Fun in the Arctic Vortex

Hello all! Yes, you read that title correctly. I managed to have a tiny bit of fun during the arctic vortex.  It wasn’t all fun and games, but there was some fun involved.  Let’s start off with the stupid un-fun parts, shall we?

First off, my car door lock froze so badly that I couldn’t even get in my car.  I was not amused.  Even though my dad put things inside my lock to prevent that from happening, it still happened.  After trying four times in an hour period in 7 degree weather, I had to give up hope on getting into my car.

Later that night, an especially stupid idea came to me and I even more stupidly acted on it.  I wanted to get some things from the grocery store.  Now, as I just mentioned, I couldn’t get into my car.  The temperature at this point was -2 with at least a -40 degree wind chill.  So, what was my stupid idea?  I decided to WALK across the street to the grocery store.  Now, I had lived in Kansas for two and a half years and while there, it did get cold like this a few times.  I even went out in it and it was horrible, but I made it.  I had obviously truly forgotten just how horrible of a thing that was.  So, I put on my hat, hoodie, coat, gloves, scarf, and snow boots.  After situating my backpack on my back to carry my groceries, I headed out into the wild cold yonder that was the arctic vortex.

I didn’t walk, I trotted.  Given that I had a bad leg, this would usually be considered a bad thing, but since it was so cold, I couldn’t feel it.  Besides, by the time I reached the street (only a quarter of the way there), my legs were already numb.  My scarf did cover my face, but it also made my glasses fog up.  I can honestly say that until that point, I had never had the experience of my glasses simultaneously fogging and freezing.  That, my readers, was a new one for me.  So, to review: legs numb, glasses both fogged and frozen, and I’m trotting down a sidewalk that reminds me of a frozen wasteland.  Yep.

After grabbing the few groceries I needed and checking out, I re-bundled myself up (though honestly that just meant putting my scarf around my face again and adjusting my backpack on my back), and ventured back to my apartment.  Might I also say that it’s really hard to see when your glasses are fogged and frozen and your eyes are teared up from the cold?  I thought my tears were freezing on my face.  Some did.  I was so glad to get home.  After all that, I started the oven so I could cook dinner, thawed a little to function, then took a hot shower to warm myself back up.  Now, some of you may be wondering if my trip across the street to the grocery store was worth it.  Honestly?  No.  I will never… I repeat, NEVER… do that again.  NEVER. AGAIN.

After a while, I heard something new that I had never heard before.   I heard a loud boom.  Like, sonic type boom.  Scared me half to death.  Then, I kept hearing lighter booms.  After mentioning them to my parents in a phone call, I found out they were Frost Quakes.  No joke.  They exist.  I head Frost Quakes.  I wasn’t the only one, either.  I posted about it on Facebook, and lots of people from all over my area were hearing them too.  So, that was actually pretty cool!

Later that night, I was talking to a friend who started talking about making snow.  This is where things started to turn fun for me.  He told me that it was the perfect temperature to throw boiling water outside and watch it turn to snow.  Intrigued, I decided, why not?  So, I boiled a tiny bit of water.  Then, I took the tiny pot to my sliding glass door, opened it up, and tossed it on my balcony.  It worked!  It was awkward because of the pot, but it worked!  I was fully entertained.  It was then I decided to try to make a Vine video of me doing this.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the internet, my friend who suggested it decided he was going to have a go at it.  Unfortunately for him, he walked outside with the boiling water in his favorite coffee cup, and the cup exploded almost immediately.  The water did freeze before it hit the ground though!  The minute I read that, however, I decided to use a different tactic to throw the water outside.  So, I chose my metal travel coffee cup!  Well… that created a rather funny fail.  I didn’t think that the heat + the freeze would make it so the inner metal part would fly out with the water.

Well, after that rather funny fail, I decided to use a plastic traveling cup.  That worked much much better.

Then, I was inspired to blow bubbles in the freezing temps.  However, I waited until morning.

The next morning, I made up a very simple bubble solution.  By evening, before the sunset, I was finally ready to venture out into the 4 degree weather for a few minutes at a time on my balcony.  Using a straw, I blew bubbles.  It took a few tries to get them to land where I wanted, but as soon as they landed, they’d start to freeze.  That’s when I’d bring out my camera and take pictures.

Below, you will find some of the photos from that day with the bubbles.  Please keep in mind that this is a new camera I’m using and I’m still adjusting to it, but I like how these came out so far.

My homemade bubble juice. :)

My homemade bubble juice. :)

P1000108 P1000150 P1000159 P1000129b P1000130b P1000123 P1000122 P1000121 P1000118 P1000116

 

If you ever get the chance to blow bubbles in freezing temperatures, I highly recommend doing it.  It is very fun to do!  Just be sure to stay safe when doing it.  I wouldn’t stay outside for more than five minutes at a time due to the negative wind chills, so please keep that in mind when doing any of the outdoor freezing weather things.  Also, if you’re going to do the boiling water thing, please PLEASE don’t throw it into the wind or toward another person.  Remember, keep safety in mind!!  

Anyway, I hope you all have managed to stay warm throughout all this.  Was it freezing where you were?  Did you do any fun things in the cold?  Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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