Summer Bucket List

north avenue beach chicago

The anticipation is over.

Summer is here.

And it’s not just any summer… it’s my first Chicago summer.

Since moving to this city, I have heard much about this anticipated time of year.

I’ve been told that the summer is unmatched, with a myriad of festivals, beach days, outdoor concerts, sports gatherings, rooftop cocktailing and outdoor activities.

I’ve been told that people flock to Chicago during the summer in the same way that New Yorkers flock to the Hamptons; in this case, running towards the city, instead of away from it.

My excitement has not been subtle.

It might be my strategic layering of clothes-so-I-can-be-ready-to-beach-it-at-any-moment, my not-so secret plans to re-live senior spring break or the speed with which I sign up for activities (whether I have time  for them or not)… everyone from my co-workers to friends to my Wholefoods fish guy knows that I’m a tad psyched for the nice weather.

To make sure the summer doesn’t fly by, I’ve gone ahead and made the following bucket list.

bucket list

Let the frolicking begin.

There will be little sleep.  But there will be new adventures.

This summer is going to be Awesome.

A Watercraft and Some Reflection

On Day 31 (the milestone is here!!) I found myself on a large floating vessel docked on the Hudson River looking out onto the Statue of Liberty.

How did I end up here?

I took a chance.  On impulse.

Walking by a marina during lunch time, I noticed a couple individuals on a gorgeous boat.  We exchanged waves and smiles.  There were introductory hand gestures, sign language and awkward giggling.

A minute later I decided that life was too short not to run over and make some new friends.  And run I did (ok it was more like a trot in heels and a pencil skirt, mobility was limited).

We shook hands.  We gave our 1-minute life stories.  We planned a possible rendezvous on the yacht (my people will meet your people).

Thus, on this 31st experience, I learned loud and clear what I suspect I’ve been learning all along: 1) life is too short not to live in the moment and go with experiences that are presented and 2) you never know what the day will bring.

I met some incredibly interesting and nice people.  I spent time aboard ship!  I got a totally different perspective on New York from the water. I Learned about film-making, poetry, new technology and the latest Kardashian issues (I had no choice in the matter).

As I stood out on the deck, I thought about my journey thus far on these first kick-ass 31 days.  It’s amazing all the experiences I’ve had just by doing what I love (dancing), experiencing my own culture (Russian events) and letting loose and relaxing (spa anyone?).  Who would have thought when I awoke (late as usual) on this “typical” work day that I would end up discussing the art of film-making aboard a beautiful ship.

There’s a lot more to come… but for now:  I raise my glass of white wine to the journey.

Definitely Awesome.

Family time at the Intrepid

Day 20: Planes, helicopters and submarines

My family came to visit the city today so I took this golden opportunity to do something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do: Visit the Intrepid.  Quick history:  The Intrepid is an aircraft carrier initially commissioned in 1943 to serve in World War II.  Additionally, Intrepid was afloat during Vietnam and performed submarine surveillance in the North Atlantic during the Cold War.

I find it fascinating.  Having waited about five years to see it I was like a kid entering Disneyland for the first time. (The fam was less excited in the 95 degree heat).

We had a fantastic time.

We toured a strategic missile submarine.  We stood in the captain’s quarters of the Intrepid.  We touched authentic WWII era planes.

I found the experience to be AWESOME and I loved sharing it with the fam.