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Lots of Snow, Heavy Winds Don't Keep Everyone Inside in Manchester

Paige Sutherland/NHPR
Major snowstorm left downtown Manchester pretty empty, but somes shops were still open for business.

The biggest snowstorm of the season hit New Hampshire Sunday through Monday, leaving up to a foot and a half of snow in some parts of the state.

Most schools were closed and hundreds experienced power outages from winds of up to 35 miles per hour.

But that didn’t stop some people from getting out in Manchester.

Sarah and Bill of Hopkinton took a snow day Monday to celebrate Valentine’s Day early. Their first stop: to pick up some hot chocolate in downtown Manchester, grab lunch and then a slight change of plans…

“Yeah – thought we would do something different but it’s freezing out here," Bill said laughing as gusts of wind blew by. " Not such a great idea," he said.

Instead, the couple of nearly 27 years headed right to the movies to warm up.

But 73-year-old Bill Nicolaides says he likes the snowy weather. So much so he walked nearly two miles from the West Side to downtown Manchester to do a little shopping.

“What a beautiful day," Nicolaides said with a wide smile. “I think it is so nice. I’m going to Van Otis to get my wife some chocolates for tomorrow because I might not be able to do it tomorrow, so I have to do it now.”

Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR
Bill Nicolaides, 73, of West Manchester walked nearly two miles in the stormy weather to buy his wife a Valentine's Day present.

Nicolaides was not the only one picking up some last minute Valentine’s Day presents. Richard Tango-Lowy, who owns Dancing Lion Chocolate on Elm Street, says he saw quite a few customers come in Monday.

But Lowy says regardless of the holiday, winter storms tend to draw in a lot of customers seeking some warmth.

“A bowl of hot drinking chocolate is just one of the most essentially happy, feel good things in the world on a winter day," Lowy said. "It just warms your hands and you get all the beautiful fragrances and you drink and relax and it’s just as good as it gets.”

Not everyone though in the Queen City was trying to escape the cold. Eight-year-old Derek Sheckman and his dad Bryan drove up from Massachusetts Monday morning to get in some skiing at McIntyre Ski Mountain.

With high winds, Derek and Bryan were one of only 30 people on the slopes but that didn’t faze them.

“Is it a bit chilly?,” I asked Derek after he just did a run. “Not really with all this warmth,” Derek said. “You’re dressed for it,” Bryan said. “Is this better than being in school?,” I asked Derek, who's in the second grade. “Yeah – much better,” he says as his dad started  laughing. “School is very stressful – it tires me out,” he says. “Skiing doesn’t though?,” I asked. “Nope, it doesn’t at all."

And with some ski mountains in New Hampshire getting as much as 40 inches of snow over the past week, a lot of resorts are already gearing up for another busy weekend.

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