Ice Ice Baby, too cold, too cold!

What a cold and icy past week and weekend we have had here in North Carolina!  This southern girl has been out of her element - that's for sure.  It's not like Georgia weather is all that different from the weather here in Durham, but this winter already seems much colder than last, especially so early in the winter!

My first "out of my element" experience was on Monday...and it was cold out.  I mean a whopping 12 degrees cold out.

Anyways, I had to run by the parking office before work to renew my parking pass and to get to the parking office, you come to a roundabout (aka traffic circle..."roundabout" just sounds so "British" that it's a little more fun to say) with four entrances.  As I approached the roundabout, I saw a poor girl standing in the freezing cold examining the smashed up front end of her car, just outside of the circle coming down the opposite side of the street that I was coming from to enter the roundabout.  Police were already on the scene, but no other cars were involved, so I wondered how her car had ended up in the position it had - over the curb and with a smashed front end.  As I was in a rush to get to work though, I continued on my way to the parking office without giving it too much thought.

After my not-so-quick errand at the parking office (it always works so that when you're in a rush, the line is longer than ever and the people behind the counter are moving slower than ever - and then proceeded to SKIP over me in line), I headed back towards the traffic circle/roundabout on my way to work.  As I approached the circle, a man in some kind of uniform (security guard?  I'm not sure) had some kind of firecracker looking device in his hand that was lit and he was trying to position on a stand in the road, right in my way of entering the circle.  I wasn't sure what he was doing or if I should drive on around him or wait on him or what.  In my state of confusion, he finally looked up at me and kinda glanced around the other directions of the circle and waved me on through.  Little did I know that traffic had been stopped in all directions from entering the parking circle, so when the man waved me through, I proceeded to drive right onto the ice sheet that was covering the entire circle.  I might as well have been a puppy on an ice pond the way I lost all control and just skated across the circle and, thank goodness, ended up on the other side right where I would have tried to go, HAD I had any kind of control of my steering wheel.  When my car stop sliding, I realized I was right in the same spot the girl with the smashed up car had been (and thank goodness was no longer there or I would have probably just rear-ended her). 

At the point my car came to a stop and I realized my eyes were bulging and my mouth was frozen in the "woah" position, I realized that there was a LOOOONG line of traffic approaching the circle from every direction except for the one I had come from where officers weren't letting anyone enter the circle, except for the one who had waved me on through.  How nice of him... So I gave a "thank you, thank you very much" wave to all of the onlooking drivers (just kidding, I didn't really) and sheepishly went about my way.  And while all of my co-workers are northerners and make fun of my southerness when it comes to the cold, I'll admit...Yes, I AM a southern driver...and where I come from school/work/everything shuts down when there is ice on the roads!

My second "this is TOO cold" experience was when our kitchen sink pipes froze on Friday night, after we had dripped the sink AND left the cabinet open.  Lucky for us, we're seasoned veterans when it comes to frozen pipes.  Those same pipes froze and burst in three places last year, spewing water EVERYWHERE when it thawed out, flooding our kitchen.  Good thing the maintenance guy had been here when it happened (and you know when it happens...that's when you hear the "pop" followed by "shhhhhhhhhh" and water going everywhere) and he was able to cut the water off to our apartment - but more importantly, Ryan saw him shut off the water and this year knew how to cut off the water himself.  Because this year when we woke up to frozen pipes and knew the inevitible thawing and spewing moment would come, Mr. Maintenance Man was nowhere to be found.  After three calls to the front office, we still got LaTonya's "I could care less" monotone voice saying "sorry, I can't get ahold of Juan.  I'll page him again and let you know if he calls".  But it was Saturday and we had friends in town and so of course had nothing better to do that sit at home and play the waiting game with our kitchen sink pipes, just waiting on them to spew.  So it was a good thing that Ryan was able to shut off the water when we did finally hear that "pop" followed by the "shhhhhh" (and water only filled up the under-the-sink cabinet rather than the entire kitchen this time) because Juan didn't show up til an hour later.  That would have been a LOT of water in this place had it been spewing uncontrollably for an hour.  So needless to say, we spent Saturday at home with the maintenance man tearing apart the kitchen and installing new pipes, for the second year in a row.  Thankfully, this year he added insulation - last year he did not, even after we asked him to.

We had a fun weekend with Patrick and Maggie, which leads me to my third "too cold" experience.  Patrick is Ryan's former college roommate (actually, our guest bedroom that I'm typing this post from right now used to be his bedroom) who now lives in Pittsburgh and plays for the Steelers and Maggie is his girlfriend that we got to meet for the first time this weekend. (She and I had a lot of fun together!)  So after we dropped Maggie off at the airport today after church (she's headed to San Diego for a work training thing while Pat stays here for the rest of the week), Ryan, Pat and I headed to Moe's for lunch.  As we were walking in, the water fountain outside was frozen.  Frozen! This southern girl has NEVER seen a frozen body of water in her life!  And for some reason, it amazed me.  I felt like it was something that could only happen in Alaska or Canada or at least the very northern part of the states, but not here in the south.  Then, after we left lunch, we drove a back way home through some farmland and a pond had sheets of ice around the edges.  Crazy!

It is way too cold for my liking.  As Ryan tells me, I could probably not survive north of the Mason Dixon line!

And since I took zero pictures this weekend, partially due to the fact that I left my camera at home over Christmas and won't have it until Tuesday when Matt comes back from his long college kid break, and also due to the fact that all this cold and ice has come with NO are some pictures of last year's snow. :)

 My car.

His car.  And of course we had to get her out for a drive to check out campus.

This is the pretty drive I take to work every day.  I love this stretch of 751 because it changes drastically with each season.

President's house

Entrance to Chapel Drive (although I managed to not get a picture of the Duke chapel somehow??)

Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club entrance

Running Trail through the Duke Forest.

And there's your tour of campus too! :)

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