Life’s A Beach

April 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Although sometimes it’s a foggy looking beach that seems like something out of a post-apocalyptic movie.

Scott and I wanted to enjoy the beautiful day we had yesterday so we decided to bike to the beach.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing and people everywhere were out and enjoying the gorgeous weather.  However, the closer we got to the actual beach the drearier it became.  The sun all but disappeared and a hazy, foggy mess was left in its wake.  We looked at each other in confusion as we rode closer to the water because we weren’t quite sure what was happening.  Perhaps the combination of warmer weather and cold water created a mist like something out of a Stephen King novel?  Or perhaps the gods of good weather just wanted to give us a swift kick in the ass?  Regardless, it looked like we were on the surface of Mars with only a few other human survivors.  Or like we were visiting Los Angeles.

Scenic, huh?

Scenic, huh?

In case you can’t tell, there’s two people walking by the lake in this photo.

It was a surreal experience yet we laughed the whole time because that type of weather would hit just as we get to the water.  So we shrugged it off, walked around a bit then made our way back home.  But get this – as soon as we got away from the shore, the skies cleared back up and the sun once again made an appearance.  So obviously there was some weather phenomenon happening close to the water but I’m still not smart enough to know what it was.  What I do know is that the newly emerged sunshine was so warm and pleasant that we stopped for a drink and a snack on the patio of our neighborhood bar.  Maybe next time we’ll see some actual blue skies – fingers crossed, but it looks like this warmer weather just might stay!

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Just Beachy

May 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

It seems like every day I find something else to love about my new apartment.  Yesterday I was able to add one more item to the list when I realized that there was a beach no more than a mile and a half from where I was sitting on my couch.  Since it was actually sunny and in the 90’s for our Memorial Day, I figured I should probably hit the sand.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Chicago weather for making me look like a lying fool.  I’ve had house guests two of the last three weekends and each of these visitors have had to put up with rain and unseasonably low temperatures for the

Beach Day!

duration of their stay.  Then, just as Mr. Murphy predicted, the weather cleared up and became downright beautiful once they left.  As an example, my old college buddy and I spent Sunday morning battling downpours as we walked to breakfast and then drove to the grocery (friends who stay with me and then drive me to do errands earn a special place in my heart).  These were serious downpours too – flash flooding was taking place and my friend actually had to climb in her passenger side to get in her car because the streets were so saturated.  It was miserable and I haven’t seen a drenching like that in a good long while.  After our brunch and errands, my friend departed into the storm.  Not even three hours later the rain had ceased and the evening became warm and pleasant with a nice sunset to boot.  Of course.  That was Sunday – Monday I woke up to 90 degree temps and abundant sunshine.  Double of course.  While I was bummed that my friend missed out on the nice weather, I did everything in my power to enjoy it enough for the both of us.

There are many beaches throughout Chicago and each of them are known for different things.  North Avenue beach is probably the most popular but as I’m not the type of person who goes to the beach to see and be seen, I’ll stick with what’s local.  Foster Ave. beach had plenty of kids and families but not so much that it made the entire experience ultra annoying.  There was some beach volleyball action going on and I definitely had some ice cream from a street vendor.  A friend of mine and I enjoyed the sun for a few hours and I even braved a walk in Lake Michigan before heading home – and it was freezing.  Lesson learned in that respect.  It’s nice to know I have such a sweet spot so near to my humble abode, even if I only get to enjoy it 3 months out of the year.

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Not in Kansas Anymore

June 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I know most of us are aware of the brutal storms that flew through the Midwest region on Friday.  They pretty much appeared out of nowhere and they were not pretty.  The first one came along right about the time I was set to get off of work, which I appreciated.  In a matter of about 15 minutes, the sky went from sunny and decent looking to black with a good chance of menace.  Everyone in my office huddled around windows (smart, I know) and talked about how we felt we were in the opening scene of The Wizard of Oz. I had honestly never seen the sky turn that dark that quickly and so of course I was looking forward to my commute home.

The downpour started right as I walked out the door and my umbrella proved useless within about 5 seconds.  The parking lot I cross to the train station immediately turned into a wading pool and by the time I got to the station I was soaked from head to toe.  The other train passengers looked at me with pity as I discovered the pants I was wearing held about as much water as a Sham-Wow, only they were impossible to wring out.  The A.C. on the train was blaring full blast, so that was a pleasant ride home.

I was supposed to be meeting an old high school friend downtown but once the storm started we decided it would be smarter to just meet up at my place.  By this time the rain had stopped and the sun was actually back out.  Go figure.  After swinging by a bar for some brews and enjoying some delicious Burrito House tacos, it was time for him to head back to his place in the suburbs.  Because I’m such a good friend, I walked him the half mile back to the el station.  When I got home I sat down with another adult beverage and was looking forward to spending the rest of the evening on my couch.  I was speaking briefly with my Mom when I realized another storm was coming and  I was in the process of closing windows when my high school chum beeped through, in a panic because he couldn’t find his keys.  I looked around and sure enough, he had left them behind a pillow on my couch.  Since he’s a city neophyte and wasn’t sure he could get himself back to my place, I sucked it up and said I’d come to him.  Lucky me, I got to walk back to the station in the eye of Scary Storm Part Deux.

I put on my rain boots and jacket and went back into the night.  I skipped the umbrella altogether for a couple of reasons: 1) I didn’t think it would do me a damn bit of good and 2) I always wonder if it’s a good idea to carry around a metal stick during a lightning storm.  I’m sure it’s fine and all but with the insane horizontal flashes we were getting, I didn’t want to become a statistic or contender for the Darwin Awards, so I left it at home.

I was right, it wouldn’t have done me any good.  Winds were blowing up to 60 mph and the rain just did not stop.  I was soaked (again) as soon as I walked outside and I was also just about the only poor fool out on the sidewalk.  After a block or so I just started laughing and decided to roll with it.  There was nothing I could do anyway so I began jumping in the biggest puddles I could find (the recent beers I had ingested probably helped with this).  I looked like a grown up version of the kid in this picture and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty fun.  Until I got scared by the lightning, which was flashing its worst around the time I arrived at the station.  I stayed there for a while and the rain (slightly) let up for my walk home.  I didn’t even mind when a passing car sprayed me with gallons of dirty street water, because at that point it wasn’t going to make a bit of difference.  Once I finally got home, it took a while to peel myself from my wet garments but the warmth of my shower and the comfort of my couch made it all better.

In a surprising turn of events, I was sore as all get out on Saturday.  I woke up and could barely stretch without causing myself great pain.  It took a few minutes of trying to remember if I had been attacked by ninjas on my walk home but I eventually figured that my body must have been hurting from battling the storm the night before.  Am I that out of shape/that much of a wimp?  Apparently so.

I also must give a shout out to my concerned mother, who left me a frantic voicemail on Saturday after she saw news reports of the storm.  I was taking a nap (heaven forbid) and missed her call so when I awoke I was greeted to her panicky voice asking if I was dead in some street gutter.  Since she hadn’t heard from me since right before I trekked out into that miserable night I don’t blame her, but I had to smile at how freaked out she was when I didn’t answer right away.  Sorry for worrying you, Mommy Dearest, but I got that napping gene from you.

I don’t know where the puddle jumping gene came from but I sure am glad it’s there.

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