Summer Fun 101

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty.

I’m on my quarter off from good ol’ RMU, which means I am free to do whatever I like, as long it is within budget, which unfortunately excludes my top choice—yachting in the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, I am doing my best to enjoy my time off, even though relaxing is not my natural state. Somehow I have stumbled onto the most cliché of writing assignments—“how I spent my summer vacation.” However, it is with true delight that I begin this self-assigned task.

I read a lot. I have read all but one of the titles on my “Radical Summer Reading,” list. I am currently moving unhurriedly through As I Lay Dying, which is awfully brilliant, and, unsurprisingly, extremely depressing; such is the way with literary masterpieces, and I find reading tragedy is too overwhelming in the winter. When Faulkner gets to be too dark, I switch to something lighter, including The Lady Woolfs selection for August, Fraud by David Rakoff. My “want to read” list on Goodreads gets its due attention in the summer months when I don’t have to accommodate the grueling grading schedule that exists during the school year. Reading anything I want, for as long as I want, indoors at home, or at a favorite café, outdoors on my (new) deck, or at the park, ah, that’s luxury, yacht or not.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the summer is to behave like a 12-year old: spend time outside, play with friends, attend picnics and BBQ’s, ride a bike as often as possible, preferably to the pool.

The Chicago Park District boasts an impressive number of indoor pools for use year-round, but swimming is much more fun in the summer. I love my pool, love it, Imagelove it. I am not telling you where it is; it is too crowded already. Open swim times are limited to a scant 9:00am to 10:00am Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Thus, three days a week, I ride my orange Huffy cruiser, Orangina, to the pool. I always arrive early, kick off my shoes, stow my bike helmet and towel in a locker, affix my gigantic (over-glasses) swim goggles, and proceed to lane six. I choose the far side of the pool in an effort to avoid the many older ladies who ultimately spend most of the hour wading and chatting between sporadic bursts of water aerobics. These ladies begrudgingly allow me use of my swim lane, rushing back and forth as I swim directly at them. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see older people in bathing suits. Once, a geriatric walker was parked next to my bike.

Another spectacular summer truism relates to frozen treats: if they are available, by all means get some. My friend Tammy just introduced the Urban Family to Paciugo in Lincoln Square. I went crazy for the salted caramel gelato three weeks ago, and I am still thinking about it. I recently discovered that Miko’s, a Logan Square favorite, is a straight shot from my new apartment. There, a sign encouraged customers to try a combo, so I did: mango and kiwi. Kiwi was the winner. I haven’t walked up to The Ice Cream truck that rolls through my neighborhood, but summer isn’t over yet.

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