Growing up on the south side of Chicago has made me a “city girl” through and through. 100% city girl! When I would spend weekends at my favorite cousin’s house (hey Ebony), I would fall asleep to the sound of the elevated train that would zip by every 30 minutes. It served as a lullaby singing me to sleep. I love the hustle and bustle of the people, the sound of police sirens and fire trucks are like white noise to me and the streetlights served as my stars. However, since moving to the DMV (Washington, DC area) I have learned to appreciate what “all of outside” has to offer. With the summer coming to an end, we should be taking advantage of this beautiful weather! Well, right now it is humid as HELL in DC but otherwise beautiful! I have some DC and Chicago suggestions for you!
BOATLIFE ON THE CHESAPEAKE and LAKE MICHIGAN: One thing the DMV and Chicago certainly have in common is boat life. Whether sailing on the Potomac or lounging on a beautiful yacht off Chicago’s “Gold Coast”, it’s a nice experience to have. There are several ways to do this; 1) join a boat club, if you have license to operate a boat, you can purchase a yearly membership that gives you incredible access to a variety of boats, www.carefreeboats.com 2) They have boat AIRBNB! Who knew!? 3) Take one of the many SNAZZY boat cruises in either city.
GREAT FALLS, VIRGINA: Just a few weeks back a friend and I took a short hiking excursion to Great Falls, Virginia. The drive to this national park was easy, 30 minutes at most. You take winding roads down to the park site, all awhile taking in the beautiful, green and lush scenery. “At Great Falls, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature”. Great Falls is also the location of the infamous Billy Goat trail.
The Billy Goat Trail is one of the most well-known hikes in the Metro D.C. area and for good reason. With nearly a mile of fun rock-hopping and spectacular views of the Potomac River along the way, this circuit is loads of fun with plenty to see. The trail is only rated as a “3” for difficulty, but be prepared to jump from rock to rock. Needless to say, I enjoyed being out there, leaping, climbing, and just taking in the magnificent views. The peacefulness of it all warrants at least one visit.
OSKA GARDEN: In Chicago we may not have many areas to hike but we do have beautiful scenic areas to explore. This Japanese garden is located in beautiful Jackson Park. The Osaka Gardens Chicago was built in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition, and created to cement the ties of friendship between Chicago and Japan. Both Japan and Chicago have made contributions to the Osaka Garden, making it one of the many beautiful Chicago parks. Perfect place to hike or maybe just stroll!
WHITE WATER RAFTING, WV: One of my favorite outdoor activities is white water rafting! My first time rafting was during a company meeting. The original plan was to have us camp out in the evening, attend meetings during the day and team-building activities in the late afternoon. Like really?! Are you kidding? Thank goodness for some reasonable person who figured it would not be a good idea to expose our team to that much nature over a three day period (I’m a city girl remember). However, the white water rafting experience was amazing!!!! The rough waters had my adrenaline pumping, the fear of falling out the raft kept me focused on my technique and my teammates kept me accountable for pulling my weight while on the circuit.
CHICAGO WATER SPORTS: We may not have white water rafting but we have a lot of lake and tons of watersports that can be done like the “Flyboard”. It’s pretty much like a flying hoverboard. “When strapped to your feet, uses two torrents of water to propel you through the air like you're Iron Man”. But if having a “jet pack” is not your cup of tea, you can try jet skis, paddle boarding, etc. You can find all this and more at Chicago rentals at the 31st Harbor.
So how are you going to wrap up your summer? What’s outside your door?
Enjoy the Journey,