Walking in a Winter Wonderland

snow in treeYou know how I worried about Oberlin and Kenyon’s glorious spring days lulling Miranda into a false sense of Midwest weather? Not going to have that problem here in the Twin Cities: at least a half a foot of fresh snow hit last night and it was still falling hard in the morning. Winter storm warning predicted up to a foot total by the time the storm passed, and the newspapers calling it the worst of the year. Yeah, in April.

Of course, being good Californians, we knew what to do to when faced with adverse conditions: pile in the dodgy rental car and drive across town through the blizzard to catch the Captain America premier. I mean, right?

captain americaBut morning brought all of those lovely crazy conditions that make us love living where we don’t have all those lovely crazy conditions. My Colorado upbringing kicked in and I allowed for doubling the transit time on snow covered streets and an extra 15 minutes to dig the car out of the snow. What I didn’t account for was another 15 minutes on top of that to account for whoever plowed the lot berming us into our parking space, and the compounded difficulty of shoveling out a foot of snowpack with a Hertz-issue windshield scraper.

m in snowNonetheless, we made it to Macalester’s winter wonderland campus only a coupla minutes late; Miranda hopped out of the car mid-street to join the departing tour, leaving me to circle the block a couple of times to find the secret parking lot entrance.

Mac (everybody apparently just calls it “Mac”) is impressive. Manages that small campus liberal arts feel right in the middle of a big city. Honestly, we’re so saturated in terms of college visits, there’s not a lot to add other than that they do seem to pay attention to details where they matter. Case in point: they sent parents and students on separate tours, so the parents wouldn’t dominate everything. And like Grinnell, they have a student-initiated swing set (we asked). I dunno, maybe Kenyon and Oberlin have one too, but they didn’t think to mention it, because that’s just one of those things you’re assumed to have at a small liberal arts schools, like frisbee teams and bathrooms.

tourAnyhow, the storm had begun to taper off by mid-morning, and by noon we could even see peeps of blue overhead. Three hours later, it was clear, sunny and (relatively) warm, with students popping out of dorms in shorts and t-shirts as though it were just a typical spring day in the midwest. With 7” of snow on the ground. Ah, St. Paul….

swing set-001

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