Last night, while walking 17 miles with 60 mph winds and zero visibility (or at least it seemed that way), I decided that it was time for snow and me to take a break. Then, this morning I woke up to a pristine blanket of white spilling from trees to parked cars, sparkling in the balmy sunshine and changed my mind. So call me fickle, but snow and I are back on.
Since temperatures here in Geyserville were less punishing yesterday than in days past (50 degrees vs 38!) I was able to wear my preferred weekend uniform, as opposed to the “I have given up” uniform consisting of my Mom’s ski parka and sweats. I realize that my complaining about cold weather in California will cause some eye-rolling especially from those born/raised/otherwise accustomed to Minnesota cold, so let me just be the first to say I am a cold climate wimp.
I spent this Sunday relaxing and doing nothing of interest except avoiding Steig, my Mom’s homicidal rooster that literally chased me down and attacked me with his chicken feet. Here he is, racing towards me:
For the past few weeks I’ve been home in California. While I should be posting about my outfits and exciting plans, the sad reality is I hope no one ever sees what I’m wearing now (a parka that swallows 2/3 of my body is what stands out today). Unlike Jennie, I am not chic in cold weather.
Instead I thought I’d share a few pictures from my Mom’s vineyard in Geyserville. For me, its one of the most peaceful places in the world.
Photos taken by Johan Almqvist and George Hoyer
Usually, when I return from Minnesota after the holidays it’s a relief to be back from my visit with winter. But this year, winter decided to follow me to New York. So as a true winter native, I feel it is my duty to dispense some useful and practical advice for surviving this bleak time of year.
Winter is not the time for less is more. I like to wear many layers so that I can take them off as needed and am never too cold or too hot. Although it looks like I am not adequately dressed for winter in the photo above, I have layered many pieces so that I’m actually very warm.
Here is a list of the layers I have on above: heat-tech tank, long-sleeve long underwear top, silk tank, wool cardigan, long vest, our Davis jacket, scarf.
2. Get a pair of good boots
There is nothing worse than having wet feet when you’re cold. I received these boots for Christmas and have practically not taken them off of my feet since then. Intended for hunting in bogs and wetland-ish areas, I find them perfect for walking around the city after it snows.
3. Wear mittens
As part-owner of a company that produces gloves, I should probably be telling you all of the merits of glove wearing such as zipping up jackets, using a metrocard, making phone calls and texts with minimal typos. But when the weather gets REALLY cold, I trade the perks of finger-usage for increased warmth.
4. Drink hot chocolate
It tastes delicious, it warms your insides AND it serves a mini heater for your hands. Need I say more? Oh, and when it gets REALLY cold, whole milk mixed with real chocolate (instead of powder) is really the most effective.
5. Do the shuffle
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The shuffle is the only reliable method for getting around without slipping on the ice. It also gets you places much faster than traditional walking in winter sidewalk conditions, thus minimizing your exposure to the elements. Besides, picking up your feet while you walk was sooooo last summer.
So these are my tried and true winter survival tips. And if all else fails, I recommend Emily’s technique of wearing a full body down parka as soon as it drops below 50.