Celebrate Summer // Susie

Hello friends!  Next up in the Celebrate Summer Guest Blogger Series, is the awesome Susie of Suzlyfe.  Susie is one of those bloggers that you just can’t wait to meet “in real life” – she is full of spunk and her posts will make you laugh out loud.  Susie blogs about running, cooking, eating, and showing herself, others, and Crohn’s Disease just who runs her life. Her motto – LIVE BEYOND EXPECTATION.  Amazing attitude, right? Are you excited to meet her yet?! Thanks, Susie, for sharing with us 5 Reasons to Experience Summer in Chicago!  If you would like to follow along on her adventures, check out Susie’s TWITTER and INSTAGRAM (and other social media accounts below)! 

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Hi there! My name is Susie, and I’m super pumped to be taking over Jen’s blog today as part of her Celebrate Summer series. For the uninitated, I blog over at Suzlyfe, a little blog with a big personality that covers a myriad of things health, fitness, and life related. My husband and I moved to Chicago a little over 2 years ago for his job (doctor) from the east coast, and a large part of my blogging journey has been about finding myself in this city.

Alex (the hubs) and I are both from the east coast, and more specifically, the South (he’s from VA, I’m from GA, we met at UVA and I also lived in NYC. Lost of abbrevs, ;D). Consequently, we are people who are used to 4 rather distinct seasons. Enter Chicago. Chicago has…. seasons. Ish. Mostly it has winter, a taste of spring, summer sometime before fall for a bit and winter. Mostly winter. Oh, and the first winter we were here was the Polar Vortex. Fun.
So Chicagoans have by necessity learned to make the most of our outdoor time. Like any college quad, the first time those temps are above 50 you will find people outside in shorts. This year, April 1 was GORGEOUS and then it got cold and rainy for about a month (April Fools, suckers). But when the weather finally decides to cooperate, Chicago is one of the most incredible cities to live in.
 
5 Reasons to Experience Summer in Chicago.
Reason Zero, as it is a given. You can meet me. That should be enough.
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1) There is a festival, reason or opportunity to celebrate just about every day. We call it summer festival season. During the summer in Chicago, you will be hard pressed to find a day that doesn’t have at least one festival going on somewhere in the city. And we aren’t just talking crafts: how about Taste of Chicago, Windy City Smokeout, or Lollapalooza?
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2) For runners, there is a race just about every weekend. From half marathons to 5ks to obstacle courses and city races, if you want to take a racecation, it’s not too hard to find an excuse! Plus, there is a rather sizeable race in October that you may have heard about. Heck, we even have a Nike flagship store where you can get your gait analyzed like I did! Oh, and if you live here, you can come and get coached by me! We’ll go for a run along the famous Lakefront path, a 20 mile stretch of paved pedestrian and cyclist road that goes along the lake shore.
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3) For non-runners, there are plenty of options for you as well. We are a city BIG into Stand Up Paddleboarding, there are volleyball nets all along the beaches (yes, we have beaches). We have rentable bike companies galore, including Divvy, a city-run bikeshare program. My husband and I go for walks throughout the various neighborhoods whenever we can–Chicago is a great city to walk. If you want to play any number of sports, there are social sport clubs that you can join, or make up your own in one of the city’s parks! And don’t forget about the opportunities for yoga and bootcamps around the city as well. Or take a tour of the city by kayaking the river!
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4) Incredible produce from the surrounding areas. One of my favorite things about Chicago is the fervent local food culture. Chicagoans take their food and drink seriously. The farmers markets throughout the city are some of the best that I’ve seen, and offer everything from freshly grown fruits and veg to gourmet grilled cheese and donuts. If you are in Chicago, and you aren’t eating something that packs insane flavor, you are doing something wrong.
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5) Summer in Chicago is a slice of Americana. Baseball games–I love to sit in the bleachers at Wrigley!– grilling out, movies in the parks, concerts, making new friends over a local brew, make new friends on a run, getting honked at by a cab for no reason at all, people watching to your heart’s content at a local cafe….oh, and did we mention that Navy Pier shoots off fireworks every Wednesday and Thursday night during the summer? Grab some froyo and a bunch of friends and check it out.
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There are times when sure, it gets hot here. But let’s face it. At least it isn’t the polar vortex!  Chicago may not be my forever home (the jury is still out on that!) but it is a city that I have come to know and love dearly. Particularly during the summer. Remind me that I said that next winter.
Come and find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as at my blog Suzlyfe.com and via email suzlyfe (at) gmail.com.

What are some of the perks of the city that you live in during the summer?  Have you ever visited Chicago?

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CELEBRATE SUMMER Guest Blogger Series

Tina – Fabulosi-T // Inspiring us to try new things over the summer!

Patty – RunMomMe // Joining a Summer Race series!

Kelly – Miles to Go // Celebrating Summer Running into Fall Running

Jackie – Muddling Momma // Creative Ways to Celebrate Summer with Kids

Lauren  – Breathe Deeply and Smile // Summer Traditions

Beth – Running with the Sunrise // Summer Favorites

Jen

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