It’s Summer in the City

It was a beautiful week in the world’s greatest city.  That’s right, folks.  80 degrees and sunny.  In Chicago, Illinois.  In March.  All week long.  That’s unheard of.

I firmly believe that Chicago is the greatest city in the country, and I’m willing to fight anyone who says otherwise.  Everyone at Northwestern always makes comments about how much they hate Chicago, and my response is always the same: spend one summer in the city, and you will never talk shit about it again.  While I will admit that the winter months are brutal, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the city during patio season (yes, Alyssa and Monika… patio season).

There’s something kind of magical about those first few days of spring when you realize that you’re able to go outside in nothing but a t-shirt and shorts.  The air smells fresher, birds sing louder, and people are friendlier.  But I think the greatest part of this time of year is that after months of hibernation, there are suddenly bodies out everywhere.  I think that Chicagoans are so good about being outside when it’s nice out because they realize that days like these are not guaranteed, and that they must be taken advantage of when they come.  We live through so much snow/ice/wind/misery from November to April that we never take a nice day for granted.

Pure bliss

Luckily, I was able to take full advantage of the beautiful pseudo-summer, as I was somehow able to find every excuse in the world to be outside.  I told myself that I would be able to focus better on my final paper while lying in my front lawn with an iced coffee at my side.  Never mind the fact that I couldn’t actually see what I was doingon my laptop with the sun’s glare.  I’m still going to tell myself that this style of studying is the most productive.  The abnormally warm weather almost tricked me into thinking that it was acceptable to swim in the lake, but upon further investigation, I concluded that a 40 degree water temperature is not okay…ever.

Earlier this week I was driving from Evanston into the city on Lake Shore Drive.  Although I’ve been making this drive for the last three years I’ve lived here, I still get chills every time as I take in the views of both Lake Michigan and the city’s skyline. This drive seems to reaffirm why I’m so in love with Chicago, and I always find myself feeling thankful for the fact that I get to call this place home.  While I love cruising on LSD every day of the year, it is always especially awesome on those summer days when every runner/biker/roller blader/long boarder/segway rider is out on the lakefront path.  Seeing this has always made me happy, but until this year, I would watch these people go by and secretly wish that I was running and riding right along with them.  But this year, for the first time, I was able to be part of the action.  This year I got to join the rest of Chicago in experiencing that perfect first workout of the season, and let me tell you: it was even more amazing than I imagined.

I am now abandoning all of this, and trading in my sandals for ski boots (or a ski boot if you want to be technical).  As I write this, I am sitting on a plane headed for Denver, Colorado.  This week is my spring break, and I will be spending it skiing in Winter Park and Steamboat with Adaptive Adventures.  It feels strange to be going from summer in Chicago to snow in Colorado, but I’m nonetheless excited for one last hurrah this ski season.  I’m just hoping that this same great weather will be waiting for me when I come home.  Because being able to do a bike-run brick outside in March is just plain awesome.

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