Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer In the (Chi) City



I admit it. I'm spoiled. My idea of a beach involves pristine, pearly sand and sun-dappled, turquoise waves. That means Chicago beaches do not qualify. But we were tormented with a cool, dreary summer over the last three months so when a hot, 88-degree, day popped up I had to grab it. I gathered up my best friend who's the ultimate Bajan beach bunny, packed up the kids and headed to Montrose beach. If the water looks murky in the photo above, that's because it is. I typically don't venture out into the Chicago side of Lake Michigan because the toxic levels rival only Chernobyl. But I was dragged out by my gang of bossy kids. My expression reflects the joy I felt in wading in the arctic cold lake.




My toes, painted a neon banana yellow, managed to thaw once I was permitted to lounge under the sun.


The lounging didn't last very long as I discovered the range of food offered at the beach. After enjoying my favorite coco paleta, I was covered in streams of coconut drippings but I wasn't about to go back into that water. Especially after I spied the creative, portable taco stand created by the vendor above. He served up the best sizzling steak tacos, so tasty that my persnickety pre-teen downed 8 of them.



Then there was the cotton candy. Who doesn't love sugar on a hot, sticky day? I also spied sno cones, fruit bowls, popcorn, churros and corn on the cob. We had lugged sandwiches and corn on the cob for our lunch, not realizing that a day at the beach equals a non-stop picnic.


We lingered until the sun went down. Then we strolled home, stopping to revel in this wildflower preserve across the street from the beach. It's not St.Lucia but on that rare cloudless day, Montrose Beach supplied enough to create a fun day in the Chicago sun.

17 comments:

Heather Dugan ("Footsteps") said...

It's good to enjoy where you are. Psst... I used that color on my toes a few weeks ago! Felt very summer-ish which we've needed with this cooler-than-normal season!

marina villatoro said...

Yeah, Chicago doesn't scream: beach to me either! I don't go into water unless it's 90 or higher and I always have to seem my toes:)

Catherine said...

hey don't complain...my nearest beach is 5 hours away!! and yes when I was in Chicago a year ago I couldn't help thinking - yep this city really has it all!! Greetings from Mexico.

Fly Girl said...

Heather, it is and other than the beaches, I really love most things Chicago offers.

Marina, Yeah. Beach and Chicago were not made for each other.

Catherine, 5 hours! I've been envying your quaint Mexican village for so long but I have never been that far away from a beach in my life.

Tiffany,Ebony Intuition said...

I wish I was on a beach right now.

A Cuban In London said...

No, the beach does not look pretty and after being in a part of Spain where there 70, yes, 70! beaches, I have become spoilt like you. And the tacos were good! What else could you ask for? :-)

On the subject of the Zep, my least favourite tune is... 'Stairway to Heaven'. Yup. Overrated.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Tiffany, you have the delights of Toronto so I don't feel sorry for you.

Cubano, Don't make me jealous. As for Stairway, it's overrated for a reason. It's not my fave but you have to admit that it's a brilliant tune.

Amanda said...

My tummy grumbles for those paletas and street tacos! Oh - and I am so with you on the lakeside beach not being a genuine beach. I miss the ocean! After almost a year here, however, I have grown rather fond of Lake Constance...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That's a cool toe colour. I like your description of the toxic levelson one side of Lake Michigan.

Fly Girl said...

Amanda, it's funny how lakes can make a sad substitute for an ocean when you have no choice!

Jean-Luc, thanks. Somehow, I imagine Picard's Speedos to be the same color.

kristine said...

i see where you are coming from, i dont think i could go swimming in norway anymore....those tacos look good though!

Hey I am off to trinidad and tobago next week - am planning on staying the weekend and going to tobago, I was looking through your blog as I was sure you had some tips but I cant find it. Am i wrong? And even if I am, is it possible that you might have some ideas for me anyway? What would you do if you had a weekend to spend in Tobago?

kristine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fly Girl said...

Kristine, You might remember me mentioning my Tobagonian ex-husband. I don't have any tips on the blog because it's been years since I've been there but I will email you some suggestion.

Toni said...

I've never heard the words 'Chicago' and 'beach' used in the same sentence before but it seems you had a great day! And yes, beach does mean constant picnic!

Fly Girl said...

Toni, those are words that don't appear in the same sentence very often for a reason! Thanks for dropping by.

Wendy said...

I hear you on the city beach scene and being spoiled by nice beaches. But I did make it to the poor man's Hamptons once this summer-Coney Island. Didn't go near the water though.

Fly Girl said...

Wendy, I wish I had your prudence!