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BRRRRR. 2018's word of the year up here....

Well...Here's what we have had over the past 8 weeks:

Snow...snow.snow.windchill.snow.subzero.snow.windchill.subzerowindchill.snow.subzero. downpour.icestorm.backtofreezing.aaaand.snow.

The question is how this is going to affect the vines. Due to seriously below zero wind chills we will most likely sustain some damage which we won't know of until later this year. Life gives you lemons? Make snow angels. If you have cold temps (dangerously cold), the only thing you can do is bundle up and play in the snow. Please use moderation as hypothermia and severe frostbite are the opposite of fun (speaking from vast amounts of experience here). Ideas?

Any wagers as what will be my first suggestion for an outdoor activity?

Wine Tasting (outdoors in the sense you walked from your house to the car and from the car to the tasting room---it totally counts) - Visit all of our WOMP (Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula) friends. They even have a snowshoe trail between the wineries so you can earn your sips. Finish your day at home with Fondue....and a wonderful white or a Spanish garnacha....Check out the Evodia on the 'wines to try' page. It consistently delivers lush fruit at a crazy value price.

Skiing! My favorite activity in the world. Lucky for us there are tons of options in Northern Michigan---I just visited Shanty Creek Schuss Mountain a couple weeks ago and I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. Suggestion: Start at the Cedar base..That is where all the ski school and rental are a locker for the day (ski rental) so you don't have to get geared up at your car. Put skis on right outside and head up the purple chair. Ski down the other side to the base of Schuss....You can have a beer at Ivan's and then head back to the top and down to the base of the purple lift and you are back to where you began...Kids ski free under 8. The ski school was great too.

Sledding/tubing: Sledding: Find a hill and slide down it. Tubing: Slide down a lane on an innertube--faster than sledding. A couple of options: Summit Mountain at Shanty Creek. Timberlee hills or Mt. Holiday in Traverse City, Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls.

The Wine Associate's Made to Order Snowday: If you have kids and no availability to get out to one of the the following: Take kids outside and give each a shovel. Make a giant pile of snow...Pack it in really good. Take smaller shovel and make a tunnel at the bottom (carefully, so as not to collapse the top). Have the kids take turns climbing through it. 2nd: Grab a sled and have both kids get on. Now all you have to do is tow them around the house making sure to 'accidentally' throw them off...they love it. When you are too tired for another roundabout, fall back into the snow and begin snow angels. Hopefully you still have some untouched snow to play real-life Pac Man. Make paths in the snow (with your feet) that interconnect through many directions. Once you have created a big enough game board you are ready to play. One person gets to be Pac Man and the other(s) get to be the ghost(s). At this point you should be sweating...Time to go inside for HOT CHOCOLATE (kids) / Cider + Captain Morgan's (adults). If you have a fireplace - make or turn on the fire. Everyone will be happy.....even if you don't like to play in the snow.

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