Summer is almost here. I can smell it.
Just as sure as I know winter's arrived when I smell the first snowfall, (it's distinct; it tickles the nose like an old friend) I know summer is around the corner. And it's not just my sense of smell that's delighted; no, summer gets to all of 'em. Which got me thinking ... what am I looking forward to, and which sense/s is/are most excited about it? Here's the preliminary list.
Drive-in movie/s (vision, taste)
Ravinia (hearing, vision, taste)
I want to go to each at least once! At the movies, the bright screen and film juxtaposed against an inky black sky is a treat, even if the film sucks. Ravinia, on the other hand, brings great music to your ears in the most beautiful park setting. But for me, each of these venues invites the best in food: a nighttime picnic. Rainier cherries, bread and oil, fresh peaches, homemade guac with real tortilla chips from the mercado ... that's the kind of stuff packed in my bag. And for Ravinia, we'll add a bottle of red. You in?
The beach (smell, vision, feel, taste, sound - yup, all of 'em)
Most of my beach time is spent on Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva, WI. While I know there are perfectly good beaches in Chicago, I love the resort atmosphere of Lake Geneva, and I also love that one of my besties lives up there; so I can get my beach on while curling up next to Amber and Jeremiah. And while I'm there, I will smell the Coppertone; I will see the waves crashing on the shore, the sailboats on on the water, the sun sinking into the horizon at the end of the day; I will feel the sun tickling my skin and the sand between my toes and - if I play my cards right - a little bit of seaweed slipping past my legs as I swim out to the deep water; I will taste lemonade with lavender or rosemary in it, and a perfect bratwurst; and I will listen to the water and the wind. This place is made for perfect days.
Other things in Wisconsin (taste)
My friend Dale lives there, too ... and really, all I can say is holy crap can he cook. So I hope (with 99.9 percent assurance) that this summer will bring at least one meal/bonfire combination. Also, there's a little cafe up there called Simple that has the best breakfast ever. I'm heading up there Memorial Day weekend, so I can see some - if not all - of this panning out for me very soon. Yes please.
Races (feel, sound)
I'll be running a few races this season (two of which are this weekend!) and they always bring a few distinct feelings: muscle fatigue and lungs-on-fire. There's also the feeling of complete euphoria when I cross the finish line, no matter how long it takes me. Also, I love the sounds out there - whether it's spectators or the rhythm of my feet mixed with other runners, or the occasional sound of nature that ekes through the din; there is a definite sound to races. But my favorite sound ever is the noise my friends make when I approach the finish line; that's what accomplishment sounds like!
Raging Waves (feel, taste)
Raging Waves is a huge water park out in Yorkville, and it is awesome. AWESOME. Sure, it smells like Coppertone, and it sounds good, too (great music piped in!) but nothing compares to the feeling of bobbing in waves for an afternoon, or lying back in your lounge chair and letting the day pass you by. The only thing that begins to compare with that is the taste of a Brain Freeze Float - icy blue raspberry goodness with a big ol' splurt of vanilla soft serve. Yes, please.
That's what I have so far, and I am beyond ready. What's on your list?