We all know it snowed a ridiculous amount (twice) last week. DC just didn’t know how to handle it. The federal government closed for many days, and when it reopened last Friday a red line train derailed and Connecticut Ave NW completely shut down. Of course I wouldn’t know because I escaped to the desert.

Phoenix, Arizona is the best place — perhaps besides a tropical destination — to go to escape a snow dump like we had last week. That is, if you can get a flight out. We flew out of Dulles around 5:30 p.m. last Thursday – the runway was still largely covered in packed snow and ice and still being plowed. It was intense.

Well my return to work yesterday was treacherous and it was a rude awakening from the 75 degrees and sunny dream I’d been living for a few days. Thankfully I didn’t do my usual metro ride, so I eased back into the grind slowly. Instead I hitched a ride up the beltway to Bethesda and took a short metro ride from there to work. I don’t necessarily fault DC for not clearing sidewalks since there really is no place for all the snow to go, and you can only dump so much under the Wilson Bridge. But I really felt like I could have used some ice climbing shoes when I was walking from the metro.

I almost started to envy those people that drive to work. At least you get to see the outside world on your way to work instead of traveling under ground in an unheated train wondering if at any moment you might leave the track. And, I don’t know how far away from work you park, but you probably don’t have to hike many sidewalk glaciers. Yes, getting to work is dangerous.

But the good news is that I’ve been watching a lot of winter Olympics. I’ve been picking up tips on surviving winter sports (such as sidewalk walking), like:

  • Wear neon spandex, a helmet and goggles — that metrobus headed for the sidewalk may not hit you if you look like a traffic cone. And if it does hit you, at least you have skull and eye protection.
  • Grow your red curly hair long for warmth (note: this can also help the traffic cone effort).
  • Ski poles are good for traction and for angrily poking that annoying person who’s on your heels.
  • The Olympic fanfare (composed by John Williams!) is very catchy.

The Olympic fanfare is so catchy and I enjoy it so much, in fact, that it has been stuck in my head for days. It comes in really handy when it’s on repeat in my head as I finally approach work after surviving the adventures of icy sidewalks.

I feel like a champion.

But I resist the urge to throw my hands in the air in triumph.