Sometimes when I’m at a loss for words, a picture says it all. Fortunately, this may not be one of those times. When the daily prompt about summertime came up, I knew I’d have much to say. You see, summer is my time of year.
Chicago is a fascinating city. Known for its award winning architecture (first and tallest skyscrapers), world class restaurants (ALINEA named the best in the WORLD 3 years in a row) and winning sports teams… Go Cubs! (Ok, I’m joking. Maybe this year? Well, we do have the Stanley cup winning Blackhawks). Let’s face it though, we still have those horribly long winters. I mean, c’mon already, it’s April!
What we have, in summer, is a very long list of things to do, people to see, places to go. And I do as much as possible… this summer, last summer and every summer. I’ll get tickets to see a band at Ravinia. We’ll bring food and wine and picnic on the beautifully manicured lawns. Preferring it over the pavilion seating. And we’ll do that throughout the summer at various other venues in the city… Grant Park, Millenium Park. I’ll dance the night away at Summerdance. Located in the Spirit of Music garden, where you learn a different dance every night, followed by live music. You can samba, step, salsa, tango, swing, polka, Cajun two step all summer long. Another place I dance my arse off is the Navy Pier beer garden, where local bands play and the city has a fireworks display twice per week. But during the day, the beach is my haven.
One of my favorite activities is what I call “beaching it”. It consists of beach hopping… Montrose, North Avenue, Oak Street, Ohio Street… relax, play, have lunch or dinner, cocktails and listen to music from rock to reggae. Or sometimes I’ll just get there early, rent a chair, take a yoga class on the sand and jump in the water to cool off. After lying out for a while, it’s a short walk over to the farmers market and Lincoln Park Zoo. Then I’ll return to my chair to catch the last of the rays. As the day starts to wind down, I’ll go up to the top of the boathouse for dinner or drinks at Castaways.
In case it isn’t clear yet, Chicago is situated on a great lake and many outdoor activities are at or near the lakefront. And many are free. I take advantage of what this city has to offer because traveling, as much as I like it, can get expensive. If I visit the neighborhoods in the city, which I’m more apt to do in summer, I can ALMOST feel like I’ve traveled…. to Mexico, to India, to China… (ok, it takes some imagination). But this city really is diverse and a wonderful playground in the summertime.