Posts Tagged With: snow

Winter Wonderland

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Some of you are probably not going to like this post, and that’s okay. But it seems that Christmas Day is the one day everyone wants to see the scene in the picture above, and most of the time (at least where I am) it doesn’t come. The white stuff seems to be plentiful once the holidays are over. Which isn’t convenient because we are all back at school, work, etc. By now, some of you are depressed from all the snow and the thought of listening to any song praising snow and winter just makes you want to punch something – or someone.

Here in the Great White North, we are accustomed to long, cold and snowy winters. Many decide to head down to the all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, while others less fortunate opt to hibernate and binge on Netflix and the like. Nothing wrong with that, however, I choose to embrace winter. That’s right, I actually love seeing the snow, though I hate it when I have to drive in it. But I mean winter is part of what makes my country unique. There is something celestial about hearing the snow crunch under my boots, gazing at the white stuff while inhaling the frosty air. And I want to share a few things to help you embrace winter since you can’t always rely on the possibility of an early spring.

Here are some of the ways you can enjoy winter. For those of you living in warmer climates, feel free to laugh or share this with friends in colder climates.

  1. Skiing – my favorite winter pastime since I was eleven. It’s great exercise and it really gets the adrenaline going. You don’t have to go to the Rockies or the Alps to enjoy skiing (unless you want to). Even a local ski hill will do just the trick. I am fortunate to be within 100 miles of at least six ski hills, and I currently have a season pass to one of them.

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2. Skating – another favorite of mine, and often a more economical winter pleasure. There are bound to be lots of indoor and outdoor choices near you, and if you don’t own skates, you can rent a pair for a modest fee. Plus, it is a great thing to do as a couple or a family. You can even indulge in hot chocolate afterward.

3. Snowshoeing – if skating or skiing isn’t your thing, snowshoeing can be a substitute. All you need is a pair of snowshoes and access to a forest or hiking trail. You might even spot a few furry creatures along the way, such as squirrels.

4. A simple walk through the woods – no equipment needed, just simply take a long stroll down your favorite walking trail. I am also fortunate enough to live close to a mile-long trail that cuts through a forested area. It’s good exercise, fresh air and a chance to get in touch with nature. One thing I love about winter hiking is no mosquitoes, which means a relatively peaceful walk.

Now you don’t have to do the following every day. With our daily grind, it is just not possible. But just once a week is better than nothing. It would be a shame to spend all winter cooped up, soaking up screen time.

One way to bring calmness into your life is to appreciate the present moment. We often get so caught up with what lies ahead, we forget to pause and reflect on what is happening right now. Instead of hating winter and wishing it away, it is better to appreciate it while it is here. Spring will eventually come around.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Five Things to Bring If You’re Hitting the Slopes

 

 

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I love to hit the slopes every winter. There’s nothing like breathing in the crisp, frosty air in the morning, while feeling the rush of gliding down a blanket of white powder. Skiing is what makes me look forward to winter and enjoy it. Here in Canada, winters are long and often cold, so one must embrace it if they want to survive here. Skiing can be exciting, yet risky and uncomfortable if you don’t bring the right stuff.

No matter if you’re hitting the slopes for the first time or a veteran, here’s five things you’ll want to bring with you.

1. Thermals – No matter if it’s a frigid or mild winter day, you’ll want to have thermal underwear and a shirt. You’re likely going to ski at least three hours at a time, so your body will start to feel the cold after this time. These garments can be found at Wal Mart or any ski shop and are worth the investment! I always stock up on these every time I head out to the slopes, and so should you.

2. Ski Goggles – While skiing, you need to keep your eyes focused on what’s in front of you and be able to see any potential hazards (ice, branches, the occasional cell phone dropped from a chairlift). Goggles make sure you’re vision isn’t impaired. This is crucial if you happen to ski during a snowfall. The snow can cause you to squint and possibly take a nasty spill. It also keeps the glare of the sun out of your eyes on a clear day. I often see skiers use sunglasses, but they don’t always cut it. You need something that fits tightly around your eyes and offers adequate protection from the winter sun. Goggles are especially handy if you plan to go night-skiing. Salomon offers good goggles.

3. Helmet – Just as you would wear a helmet for cycling/rollerblading, you should invest in a good ski helmet. Sometimes, we slip and fall no matter our ski level. The snow is harder than you think, and a helmet can save you from serious head injuries.

4. Ski Mask – A must if you’re skiing in sub-zero temperatures. During these times, it is crucial that every part of your face be covered. I have two and always pack them no matter what kind of day it is. Temperatures can drop hour to hour, so bring one along just in case. Sure, you’ll look like a bank robber, but it’s worth it.

5. Slippers – This is good when you want to take a break in the chalet. While skiing, your feet are suffocating from the crushing pressure of ski boots. So in between, you should give your tootsies a break and walk around the chalet in slippers. I think women might benefit from this the most.

One more thing. Almost every time I’m in a ski chalet, I see people having a glass of wine or beer at lunch. It is very important that you are 100% mentally aware while skiing, because you never know when you’ll have to make a sudden maneuver .Even one drink can impair your ability and cause a major wipe-out. So if you want a brewski or a little wine, save it until you’re done skiing for the day.

So have fun out there and enjoy the winter, even you absolutely hate it!

 

 

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , ,

Wonderful Winter

You’re probably flagging this post, or at the least bulging your eyes or turning up your noses. OK, maybe I’m a little crazy and no I haven’t been smoking anything, but winter is perhaps my favorite season of the year. I don’t know why, but I love the white stuff. I always look forward to a heavy snowfall, especially if I don’t have to go anywhere the next day. And let’s not forget about the Christmas season – with all the many hues of green and red, parties and lots of eggnog. But yes, I’ll admit I hate having to drive in it or shoveling it, but c’est la vie! Anyways, what I love about it so much is because I can get out and ski and snowshoe. Since I live in Canada, winter is a part of my life most of the year. Also, it’s what makes Canada stand out so much. Up here, most of us hibernate in our homes or head down to sunny destinations during the winter, while the rest choose to make the most of winter. I hope you will be among ‘the rest’ this winter. So for those of you in Canada and the northern states, I’d like to share a few tips on how to make the most of the winter.

1. Accept winter – it’s here, so get used to it. Unless, you’re a magician it’s not going away anytime soon. So don’t fear it, embrace it.

2. Get outdoors – snowshoeing, skiing, skating, possibilities are almost endless. And if you have children, there’s tobogganing, tubing and making snowmen (likely to bring up some happy childhood memories). Of course, you don’t have to do snow sports; just take a winter stroll around your town, anything to get you out of the house. Sure, you’ll have to endure the cold and put on a few layers, but it’s not going to kill you.

3. Share it with friends – find something wintery that you and your friends can do. The more the merrier. Talk to them, see what they’d like to do. Maybe they know something about snowshoeing, or skiing that you don’t?

So, make the most out of winter. After all, for many of us it’s around most of the year. So this winter, forgo that trip down to the Bahamas or Mexico. Think about the money you could save for something special when the summer comes back again. Whatever you do, try to make the winter your new friend. You’ll feel better if you do, trust me. Happy holidays!

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