i'm shippin' up to boston

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Just kidding! That's a song by the Dropkick Murphy's, also from the movie The Departed, but mostly one of several anthems for St. Patrick's Day. That, and Kiss Me I'm ****faced by Flogging Molly, another band that was on repeat all day. Anyway! So, St. Patrick's Day was this past weekend, and Chicago goes all out. Or, at least, all the 20-somethings of Chicago go all out.

My roommate and I, waiting for the parade!

My roommate and I woke up Saturday morning and got all decked out in green to go see the city parade and also bar hop all day in celebration. There may have been drinks had before 11 AM...or maybe not.

 You can't see like I did, but my landlord is in there somewhere, leading the parade!

 This is a large green pope. Maybe.

 Little Irish dancers! Gotta love that hair. They were precious!

Why yes, I did wear my boots!

I know I didn't get the best pictures, but the parade also wasn't anything to write home about. It was still really nice, because EVERYONE was out (someone said 500,000 people? But who knows...) and decked out in green. People were climbing trees, there were lots of families and children out, everyone chatting - just a very community atmosphere. 

As far as the pubs, they were of course a nightmare. Particularly downtown, where we decided to go, there was just a mass of people and about 95% of them were really drunk. The part that was a nightmare was that everywhere was a LONG wait - I'm talking, half an hour. To get into a bar. Ugh. We did manage to get some pub food at one little place and easily scarfed it down. It was a really beautiful day, but it was definitely hot with the sunshine.

Oh, and unfortunately we missed the dyeing of the river. For forty years the city has been dyeing the Chicago River a bright green on St. Patrick's Day, but I guess I missed it this year. Here's a picture anyway!

All in all, it was a fun day despite what felt like waiting forever and being really crowded everywhere. So what else have I been up to the past few days?

I finally got my hair cut! You probably couldn't tell, but my hair was just getting long and gross and in desperate need of a trim. I decided to take off around 4-5 inches and add some layers, just because it was pretty shapeless and just kind of hanging there. My hair only goes a little past that picture above. My ends were really dry too, but that happens when you don't get a haircut for almost a year. Maybe next time I'll cut it short? I keep saying that...

I've also found a really nice local park with a fun coffee shop nearby. The park has a baseball sandlot and playground for kids, but mostly it's comprised of a large green space where people mill about and lounge. It's not a dog park, but a lot of people bring their dogs to play and run free! I was playing with a few cute dogs earlier today, in fact.

So, I have been going here to do the following...lay out, read, write, listen to music, and just relax in my own little world. A lot of people gather here and it was a really nice neighborhood feel. You can expect to see people exercising, families playing catch, couples lounging, people reading, suntanners. Today I saw a girl doing interpretative dance with a silver hula hoop, which was interesting. The other day a lady brought her dog and a bottle of bubbles, and for every one she blew the dog would chase and pop them with a snap of his jaws. I'm telling you, all these adorable dogs being happy and playing and doing precious things seriously makes me miss my dog. Today I almost stole a French bulldog...

I've gone to this park now twice, both on seriously beautiful days. Spring has definitely sprung! It's been cool yet warm with a perfect blue sky (or, at least what I can see of it here!) and lots of sunshine. I was in heaven earlier today on my walk to the park, because the breeze was just blowing so nicely and I could smell so many wonderful floral scents. Everything was in bloom and green, and it was beautiful.

Here are some late afternoon shots from just around the neighborhood, but this is just a sample of all that's out there! So, so pretty.

 All these tree buds are even greener in person! They don't even look real.

And, like I said, the smells are heavenly. My mom would just love it around here. I've been taking full advantage of the glorious weather not only by going outside, but also by running around the neighborhood. I really just never want to go inside.

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