A Decidedly Wintry Winterfest

Justin and I drove up to Chapman State Park this past weekend to attend Winterfest, just like we did last year. And like any repeat experience, we couldn’t help comparing the two. We decided that we actually liked last year’s Winterfest better. Maybe because it was our first time seeing everything there, but ironically the biggest reason is because it was a lot less wintry last year. I remember all of the true northerners in attendance complaining about the mild temperatures and the lack of snow–but it felt just right to me! Several events had to be cancelled because they were dependent on the snow (sledding races, snow sculpting, snow-shoeing, etc). So we knew that attending Winterfest this year would be an entirely different experience, because this winter has been extremely cold and snowy so far!

No worries about me swimming today! It hardly even looks like a lake when it's all frozen and covered in snow!

No worries about me swimming today! It hardly even looks like a lake when it’s all frozen and covered in snow!

But apparently some are ready to swim...

But apparently some are ready to swim…

These were only SOME of the crazy people participating in the Polar Plunge!

These were only SOME of the crazy people participating in the Polar Plunge!

Unbelievably cold! I was shivering just watching from the swimming dock!

Unbelievably cold! I was shivering just watching from the swimming dock!

Justin on the swimming dock

Justin on the swimming dock–they had to rope off the coast of the lake just because it was so difficult to determine where solid land ended and the lake began!

My favorite part of Winterfest is seeing all the huskies. I wish we could have taken Maverick home!

My favorite part of Winterfest is seeing all the huskies. I wish we could have taken Maverick home!

It's hard to have fun when it's FREEZING out here!

It’s hard to have fun when it’s FREEZING out here!

Justin testing out the lake's frozen surface, after seeing multiple people walking out (and even taking chairs for ice fishing!) out onto the water.

Justin testing out the lake’s frozen surface, after seeing many people walking out (and even taking chairs for ice fishing!) out onto the water.

Don't worry...the ice was too thick to fall through! We took a look at the pool they chipped away for the Polar Plunge, and we saw that the ice was about 6-7 inches thick!

Don’t worry…the ice was too thick to fall through! We took a look at the pool they chipped away for the Polar Plunge, and we saw that the ice was about 6-7 inches thick!

The snow-sculpting competition  that looked so elaborate on the website turned out to be womp-womp-WOMP. Only three blocks of snow set up, and only one guy "competing."

The snow-sculpting competition that looked so elaborate on the website turned out to be womp-womp-WOMP. Only three blocks of snow set up, and only one guy “competing.”

His sculpture was still pretty cool, though. I didn't stick around to see the finished product, but he had a bald eagle on one side, and he started working on the bust of a husky on the other side.

His sculpture was still pretty cool, though. I didn’t stick around to see the finished product, but he had a bald eagle on one side, and he started working on the bust of a husky on the other side.

I couldn't help but compare the way the sledding hill looked last year (on the left) compared to this year (on the right).

I couldn’t help but compare the way the sledding hill looked last year (on the left) compared to this year (on the right).

Sitting near the boat dock last year (on the left) and this year (on the right).

Sitting near the boat dock last year (on the left) and this year (on the right). No one would have dared to walk on the lake’s surface last year!

We’d travelled a long way to go to Winterfest, but we didn’t end up staying very long because it was SO cold outside. It’s hard to have fun when you can’t feel your fingers and toes! Justin decided to take us on a side-trip (we are champs at side-trips, after all!) to Cleveland, Ohio, just so that he could visit his favorite fried chicken restaurant, Guthrie’s. You may think that’s a long way to travel for fried chicken (I sure did!), but Justin didn’t!

Guthrie’s was a tradition among Justin and his friends when we did our undergrad at Florida State. It was open 24 hours a day, and it boasted cheap prices and the best golden fried chicken in town. Their menu is less than varied…you can basically order a three-piece chicken finger meal, a five-piece chicken finger meal, or a bucket. It was never MY favorite place to go (a little too greasy for my taste), but Justin and his guy friends challenged each other to gut buckets (a bucket of 25 greasy chicken fingers) more times than I could count. We discovered that Guthrie’s is a chain, originating in Alabama with several locations across the south-east. However, Justin recently found out that one lone Guthrie’s found its way all the way up to Cleveland, right on the shore of Lake Eerie. He’s been dying to go ever since, and relive the glorious culinary experience (sarcasm) that is Guthrie’s.

Honestly, me (and my pregnant appetite) didn’t mind coming along for the ride. And it turns out that the Guthrie’s in Cleveland is much cleaner and less of a hole-in-the-wall than the one in Tallahassee, so that was a pleasant surprise! And Justin was pleased to discover that their golden friend chicken was just as savory and greasy as ever. A nice end to a chilly day!

A very pleased husband.

A very pleased husband.

A mecca of sorts, for the hungry.

A mecca of sorts, for the hungry. 😉

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Categories: Snow, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “A Decidedly Wintry Winterfest

  1. The pics of the polar plunge made me shudder. Gahhhhh. And those fries and fried chicken look delicious!

    • I don’t understand the Polar Plunge people at all. I mean, I know it’s for charity and everything, but can’t they just do a bake sale or something??

  2. I’ve completely missed that you’re having a baby – congrats!!

  3. We have definitely driven out of our way for food before too! I’m glad it was just as good as he remembered it! That place sounds a lot like Gus’ here in Memphis. It’s not my favorite because it’s so greasy, but so many locals love it!

    It looks like Winterfest was especially wintery this year! Sorry that it wasn’t quite as much fun. I can’t imagine doing a polar plunge in that weather! Yikes!

    • Haha, I’m glad we’re not the only ones going out of our way for food! I love reading your reviews on different restaurants, by the way! I just wish I lived close enough to try them!

  4. I hate being cold!! I cannot imagine doing a polar plunge! It sounds like you still had fun, especially since fried chicken was involved at the end. Ha, ha. 🙂

  5. I don’t like being cold, either! I am a southern girl, but I guess that’s why I was so intrigued by the idea of a Winterfest celebrating all winter activities. The fried chicken made everything worth it! 😀

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