Frozen lakes, tiny snowmen + cheap burgers | Illinois 2021

Hey, y’all! Sorry it’s been a while since the last time I posted. We’ve been busy—namely, getting ready to take a quick weekend trip up to Barrington, Illinois, to visit our grandparents and cousins. It was a great trip, except for that I came down with a cold in the middle of it.

“Oh my goodness, you poor thing! It must be Covid, right?!”

No clue, actually. I don’t have plans to get tested. But I kept my distance from family as best I could, got myself all medicated, and am feeling better already, thanks for asking. 😉 (It’s been almost a whole year since the last time I had a cold! I guess social distancing works? Maybe? Even though I hate it and wish it wasn’t a thing?)


We left early Friday morning (well, not as early as we should have left, seeing as our alarm clocks didn’t go off for some reason and we only made our flight by the skin of our teeth. It was a total Home Alone situation. xD), and were soon sailing smoothly out of the airport and into a glorious Midwestern sunrise.

I swear, as long as I live, if I have the window seat on a plane, I will watch that takeoff. *salutes, tearing up*

And then, before we knew it, the clouds cleared, and…snow!

Guys. Snow is in my blood. When I was very little, we lived in the little mountain town of Wenatchee, Washington, for a couple years, and in the winter it snowed like no tomorrow. I love snow. So much. I love to play in it, throw it, eat it. And in the almost eight years we’ve lived in Texas now, it’s only snowed once. Once! And even then, the snow only lingered for a few hours! So you can imagine how thrilled I was to see that wonderful white stuff spread everywhere as the earth drew nearer.

(I wasn’t the only one who was excited. You should have heard that plane full of snow-starved Texans do a collective gasp of delight upon initial descent. “SNOW!” yelled one guy, clearly unable to hide his glee. “Shhh!” hissed his embarrassed companion.)

So, of course, when we got to my grandparents’ house, the first thing my brother and I did was make a snowman. It was our plan to make a big—life-sized, even—snowman, but…well, I always forget how hard it is to work with snow. So we made a tiny one, whom we dubbed Bob. (It’s a little hard to tell, but he’s only about a foot high.)

And we gave him an ice axe as an accessory. He’s a lumberjack now.

While Bob stood steadfast outside, we made ourselves at home, all the while slowly becoming more and more aware that the clothes we’d packed weren’t nearly warm enough. Still, we survived as we romped in the snow, smashed chunks of ice on the street, and begged our dad to beg our grandpa to make the house warmer for us delicate Texans.

Yes, that’s me. All red-nosed, bundled-up, and squished by my scarf. XD

Thanks to our parents’ tales of love and praise for the famed fast food restaurant known as White Castle, we had long ago resolved, if we ever happened to be near one (there aren’t any in Texas, as far as I know), to go. Luckily, there happened to be one about twenty minutes away from our grandparents’ house. It was worth it. We made the drive. I was so excited!

…It definitely tasted different. It was okay. It was good, I guess. I liked the onion rings. I’ll probably never go again, but I’m glad to have tried it. 😛

By this time, poor Bob had lost his nose, hair, and belt (*gasp*), and I’m pretty sure one of his arms got broken. Also, his axe fell over. But we were too lazy to fix him more than once. xD

Nightfall. The glow of our grandparents’ house from the dark cold of an Illinois winter evening. (They kept their Christmas decorations up for us. :))

A big highlight of the trip for me came when I got the opportunity to walk on a frozen lake, something I’ve wanted to do for several years. Finally, my chance had come! I kept to the shallows (about four or five feet of water beneath me), but it was still a little scary. I wanted to walk a bit further out, but Mom strongly advised against it, not knowing what she would do if it suddenly broke and I fell in. So I didn’t, even though I’m sure it would’ve been fine… *cough*

Anyway! #BucketList! 😀

Aaaand from there, the trip fell a little flat for me. Next thing I knew, I had a sore throat. It wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t have an appetite, nor much energy. Still, I tried to be grateful for the healthy days I’d had, and I still had fun. I even got Sam-I-Am, my grandma’s melancholy cat, to sit with me. (As you can see, he kindly left me with a pair of very furry jeans.)

It was over too soon. We said goodbye to our relatives and flew home, leaving snowy, hilly Illinois and returning to a surprisingly chilly Texas and dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. First trip of 2021 down! I don’t know when we’ll take another, so I’m trying to make the memories of this one last. (Hopefully, next time we make Barrington our destination, we’ll have a new cousin! :D)

Back to reality! I’ve got some Macbeth to memorize! Do you have any getaways planned this year?

Níl deireadh leis anseo,

Havalah Ruth Peirce

2 thoughts on “Frozen lakes, tiny snowmen + cheap burgers | Illinois 2021

  1. Is that you in the shawl and hat? I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a picture of your face, lol. Also! Snow! I am, it must be confessed, quite tired of it at the moment (and depressed because it will likely stick around for many more months here in MI), but I am glad I live where it snows. 🙂


    • Yep, that’s me. 😅

      Nooo, don’t take snow for granted! XD I wish we got it just a tad more often here. But I suppose I’d get tired of it, too, if it stuck around for months and months. 😝

      Liked by 1 person

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