DC Diary: Walking in a winter wonderland

Washington Winter Wonderland
Thursday, Dec. 5
12:46 a.m.

It was early on Thursday morning. After studying for countless hours for my final exam and putting the finishing touches on my final paper, I was ready to go to sleep. Before I shut off the lights and went into dreamland, I looked outside. So where was the snow I had been hearing about for the past year (or so it seemed) on the news? Hearing about how D.C. reacts to an inch of snow, I called the GW hotline to see if classes had been canceled yet. Since they had not, I proceeded as if everything was the status quo and went to sleep. I had that final exam and paper due the next morning at 8.

At 7 a.m. my alarm went off, as my hand stumbled over to the windowsill to shut off my alarm clock, I opened my eyes and saw through the blinds that the snow indeed had arrived. I sat up and opened the blinds more and looked down from my fifth floor window to see a blanket of snow covering everything outside. I instantly grabbed my phone and called the hotline again to find out classes for the day had been canceled.

Even though GW’s phone line had said classes were canceled, I still needed another confirmation. I turned on my television and started frantically flipping between the four major news channels to see which channel’s school cancellation list was the closest to GW. Ah, I saw it on television.

I went to bed early on Thursday morning as a college student and awoke a child.

I tried going back to sleep but the excitement was keeping me awake. I had not had a snow day since my sophomore or junior year of high school. With no big back yard to go sledding in and no fire place to light, what was I going to do on my very first snow day in college?

At 8 a.m., my roommate’s alarm clock went off. Finally! I had someone with whom to celebrate. Normally when there is a snow day, my sister runs into my room and we celebrate together. My roommate was thrilled about the news, but did not seem to want to begin her day at 8 a.m. if she did not have to. She rolled over and went back to sleep and I tried to do the same.

After drifting in and out for a while, at 10:30 a.m. I decided to get up for the day. I checked my email and saw that there were free festivities and snacks at the Marvin Center. I decided to check it out or at least go to Starbucks and warm up with a cappuccino. Whether or not I could find someone to go with me, I was going to go and have fun in the snow. I put on some clothes and began looking for my new gloves that I had received as a gift at home. In the midst of my rummaging, my roommate got up and told me to wait a few minutes and she would go with me. I told her about the Marvin Center and so we decided to go over and get some hot chocolate and then maybe go bowling.

After waiting for her to get ready, my roommate and I braced ourselves and headed out into the white wonderland. The snowflakes got caught in my eye lashes and were covering my fleece. I wanted to go and grab my skis and ski down the street. Everything was just so beautiful and still. As we walked down H Street to the Marvin Center, we realized that we were not the only children around. The snow must have contained some drug that made everyone believe they were five years old again. In front of the library, there was a snow ball fight and in Kogan Plaza people were making snow angels.

I could not help myself but to join in the fun. I picked up some snow and secretly formed it into the perfect ball. Ready, aim fire! I fired it at my roommate and then she fired back. This went on, trying to push each other into snowy bushes and such, until we reached the Marvin Center. When we got inside, I thought I had lost my vision for a moment; all I could see was brightness and white. I felt like I was back in elementary school. Whenever we would have recess in the snow and then come back inside, I would get this blind feeling.

After getting some hot chocolate, we went up to the Hippodrome to find bowling was not open. We sat on one of the couches up there and watched television while waiting. After about 10 or 15 minutes, we decided we didn’t want to wait anymore. My roommate didn’t have any gloves so we ruled out making a snowman and I had to be at work at 2 p.m. so we didn’t really have time to steal trays from J Street and go sledding on Capitol Hill, like the others we met at the hot chocolate table were doing. With all of the holiday decorations up around town, we decided it would be fun to walk down to the White House and see if we could maybe take a tour. So off we went to see the White House in the snow.

After slipping and sliding on unplowed sidewalks and dirty street slush, we arrived at the White House. We saw other GW students along the way and, of course, all of the tourists. Our cheeks were red and our legs began to feel numb. Because the White House was not offering tours, we decided to seek refuge from the snow in the nearby Cosi. I felt like I was in that Campbell’s soup commercial when the snowman comes inside from the snow and has some soup and melts into a boy. One bite of their piping hot bread and a sip of coffee and I melted back into a girl.

The time was nearing 1 p.m. and we had to go back to campus so that I could change out of my wet frolicking clothes and get ready for work. As we passed by the Quad, it was like World War III. Everyone was engaged in a massive snowball fight. I wanted to join and call in sick to work, but knew that I had to be a responsible adult instead of a carefree child.

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