Eight below zero with the sun already up, and I don't even want to think about the wind chill (which makes it about minus 29).
Another mind-boggling thing about Minnesotans: their idea of a nice short vacation is to go farther north.
I guess it makes sense, in a way. I mean, you go south, you hit Iowa. Not a vacation paradise as far as I know. West, you get the Dakotas, east you get Wisconsin.
That leaves North, I guess.
My first winter here- last year- I went "up North" a few times. People kept telling me how pretty the lakes were.
Now, I grew up on Long Island. We do the winter beach thing there, walking along the empty sands with the wind biting our faces, listening to the surf, daring each other to see how cold the waves are. It's a good thing to do sometimes, invigorating and calming at the same time. So I thought sure, I could go for some winter water.
Lesson learned: what a difference a coast makes.
You can't really stroll around most lakes in the winter. The snow is too deep, and when there's no snow there's ice and mush.
But the really striking thing: winter lakes are dead silent.
The silence of the waters freaked me out. What was the point of being there if you couldn't even hear waves? You 're not looking at a lake, you're looking at a vast, flat snowfield. And it's dead quiet. It's just not right, somehow.
This is a good day to curl up with the laptop and write about Italy.