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MONTICELLO, Minn. - The latest round of snow is falling as some families find themselves on spring break.

The Slepica family, on break from Big Lake Public Schools, sought warmth at the Monticello Community Center Pool; an oasis for the sun deprived who have declared a war on winter.

"It's perfect on a cold day, especially with the snowstorm it works out perfectly," said Rachel Slepica, mother to three children in Big Lake schools. "It's like being at the beach except for you are not and you don't bring any sand home."

"I come here and I pretend I am on a 20-minute vacation," said Laurie Roiger, of Monticello, watching snow fall through a window, while warm in the center's hot tub.

Not everyone is yearning for that tropical getaway. Not far away on Monticello's popular sledding hill, on the banks of the Mississippi River, 6-year-old Aidan Johnson, a first grader in Big Lake schools, dreamed of spending his spring break all bundled up.

"He woke up. Snow was flying and he was all excited to play in the white stuff," said his mother, Michelle Johnson, who said her ideal spring break would be a trip to Florida.

Monticello Community Center director Kitty Baltos says she is gearing up staff for the month of March, with school districts choosing different weeks off throughout the next month. Minneapolis Public Schools is off from April 1-5, and St. Paul Schools break from March 25-29.

The spring fever spreads across the metro. The Minnesota Arboretum is hosting a Spring Expo March 8-10, offering predictions for the growing season and advice for gardeners looking ahead towards spring.

Dundee Nursery in Plymouth report many customers are already buying seeds.

The glimpses of the coming season keep many Minnesotans trudging on.

"Spring is coming, but now is a nice time to get away and warm your body up a little bit," said Jeff Roiger, enjoying his final moments in the hot tub at the Monticello pool, before bundling up and heading back home.

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