My morning routine (well, for 2 weeks so far anyway): Wake up. Fall back asleep. Wake up again and finally drag my ‘older-by-the-day ass’ out of bed. Pee (horror! Yes, I urinate, just like you). Down some orange juice. Check email for what should be only a half hour, but invariably ends up being more than an hour…just have to respond to one more…or, ugh, two hours. Throw on some running togs. Check email one more time. Finally, pull myself away from this damn black hole and out the door for a run along the majestic ocean-like Lakefront. Once outside, I can’t believe I wasted so much time inside when it is just so damn beautiful out.
Springtime in Chicago. Birds are chirping. People are masticating their meaty burgers (sounds dirty) around Rush Street at outdoor cafes (crap, it’s lunchtime already). The lakefront is peppered with Chicagoans (who obviously ‘work’ my hours) running, walking, blading, playing Frisbee, tossing a football around, walking their dainty dogs whose legs pitter-patter down the path like tiny motors, and other general lazing about like lying in the sand in a bikini soaking up spring’s first warm rays of Vitamin D. It’s wonderful. It’s infectious. it’s my tonic. I can’t help, but take a seat on the edge of the lakefront path between North Avenue Beach and Oak Street Beach and just soak it all in – the gorgeous city views, people having fun just being outdoors and alive, the parents playing with their kiddies under the trees. I love this place. And apparently so do all these other people. Okay, I’ve said it before and perhaps repeated myself here, but Chicago has a piece of my heart. I have never lived in a place where the people love their city so much (honestly, nearly everyone I am catching up with repeatedly shares this same attitude) and embrace it so fiercely at the first sign of not needing a scarf.
Once the warm weather hits here, you would never know we are a northern city. Nearly every place has either outdoor seating, or a rooftop deck, or big ‘glass garage doors’ that fly open to let the outside in. From Chipotle to Dublin’s Pub to Ace Hardware (yes…they even put out their for-sale patio table sets on the sidewalk and in true Chicago form…people sit in them for a coffee break), they become outdoor hangouts. In a few days span, we went from big down jackets to flip flops and shorts.
I realized today, that no matter how bad I feel or what’s going on to bring me down, a dose of the lakefront is all I need. Thank you Chicago.