So I realized how great of a beach we have here in Chicago. Several actually. North Avenue Beach has this great party spring break atmosphere. It so fun. Music pumping from Castaways, (my first or second favorite bar in the city depending on the day) tons of people playing beach volleyball, tons of people in the water, guys playing frisbee or throwing around footballs, people riding their bikes/running/rollerblading/walking up and down the lakefront path, a gym with all the equipment right there, it’s crazy. I’ve been here seven years and never really appreciated it. Lisa and I walk down there from my apartment on the weekends. We hang out, swim, read books or magazines. It’s like a regular beach, like being on vacation, and it’s like a ten minute walk from my place. Crazy. I’ve also been swimming two beaches south, Oak Street Beach I think it is, on Navy Pier. They have a triathlon swimming course set up there in the playpen (same place we anchored out the boat last week). It’s fun to swim, get the heart pumping. The water is so so warm – or not warm – but perfect. Refreshing and not freezing. Which I like.
Over the weeekend also checked out this festival over in Ukrainian Village. Not really my scene or my type of hood. It was a dog festival and then like a hard-core punk rock-ish festival. Was good to see my buddy Dave and some of his friends, and one band was insane. They were pouring beer all over each other, fans were throwing full beer cups at them onstage. They had a little kid on either side of the stage squirting waterguns out at the crowd the entire show, and silly string as well. They rocked however. They were completely nuts and very entertaining. I wished I had some rotten veggies to throw at them, they’d have liked it. They had a skinny drummer chick with huge cans in a bikini and daisy dukes and silver high heels that would emerge from behind the drums once in a while to get a beer. Some dude came onstage in full sequin jeans and a top and a cape. They were called The Beer Nuts. I can’t imagine what their normal crowd is like and what would happen on a regular night for them.
Saturday I also did a bachelorette party on my sailboat – fun girls. Really fun. Mostly overweight, but they laughed hysterically at everything I said. Who’s complaining about that? All had a great time, and everybody went swimming when we stopped way out in the lake. They brought a ton of alcohol and worked through a bunch of it. The trip was free as I auctioned it off at a friend’s Coprodelli benefit for her. however they did not tip my first mate, which was annoying – I should have said something but didn’t, I had the opportunity to. He and his fiance and Lisa nad I went out to dinner – I bought for them to make it up to him. Not that I couldn’t easily find somebody willing to “work” for me, but it’s the principle. We initially went to Angelo’s on Sedgwick – Lisa had to run the Chicago Half Marathon Distance Classic the next morning at 6:30 so we wanted to make it an early night- Angelo’s people let us sit on the patio for I bet fifteen minutes. Waitstaff walked right by us without saying a word, and we were one of two tables out there. We left.
At the beach Saturday they had free skin cancer screenings with real doctors. It was great – I had it on my list to do from my physical a few weeks ago. Got the A-OK all clear sign on my skin, which is amazing as I ski, sail, mountaineer, etc and have been outdoors a ton and burned a ton. Good news.