even though coming back from a weeklong european vacation is never easy (at least it hasn’t been the one time i’ve done it), it certainly helps to be welcomed back by beautiful weather and the promise of summer on the horizon. even though the weather this winter was nowhere near the worst we’ve endured, even in recent history, it felt long to me, and i am absolutely prepared to live this summer to the fullest. with no weddings to attend in our future, we have big plans to ride our bikes to the beach (and somehow fashion a bike basket in order to bring penny along), master a bike tour of chicago’s finest coffee roasters, attend as many street festivals as humanly possible, indulge in leisurely sunday morning strolls through the local farmer’s market, experience brunch on the patio of the restaurants we’ve been dying to try and take full advantage of everything chicago has to offer us. there’s nothing like exploring a foreign city to make you realize what a poor job you’ve done of enjoying your own. so here’s to sleeping with the windows open, popsicle-colored tongues and all the bbq you can handle. happy warm season, chicago! we did it.