Wednesday, May 26, 2010

beautiful spring day

The weather in Chicago (and across the country, from what I hear from my friend in Massachusetts) has taken a dramatic and sudden turn toward summer this week. I love hot summer days because I am almost always chilly, but I feel like I didn't get to enjoy quite enough spring this year. We had some beautiful weather in March and April, but it seems like most of May has been cold and icky. So I finally got around to editing some of the photos that I took on my April walks around the city and thought I'd share what makes a beautiful spring day for me.

This spring, I started working the early shift twice a week, unloading shipment and stocking shelves. It's tough to get up so early, but I love the feeling of leaving work in mid-morning, when everyone else is tucked away in their office cubicles and the tourists haven't descended upon the city yet. It's extra nice when a splash of colour greets me just a few steps north of my store:

I love tulips!

I also love eating at the great lunch spots sprinkled around the Loop, and the organic spinach, fresh strawberries, feta, and candied walnut salad at Specialty's is spring on a plate.

From Specialty's, I head home, back to my neighbourhood across the river. I love living so close to the Loop—so much that once it warms up, I'll even get up 20 minutes earlier so I have enough time to walk to work in the morning.

As if the tulips weren't enough, there were daffodils blooming in the West Loop.

Perfect way to cap off a perfect spring day? An iced vanilla latte from the San Marino Deli. They take a little longer than the Starbucks across the street, so I can't go when I'm in a hurry, but it's worth it when I can take a few extra minutes for Illy coffee (my favourite) and the extra care they take when making the drinks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

kids make me smile

I had a rough day at work today, to say the least. Can I just suggest to the consumers of the world (or at least those reading my blog) that you be nice to the retail slaves of the world? We'd appreciate it. Or at the very least, refrain from smacking our hands. Personal space means a lot, plus respect is nice. Just some ideas.

One thing that always gets me through tough days is thinking about the people I love. I was blessed to spend Sunday afternoon with my cousins and although I didn't take photos since we just spent a very hot afternoon basking in the air conditioning, watching hockey, and eating pasta, I thought I'd share some photos of the kids from the spring that I haven't blogged yet.

The kids and my aunt spent a spring break week with some friends from Minnesota at a resort kind of near the western suburbs. They had a lot to do at the resort, but they also came downtown a couple of times, and I was more than happy to play tour guide on a day when I wasn't working. (Fact: I love playing tour guide.) We ate at the French Market and then took the Water Taxi to Navy Pier. I had to leave for class shortly after I navigated them to the Pier, but I loved spending some time with them on a beautiful spring day in my city.

Kids on the Water Taxi

A few days after their Chicago outing, I got to see them again when my parents and I drove up for Easter dinner. My aunt and uncle are fabulous cooks, so the food was fantastic and of course, the company was even better. Easter is my favourite holiday after Christmas, but this was the first time that we've ever spent it with them. It made the special day extra special.

Girls go racing to find the eggs that my mom and uncle hid

I love that Bradley's not too old for stuff like this yet. Not sure how many more years he'll be excited about an egg hunt!

Little Miss Sunshine with her basket

Kristin rocking the braids

Bradley is kind of awesome because he rides a unicycle.

Kristin had the foresight to match her flip-flops to her new bike.