I share with you the view of my fair city, Chicago, from the best angle there is… atop the fresh wonderful waters of Lake Michigan. Last week we enjoyed some beautiful weather and I had the extraordinary luck of finding my way on to a boat for an afternoon. I threw caution and workload to the wind and let my hair down. We took off for a five hour adventure that felt as if it lasted for days. We were so far from our usual world that the usual stresses were unable to haunt us for the afternoon.
After floating on the lake for an hour or so, we went into the lock that leads to the Chicago River. Boaters tie up their vessels while the water level changes to allow you to head down the river into the city. With our feet bare and cold beer in hand, we putzed along flanked by skyscrapers. Busy commuters bustled across the bridges overhead to the tune of regular taxicab horns while we eased along on our floating oasis.
As we passed the downtown area and headed toward the south side, I was introduced to a part of city I had never experienced. Under magnificent bridges and by old factories (run down but beautiful), the materials, shapes and colors were new and stimulating. Past Chinatown, old drawbridges, vacant cement fields… geographically only a few miles away from my day-to-day routine, I found myself worlds away from my everyday world.
Our journey finally brought us to Lawrence Fisheries. Though I had never heard of it before, I discovered that Lawrence Fisheries is an old Chicago institution. We docked the boat, ordered both boiled and fried shrimp with a side of macaroni salad, and devoured our seafood picnic before heading back up the river.
I returned home from my afternoon escapade in time to feed Mini Whipped dinner and to enter back into my tightly filled, regular routine. A week later, all of my work and stresses have not been able to shake the feeling of relaxation, ease and perspective I gained from my afternoon boat trip. It is summer. I live in an amazing city. Life offers discoveries around every corner. Do not be afraid to break your routine. Take advantage of opportunity. Declare this the Summer of Fun. And then… make it happen.