Enjoying Summer While it Lasts

August 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Indoor Bonsai

Indoor Bonsai

Those lazy hazy days of summer aren’t quite gone yet and I’m trying to take advantage of the warm weather for as long as I possibly can.  This weekend, I definitely succeeded!  My Friday night started off with happy hour drinks with some coworkers as one of the IT guys is moving to a new job and Friday was his last day.  A few beers and a shot or two later, I was ready for the rest of the weekend.  I met Scott near Millennium Park and the two of us met with some friends of ours, who happened to have their two adorable children in tow.  We made our way to the Pritzer Pavillion and caught some of the free classical music being performed while we enjoyed some snacks on the grassy seating area.  The kids ran (or crawled) around and the adults got a chance to visit, which was really nice.  Sidenote: it’s weird to refer to myself and my friends as “the adults”.  Anyway, after the concert we hung out at their condo for a little longer before making our way home sweet home.

Saturday we woke up uncharacteristically early and went to brunch at a place neither of us had ever had before.  It was amazing and will have its own blog post dedicated to it later this week.  After brunch, we ran a few errands then basically spent the rest of the afternoon lying around at the park.  I got through some more of my book (which was also amazing and will also warrant its own post sometime soon) and Scott played around with a soccer ball like a little kid.  It was a beautiful day and the first Saturday in months where I didn’t something planned.  I could do with more Saturdays like that.  We ended the evening by finally finishing The Karate Kid which was pretty great in all it’s 80’s glory.

Sunday I woke up and went to the gym, then we headed to the Chicago Botanic Gardens a little north of the city.

The Bonsai Trees were especially appropriate after our Karate Kid watching

The Bonsai Trees were especially appropriate after our Karate Kid watching

The Gardens are actually close to where I used to live in the ‘burbs but I didn’t go there near as much as I should’ve back then.  This place is huge and has all sorts of different sculpted gardens.  There was a Bonsai Tree show going on which we got to check out, then we walked through the Rose Garden and the Japanese Tree Garden.  We walked through a bunch of other trails and paths too but there was too much plant life to completely remember it all.  We weren’t the only ones with this idea and the place was pretty busy, with families and kids darting around and even a wedding taking place at one spot.   It was another just plain fabulous day and I was really glad we got to spend so much of it enjoying the great outdoors.

I gave Scott a grow-your-own-Bonsai-tree back at Christmas and while the seed produced a tiny little tree-like thing, it hasn’t grown at all for months.  We’re not sure if it has something to do with the tree itself or our sneaky little cat who likes to nibble on plant edges but for whatever reason, it’s been stunted for a while.  Scott found some super cheap soil at the Bonsai show that will hopefully help his little tree to flourish, though I guess only time will tell.  But if the apple tree that I planted in elementary school can start producing fruit nearly twenty years later, then I have hopes his Bonsai Tree can make a comeback.

And yes, that happened with the apple tree in my mom’s front yard.  Gotta love nature!  And I will, as long as the weather permits!

 

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A Walk in the Park

May 20, 2013 at 10:26 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

We had a weekend full of beautiful weather and Scott and I decided to cap it off with a picnic dinner in the park last night.  We made sandwiches and brought along lots of fruits and veggies, then settled in to people watch and enjoy our food.  Little did we know that we’d be entertained with dinner and a show!

Dinner

Dinner

Show

Show

I know the pictures aren’t of the highest quality, but that’s what I get for taking them with my cell phone.  You can see that we weren’t the only ones enjoying the great evening and we watched a group of people? friends? wannabe cheerleaders? perform various jumps, cartwheels and maneuvers for a good portion of our meal.  One person would kind of crouch while another jumped onto their knees to be thrown into the air.  We never did figure out of they were practicing for some sort of improv group or what but they sure were entertaining to watch.  Not much later, we turned to the right and saw two guys tying a line up tightly between two trees.  Scott joked that maybe they would be tightrope walking while I thought perhaps they were preparing for some sort of jumping contest so I was pretty surprised when they proved Scott right.

Yup, these guys were walking on the bungee type line they hung up.  Only it wasn’t a bungee cord, rather it was a strap used to tie stuff down with.  I’m sure it’s got a proper name but I don’t know what it is.  Anyway, one of the guys was clearly better at tightrope walking than the other but they both managed to put a little distance on the thing, alternating between taking steps and falling off in ways that would help them not completely rack themselves.  We watched in amusement for a while and agreed that it looked pretty difficult.  As we started packing up to make our way home, they actually called out to us and told us we couldn’t leave without at least giving it a try.  Since I had already mentioned to Scott that I wanted to attempt it myself, I tied my skirt around my knees and ran on over.  The guys introduced themselves as Andy and Chainsaw (yes, he said his name was Chainsaw…I figured it was best to leave it at that) and Andy offered his shoulder to me as he explained the best way to try to stand on the rope.  So I tried it a few times and yup, it was hard.  As in, I didn’t even get to stand fully straight without falling off to one side.  I attempted it a few times then had a bad vision of me falling with my skirt over my head so I decided to give it a break.  Scott tried a few times too and while he stood straighter than I did, neither of us actually managed to take a step forward.  So I had a completely new-found respect for both Andy and Chainsaw.

We chatted a few more minutes then made our way home, but not before agreeing to try again should we ever come across each other in the park in the future.  Apparently they do this for fun and are not training for any upcoming circus as I previously thought.  Chainsaw had only tried to balance two other times before and so I told myself that if I tried a bit more often I could be walking it like he did.  So maybe next time I go to the park, I’ll wear a pair of shorts under my skirt just in case!

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