10 Things You’ll Learn During Your First Northern Winter


1. You’re going to need a coat.

A sweatshirt (even twelve) will not suffice. Yes, you will have to spend upwards of $300 for a quality Northface parka but at least you won’t look like an idiot wearing your neon blue ski jacket you’ve used on vacations past.

2. You cannot wear Uggs unless it is below 30 degrees.

People will make fun of you if you wear Uggs when it is 50 degrees out. Yes, 50 degrees might be cold for you, but frankly it’s summer for everyone else. Also, expect people to question why you even own a pair of Uggs. (It gets cold in Florida, too! Okay maybe for like two days…)

3. Driving in snow.

Driving in the sand on the beach? No problem. Driving in a tropical storm? No sweat. Driving in snow? Hello trouble. Ice-covered roads are VERY hard to drive in, especially when you can’t see the lines, margins, or cars around you. Do yourself a favor and, if you do happen to have access to a car, try to get someone with more experience to drive you.

4. Speaking of driving, you’ll learn what a snow scraper is.

Cars in the north have this tool that scrapes snow/ice/whatever off the windows of the car. It’ll look like an alien’s tool from planet X when you see your first one; just accept what it is, and don’t question it or you’ll look like the crazy Floridian you really are.

5. The snow doesn’t stop just because it’s March 1st.

Winter doesn’t have a start and stop date. If it starts snowing in late October and doesn’t stop until March or April, there is nothing you can do but look at pictures of the beach and cry.

6. You will cherish when it (finally) hits 35.

There is nothing like the warmth of the Florida sun, but when you’ve been steeped in single digit degree weather, there is nothing like the feeling of above freezing temperatures.

7. No more Lilly Pulitzer or Jack Rogers in December.

My whole life I’d show up to events mid-December wearing a navy blue shift dress and my gold Jacks. Now I know to leave my Lilly and Jacks back home; at least then I can whip them out for Spring Break and Easter. Don’t even think about bringing them up north until it cracks 60 degrees in late April.

8. Don’t expect anyone to sympathize.

While you grew up living in paradise, they’ve dealt with this hell their entire lives. They don’t want to listen to you fuss over a little (or a lot) of snow and some negative wind chills.

9. You are going to get pale. Very pale.

It’ll be the palest you’ve ever been in your life. You’ll be made fun of by your friends and family back home. Prepared to be as white as a ghost — perhaps even sometimes scaring yourself in the mirror!

10. You are going to want to get your ass back home…ASAP!

Flights into Fort Lauderdale International are expensive but the feeling of the top down, humidity, and sunshine in the middle of January is priceless. Just be sure not to rub it in to your northern friends’ faces TOO much.