Picture of Sheri Burns
Baby, It’s Cold Outside

As 2007 kicks off, blankets of fresh snow are settling over much of the world, creating a blank slate on which we can start clean and fresh. Well, that’s the poetic version. The reality, at least for me, is that there are frigid temperatures and icy winds that cause both my nose and my eyes to run. (Attractive, huh?) As you can probably tell, I’m not a big fan of cold weather. Despite my distastefor freezing temperatures, the song referenced in the headline is one of my favorite winter tunes. It’s been covered countless times, and all the versions make me feel warm and cozy.

Of course, I live in Texas, so there’s not a lot of need to escape cold weather, but when I’m on the road, I always carry this song with me.

Since we’re in the dead of winter, we decided to highlight two places that get more than their fair share of snow and ice. And crazily enough, I love them both!

Felicity Huffman is one of my favorite actresses, and she’s in one of the few TV shows I watch — or, at least, one of the few TV shows I TiVo and then never get around to watching. I liked her even more when writer Mark Seal told me she wanted to talk about Chicago. It is easily one of my favorite cities in the world. (Yes, I said world.)

I’m sure I’ve written about it before, but, in my opinion, ­Chicago has everything: great food, great sports, great shopping, great arts, and best of all, great people. But what’s not great about it are the verrry long, cold winters. In fact, I’d probably live there if I could figure out a way to work and live in the same building. The ability to just take an elevator to work would banish all thoughts of heavy coats and mittens and scarves and shovels and slushy snow and ice and wind.
But since I haven’t found a job that will let me do that, I’ll just have to be content to enjoy the city in the warmer months.

The other really cold place we focus on in this issue is Alaska. Although the coldest experience of my life was in Québec City during Winter Carnival, Alaska in the winter, or even in the spring, is a close second. But it’s one of those places that are absolutely stunning in the winter. With huge expanses of blue sky and the sun shining through to sparkle on the snow all around you, it’s absolutely majestic. But not so majestic that I’d sign up to compete in the Iditarod. Just one look at the mushers and mushees is enough to send me into endless shivers.

But what an incredible event nonetheless. And writer Jenna Schnuer has found the ultimate way to be a part of it. You can check it out.

Brrrrr. All this cold-weather talk has made me chilly. I think I’ll head out now for a nice, steaming cup of coffee (and perhaps a shot of Baileys) to help me warm up.

But before I do, I’ll read — and recommend that you do the same — about coffee in UpFront. We got a Starbucks aficionado to tell us everything we need to know. Happy new year!

Signature of Sheri Burns

Sherri Gulczynski Burns