had a 45-minute drive on rural back roads to our hotel.
“Call us when you get there,” Mom said, worry in her voice.
Back on the road, the flakes hit the windshield and the tire tracks were deeper. “It’s too warm to stick,” I reminded us. “Besides, it’s spring break. Right?”
But it didn’t look like spring break to us.
On two different highways, we followed two different snow plows, and I thanked God for his perfect timing. When we got to the hotel, there was ice on the pavement by the door, but that was all the ice we saw . The next day, we set off to do our sight-seeing as a warm pre-spring sun melted the snow to a memory.
Not to be forgotten was the spring break we spent in Chicago a few years ago. As our plane was about to land, the pilot said, “Good news, everyone! The snow has stopped.” Mart, my daughter, and I looked at each other. Snow? Snow wasn’t in the forecast. Besides, it was spring break! Right?
When we stood in line for a cab at the airport, the cold, wet wind reminded me we weren’t in the south anymore. An hour later, we walked a few blocks from the hotel to Giordano’s for pizza, and I thought I would freeze where I stood and become a statue on the sidewalk. The snow had come back, falling sideways, caught in the wind, looking like a blizzard, stinging our faces. We had coats and sweaters on but not parkas. We don’t even own parkas.
The next morning, as we toured UChicago, sleet pelted our faces and froze lips, noses, and hair. That next day, the sky turned a brilliant blue, the sun shone strong and warm, and the temperature climbed to almost 60 degrees. It was as if a month had passed overnight.
A couple of spring breaks before that, we visited our niece, cousin, and friends in Greenville, SC. Greenville is only a few hours from us, so we didn’t expect much of a weather difference. Again, the forecast didn’t say, “Miserable, cold, wintry weather—stay home!” but that’s what we got.
It rained the entire time. The rain turned to sleet, and the wind whipped us around. As we sank into a booth at the restaurant next to the hotel, I said, “This is spring break, right?”
Next year, my daughter will be in college, and I don’t know what spring break will hold for us. But she will have just spent her first winter in the northeast, so if we do take a family trip, there's a good chance she will say, "Let's go to Florida!"
And if she doesn’t, I will.
What do you do (or have you done) on spring break? Have you even been on a trip with crazy weather? I’d love to hear.
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