Shoveling snow because we live in Glenview, IL

When I first moved to Glenview, Illinois, I was excited by the idea of a cold and snowy winter.

Growing up in the deep south, I’d never experienced temperatures below fifty degrees.

I’d never seen snow before. I expected it to be like what I’d seen in movies. The actors are always having a great time in the snow. They rarely wear hats or gloves. They don’t even zip up their coats. I’ve learned that an Illinois winter is very different from that. In Glenview, we get temperatures well into the negatives and it snows for more than half of the year. I would prefer to hide inside the house with the heater blasting for the entire winter. I try not to spend any time outside. Unfortunately, it’s necessary to shovel snow and brush off the car nearly every day. Before heading out the door, I dress in multiple layers of shirts and pants and put on thick socks. I wear heavy boots, a wool coat and knitted hat, scarf and gloves. I wrap the scarf so that it covers almost my whole face. Any exposed skin is at risk of frostbite. Despite temperatures down to negative twenty-five, I sweat while I shovel snow. It’s a very labor-intensive and exhausting job. The snow is wet and heavy, and there’s no good place to put it. Along with dealing with endless snowfall, there’s also a problem with ice. Icy pavement is dangerous. It’s extremely easy to slip, fall and get hurt. The ice on the windshield of the car needs to be either scraped or thawed by running the defrost for fifteen minutes. The icicles hanging from the roof of the house get so big that they cause damage and present a safety risk.

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The Barrister Winery on West Railroad Avenue has warm heat in the winter season

I grew up in a family of semi-professional winemakers that have roots going back to Europe.

Because of the cultural differences, I was drinking a single glass of wine during holiday meals as early as 12-years-old.

As a result, I never struggled with alcohol addiction because it was never taboo and I grew tired of it by my college age. Instead of wanting to abuse alcohol to get intoxicated or drunk, I started to slowly develop a taste and fondness for quality liquors, beers, and wines. For the longest time I was living in a city with a lot of craft breweries and I was really privileged and fortunate to have access to some of the best beer in the world. I would visit the breweries with friends to grab a pint and a batch of fries and chicken tenders while watching a football game on the TV screens in the tavern. Now that I’m living in Spokane, Washington, I like to visit the breweries like the Black Label Brewing Company that are within the city limits. These are wonderful places to visit when you’re trying to escape the frigid winter temperatures outdoors. For instance, the Barrister Winery on West Railroad Avenue has some of the warmest heat out of any indoor space in the entire city. It’s one of my favorite spots to visit during the winters in Spokane. Even though I have a strong heating system in my house in Gonzaga University, it’s nice to give the furnace a rest for the day to spend a few hours in a place like the Barrister Winery. No-Li Brewhouse on Trent Ave is next on my list of alcohol-themed destinations to visit.

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Back when my state lacked legal cannabis, I wanted to move to Denver, Colorado

I hated life back in my home state.

I grew up in a tiny town where you couldn’t hide secrets from anyone.

My graduating class consisted of only a handful of people, all of which I had known since elementary school. I would dream about the day of finally getting out of that place to attend college on the opposite side of the country, but that day never came. Instead, I saved a lot of money by going to an in-state university and using my scholarship money there instead of at a college that cost three to four times as much for each semester. Whenever my college friends and I would smoke cannabis in our dorm rooms, we would worry about campus police showing up unannounced and arresting us on the spot. I kept fantasizing about moving to Denver, Colorado after graduating from undergraduate college. I figured I could attend the University of Colorado in either Boulder or Denver to attend graduate school in economics. In reality, I ended up in Aurora, but not because of college. I accepted a job that is located right along the border of Aurora and Denver. However, most of the businesses—especially cannabis dispensaries—are located within Denver instead of Aurora. One of my all time favorite cannabis dispensaries is in Heather Gardens right off Interstate 225. There’s another weed store a few blocks north in Heather Ridge that I like to visit as well. One of my favorite things to do during the warm season is to take a bong and a jar of cannabis flower buds with me to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to go hiking for the day.

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San Francisco flights were outrageously priced

I wanted to get out of town for a few days after my boyfriend and I broke up.

I was upset and sad and I just needed a change of scenery.

My girlfriend said she would join me if we went somewhere with legal recreational marijuana. We chose San Francisco for a variety of reasons. It has beautiful scenery, beaches, nightlife, bars, restaurants, and legal marijuana. After we made the decision to go to San Francisco, I started looking at flights. All of the flights into the Bay Area were outrageously priced. Both of us thought about changing our plans, but we found some last-minute deals on an online website. The flight was delayed by an hour, but we didn’t have any layovers or connecting flights. After we arrived in San Francisco, we went to the car rental area and picked up our SUV. From there we drove to a recreational marijuana dispensary. My friend could not wait until we took our items to the hotel. We picked up a few items and found out that the dispensary offered delivery right to our hotel. Since the dispensary delivered to our hotel, we ordered a couple of additional marijuana items the next day. We were going to take items home with us, until we saw a huge sign and that airport warning us that it was totally illegal and against the law. We had to dump three pre rolled marijuana cigarettes and a bag of edible gummy coins in the trash. It was painful letting sixty bucks worth of cannabis flush down the drain.

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Nobody wanted to work late that night

My friends and I work at a seafood restaurant down by the water in Tampa Bay.

The restaurant has been open since the 1940’s, but the whole building recently had renovations.

When the renovations were completed, the size of the restaurant was doubled. They hired more staff to help and my friend and I were part of that crew. Jack and I work in the kitchen. I am a sous chef and Jack handles all of the pastries and desserts. Last Monday night, we had a party of sixty on the books. The group of people rented our party room. It was a business engagement and everyone was dressed in suits and ties. Even though it was 80 outside, they insisted that we turn the AC temperature all the way down to 65 so everyone in suits would be comfortable. My manager agreed to adjust the room thermostat and that’s when the problems with the AC began. Anybody that lives in Tampa Bay knows how hard it can be to work or live without AC, especially during the warmer summer months. The low temperature on the thermostat caused issues for the entire network and the AC broke down halfway through the night. My boss called a Tampa Bay heating and Ac repair company, but they took two hours to fix the problem. By the end of the night, nobody wanted to stay late and clean the store or prepare for the next day. Thankfully, the boss was understanding and didn’t press us to complete any extra side work at the end of the shift.
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