Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Arriving to the Blizzard of '11 in Chicago from Spring in Santa Cruz

On Jan. 31, '11 we flew into Chicago from sunny and warm Santa Cruz where the temp. was in the mid 70s with Spring flowers. On the next day, 1st of Feb., in Oak Park we experienced amazing blizzard. By about 7pm we lost electric power and heat in Jenna's apartment house. We were forced to crash on her sofa bed because we couldn't risk the walk through the storm back to our hotel room. An impromptu pajama party sans pajamas ensued! One of Jenna's neighbors with her child also spent the night because everyone was a little intimidated by the dark and high pitched sounds coming from the fire alarm system. Candles and flashlights were brought out. The girls played 'dress up' with clothes set aside in a special box just for this kind of thing. The girls also enjoyed playing games with flashlights and shadows. The night was punctuated by several thunder and lightening snowstorms wind gusts up to 60 mph swirling around the courtyard, and 18 inches of snow. On the morning of the 2nd we walked down the main street of Oak Park - down the middle of the street, since there was no traffic. No businesses were open. The main streets were plowed, but side streets are not really open yet at 1pm. At our hotel, one person showed up for work - a very determined cleaning woman who offered to restock our supplies of linen and stuff. It is dramatic and fun! Below are some of our photos showing the contrast and you can -

Almond blossoms in Santa Cruz - Jan. 30

At right - Main Business Street in Oak Park - 11am on Tues. Feb. 2

Magnolia Blossoms in front of our place in Santa Cruz Jan. 30

Naomi at left standing in the middle of one of the busiest crossroads in Oak Park. The wrought Iron fence at the right is at least 3 feet high! The snow was dense enough so people could walk on it pretty easily - packed down because of being shifted around so much by the wind. The woman in the pink/purple parka was looking for a cup of coffee - none to be found - even Starbucks was closed. Everything eerily quite for the middle of the day.