Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter bucket list

You know it's been a rough winter when you see that the temperature is 30 degrees Fahrenheit and you pull out your "light" winter coat! Seriously, 30 degrees has never felt so balmy and springlike.

I am definitely looking forward to the end of winter. I've been hearing about a lot of spring and summer races. The thought of running in shorts amidst a warm breeze has me practically bouncing off the walls with anticipation. On that note, here are two warm-weather races that I've currently got on the brain:

1) The BTN Big 10K just opened up registration yesterday! As I mentioned here, I have had my eye on this race for awhile and so now it's just the question of pulling the trigger. Representing my alma mater, racing, a big summertime tailgate party along the lakefront, and a 1-gallon tin of Garrett's Popcorn for the first 1,500 registrants? It all sounds great to me! (Fingers crossed that they will offer a finisher's medal again this year, too...)

Yes, I purposely found a picture in which an Illinois alum is prominently featured front and center.

2. The Run for the Zoo 10K also just opened up registration! This would be another new-to-me race. I've mentioned many times that animal shelters are a cause that is very close to my heart. A run whose proceeds go towards the Lincoln Park Zoo would most certainly be a cause that I'd love to support, as well.

Alas, before we officially get to warmer temps, we still do have some significant winter weeks yet to get through. In the spirit of embracing what is in the here and now, here's what I need to get cracking on before the season ends:


Go Ice Skating Outdoors
One of the most classic and festive of all winter activities, in my opinion. The most obvious locations for outdoor skating in Chicago would be Millennium Park or any of the other Chicago Park District ice rinks. If you've got your own ice skates, it is free to skate!

The Millennium Park Skating Rink, with the Chicago skyline in the backdrop

Go Skiing
I've only gone skiing a handful of times in my life, so I am a pretty amateur skier. However, I do enjoy skiing when I get the opportunity. 

Katie and I had talked about hitting the slopes in Wisconsin at some point this winter. However, she's got a lot on her plate right now taking care of a foster dog named Charlie who is about to undergo surgery. So we'll see if we can make it happen or not. My prayers to Charlie and here is hoping that everything works out!

Watch "Miracle" (again)
If you're not familiar, Miracle is the movie about the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team. Yes, the motivation to watch this movie is definitely inspired by watching the Sochi games every night. I am also missing watching NHL hockey during its Olympic hiatus.

Here is a video clip of what I consider to be one of the most memorable scenes from "Miracle":

Have Fondue
Preferably homemade, but certainly I'd be happy to go to a fondue restaurant, too.

Cheese, glorious cheese

Make Homemade Dumplings
This might include potstickers, wontons, ravioli, gnocchi, pierogies, or any combination thereof. I am an equal opportunity dumping eater. I eat them all.

Have a Board Game Night
Popcorn, hot chocolate, and cookies are obviously also required to ensure proper board game mental alertness. Scrabble and Bananagram are two current favorite games! But I do love many of the old classics, too.

See the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry
Okay, this isn't winter-themed per se, but the Disney exhibit is only in Chicago until May 4. I have heard rave reviews about all that this exhibit has to offer.

Your turn! What items do you plan to check off of your winter to-do list yet this season?


  1. 30 really did feel balmy today! I guess that's the kind of perspective -50 degree wind chills give you!

    Ice skating at Millennium Park is on my Chicago Bucket List! Can I go with you? :) And can we convince Charlyn to join us (since she and I talked about this earlier this winter)

    That's sweet of Katie to foster that poor pup, hope the surgery goes well!

    1. Yes! It's hard to comprehend that we literally experienced an 80-degree temperature swing. 80 DEGREES!!! My mom had a friend who once came back to Chicago after spending some time in India. It was in the 90s in Chicago but her friend complained about how cold it was compared to India - apparently it was in the 110s out there. So it is really all about perspective!

      Absolutely, let's find a time to go ice skating at Millennium Park! Weekends are best for me but I would certainly be up for going after work one night, too. And YES - calling out to Charlyn here to get into the skating loop!!!!!!

      I know Katie would appreciate your well wishes for Charlie!!! Prayers from all of us!!!

    2. One winter I went to visit my brother who was living in Texas at the time, and the difference between here and there was OVER 100 degrees! Craziness.

      Ha, and I was talking to someone in our Atlanta office the other day - she was saying how crazy everyone is being about snow and ice, and I told her we have like 5 feet of snow on the ground and have had -50 degree wind chills. Not even meaning to say our winter was worse, just kind of stating a fact, and she said the same thing - gives some perspective!

      So many of the dogs that Jude & Meko's rescue group takes in need surgeries or other medical attention - it just breaks my heart! I'm always happy to see that someone takes them in and helps them recover. I wish I could foster and adopt ALL THE DOGS (but Bob is firm on 2 being our maximum!)

  2. I was just going to say Anne and I had been talking about skating all winter! Let's set a date!!!

    Fondue- we buy the fondue packs from whole foods and put them in our fondue pot and they taste pretty good. Haven't actually made it from scratch yet.

    Mmm dumplings.

    1. WOO HOO!!! Let me know what dates work best for you! Like I was telling Anne, weekends are best for me but I would be certainly up for going after work one night, too. YAY!!!

      Thanks for the tip on the fondue! Do you get savory or sweet fondue or both? YUMMMMM, fondue and dumplings! Wonder if you could combine them? Make dumplings and then dip them into the fondue? How good would that be!!!

    2. Emily will bring us together!!! Weekends are probably best for me too - work is kind of unpredictable for the next month, and I'm never downtown during the week.

  3. I think your winter to-do list is so cute! Considering it's only February, I'm sure there's lots of winter left in Chi-town. I'm not so sure about here in El Paso, though. It was 75 today and actually too hot for my liking. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying that there will be no ice skating in my future.

    1. Thanks, Amy! Yes, there is more than enough winter left to go yet this season in Chicago - there have been years where we've had snow in June! (Depressing, isn't it?) 75 degrees is good for walking around, but I agree that it's a bit on the warm side for EP Marathon training! Hopefully the weather will be nice and cool for you this weekend!!!!!

  4. Count me in for the Board Night. I can take "Loteria" which is a Mexican version of bingo.

    Oh, and definitely go see the Disney exhibit. You will LOVE it!!

    1. Oh yes, I remember us talking about Loteria before! Would love to play it! Bingo can be very addicting. =D

      Yay for the Disney exhibit! I enjoyed seeing the pictures you posted from when you went to go see it yourself prior to running the Goofy Challenge!