DC tourists brush off blizzard worries as city shuts down

Ignacio Hernandez_550531

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR MEDIA) –- Millions of Northeasterners are cranking the heat and stocking up on groceries in preparation for the incoming blizzard, which is projected to dump several feet of snow in some locations.

DC’s metro transit system is preemptively shutting down. School districts have canceled classes.

The U.S. House of Representatives canceled votes and postponed its full session on Tuesday.

News conferences have been removed from the Senate schedule-–a sure sign of the apocalypse in Washington.

The DC area, meteorologists forecast, will be the reluctant recipient of up to 12 inches of powder between Monday evening and midday Tuesday.

Significant accumulation in that short timespan has, in short order, halted life in the usually bustling city.

But not for everyone.

Despite the weather warnings–-and locals’ profound sense of dread–-visitors to the nation’s capital remained largely blithely unconcerned on Monday, flocking to the usual historical hot spots for sightseeing and selfies.

“We thought we’d be cold,” says Anna Kallschmidt of Miami, but “We didn’t expect a blizzard.”

Kallscmidt, a psychology Ph.D. student, and her mother, a schoolteacher, are in the middle of their shared spring break.

“Ignorance is bliss,” adds Gay Kallschmidt, also a Florida native.

The mother-daughter pair says their southern expectations work to their advantage in this case. “We’re Floridians; we knew we’d be cold no matter what, so what’s a little more?”

This come-what-may attitude was widespread among the tourists milling around the Capitol on Monday afternoon, aware that the weather is entirely outside of their control.

How are travel plans shaping up? “We’re not sure, we’re looking to fly out tonight maybe; if not, we’re going to see what happens,” admitted Ignacio Hernandez of San Diego, California.

“We’re not sure, we’re looking to fly out tonight maybe; if not, we’re going to see what happens,” admits Ignacio Hernandez of San Diego, California.

Hernandez took a moment to strike a centerfold pose on the brick path laid out in front of the U.S. Capitol building, warmed only by a positive attitude and thin trench coat.

Asked if he brought any outerwear more appropriate for blizzard conditions, Hernandez laughs, “this is the thickest one.”

Some of the younger tourists are downright delighted by the storm system currently lighting up weather maps like watercolor paintings.

“We’re very excited to see snow! We never really get that down south,” said Skylar Postma,15, of Houston.

HIs parents, Kent and Sonya Postma, thought they were bringing their three kids on a springtime tour of the northeast, and surely didn’t expect it to look like this.

“It’s going to be an adventure,” Kent predicts.

On Tuesday, the family’s northern adventure continues with a trek to New York City.

“We actually had a car rental that we ended up canceling, and booking a train ride instead,” the father explains.

Snow and inconvenience notwithstanding, the family remains cheerful–-and bundled up–-as they continue the journey north.Follow Chance Seales on Twitter: @ChanceSeales

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