We’ve gotten a ton of snow here in the last few days. Good old Canada: tricking us into believing spring is just around the corner and then BAM – never mind!

I have a confession to make: I used to be one of those Canadians who was all, “Boo hoo! Try living here!” every time anyone complained about getting a lot of snow. I mean, I wouldn’t go out of my way to say it, but whenever it came up. (I’m not a total jerk.)

But then I was in the Chicago Blizzaster (yes, you read that correctly) of 2011.

The amount of snow that fell in a 24 hour period was…well, unreal.

Here are some photos to make up for my lack of words:

CB1CB2

CB3CB4

CB5

During the storm, I went with my BFF Margaret’s boyfriend, Tim, to pick her up from work. We were on Lakeshore Drive. To my right, all I could see was white. I knew that the massive, lit-up Chicago skyline was somewhere behind the blizzard, but it was completely gone. To my left, it looked like some sort of apocalypse had taken place. Rows and rows of cars, all buried in snow. Even police cars, taxis, and buses. And people, getting out and walking down the freeway like lost souls. Just walking away from their cars and trying to find a way home.

It was terrifying.

“Do you know where we are?” I asked Tim, trying not to sound as nervous as I was.

“Sort of. But which exit we need to take is going to be a bit of a guessing game.” He replied.

It took us somewhere between 3-4 hours to get there and back, and I don’t think I breathed the entire time.

And speaking of not breathing, on the night of the blizzard, Tim dropped us off and then went to park his truck elsewhere to avoid being ticketed during the seasonal parking ban. (Little did we know that all cars would soon be buried, so it didn’t really matter.) While he was gone, Margaret and I heard a car stuck in the back alley. For some reason (see: we’re both way too nice), we decided we would go out and try to help.

We definitely didn't have a shovel, because those were completely sold out days before the storm hit.
We definitely didn’t have a shovel, because those were completely sold out days before the storm hit.

I have never felt like I was drowning in snow before, but that’s exactly how it felt in Chicago. The snow was falling so hard, and the wind was blowing so strongly, and the snow was so wet and humid that it literally felt like I was underwater. The wind would gust and we would choke and cough and try to catch our breath. I think we all know by now how I feel about water and being under it, so this probably goes without saying, but that was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. I actually questioned a few times whether I would stay conscious during that whole (failed, FYI) fiasco, and whether or not it was possible to drown in blowing snow.

This photo cannot capture how drenched I was. I was DRENCHED.
This photo cannot capture how drenched I was. I was DRENCHED.

Some of my own shots:

The morning after.
The morning after.
The entrance to Margaret and Tim's building...
The entrance to Margaret and Tim’s building…
Just a car in a parking spot, NBD.
Just a car in a parking spot, NBD.

Anyway, so that was the time I learned that I wasn’t really aware of what “A LOT OF SNOW” was until January-February 2011.

Respect, Chicago. Respect.

xA

P.S. Best part of Blizzaster 2011? Hands down, being stranded in Chicago with my friends for three extra days and watching all of the Planet of the Apes movies.

I think the third one is my very fave, but I LOVE them all.
I think the third one is my very fave, but I LOVE them all.
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