summertime in Chicago

Happy June, friends! AKA HAPPY SUMMER CHICAGO. Is there a more appropriate photo to represent this feeling than a movie in the park + rosé?

Well, fingers crossed, this beautiful mid-70 degree weather is here to stay.

I’m not gonna lie, y’all. May was tough, and that’s why I’ve been MIA these last few weeks. Eric and I had to go home unexpectedly for a series of unfortunate events, ranging from surgery to the loss of loved ones – the hardest being my family’s ten year old sweet pup, Gordo, to cancer.

If you’ve lost a pet before, than I know you know how it feels. There are just no words. They are true family members that grow up along side us.

summertime in Chicago

All that being said, the quality time with our families was so, so good and the break from everything else was much needed.

Now that we’re feeling recharged, it’s back to groovin’ and we are ready for summertime in Chicago! The people are out and about, ready to break out of their winter hibernation. It’s a pretty magical feeling – one that makes this city so special.

To celebrate this sweet new season around the corner, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite signs that it’s finally here in The Windy City.

{Paleteria Carts on the Beach} // Bring your cash folks! There’s nothing I love more on a warm Chicago day than hitting up the paleteria vendors on the beach. The authentic Mexican ice cream treats you can find are unbeatable and so delicious – my favorite are the cookies and cream popsicles!

summertime in Chicago

Spoiler alert: These treats can ruin exercise intentions, because sometimes you can’t help but stop for one. Oh, maybe that’s just me?

{Street Festivals} // To me, this is a quintessential sign of summertime in Chicago – street fests on street fests each week. Everyone has been locked up for 8 months, so now every weekend you can find multiple festivals happening across the city.

summertime in chicago

From the best hot dog round up to traditional German celebrations, there’s always something to explore! The best parts? Festivals are often free and come with awesome live music.

Side note: Tuesday movies in the park might not technically count as festivals, but they’re in this same category of awesomeness for us!

{Beaches & Balls} // This one’s pretty straightforward – the warmer it gets, the more packed the beaches get. Our favorite way to spend a Saturday includes tunes, snacks, and back-to-back sand volleyball games.

summertime in Chicago

It’s a strange concept to be laying out on the sand and turning around to a skyline, but it sure is pretty! (Also, confirming this is actual footage from a ChiTown beach.)

{Legs} // Until this month, I literally don’t think I had shown my legs outside since October? Well, except when I desperately ran to the drug store next to us for a dessert craving.

You know when those dresses, shorts, and skirts start showing up all over town, it’s a good sign. And sometimes, you just have to wear them and freeze a little because mind > matter.

summertime in Chicago

{Happy Pups} // It’s a sad sight to see all the cold doggies outside freezing their little bootys off with the rest of us during the winter because they have no choice – they gotta do their business!

That being said, you an tell it’s a good day when all the dogs are out with big smiles instead of pet sweaters. Running in the park, wind in their hair – Chicago summer pups are really living their best lives.

summertime in Chicago

Honoring Gordo with a photo from him soaking up the sun on Fourth of July a few years back. I know he would’ve freakin’ loved summertime in this city.

Now, I’m hoping I totally didn’t just jinx us with all this talk! What are the key signs of summer where you live??

Days By Day

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In my book, everyday is Gordo’s day, but since this past Wednesday was National Dog Day, how could I end the week without giving some love to my favorite pup back in the Lonestar State??

Gordo is a Westie. My mom, sister, and I originally wanted to name him Oreo, but my dad claimed if he was buying us this dog, he got to name him. So Gordo it was. People sometimes say “Wait why Gordo? Is he fat?” – Gordo means fat boy in Spanish haha – but Gordo is quite the opposite.

Totally unaware Annika is about to crack an Easter confetti egg on him...

Totally unaware Annika is about to crack an Easter confetti egg on him…

FaceTime with my BFF.

FaceTime with my BFF.

Gordo loves watching TV, like before him I had never seen another dog watch like he does, and I still haven’t. Whenever basketball is on, he will sit at the edge of the rug in front of the TV and move his head back and forth, following the ball. Whenever House Hunters or COPS is on, he can immediately tell because of the theme songs, and comes dashing and barking from the other room to eagerly sit beside us. Some of his favorite movies are The Lord of The Ring trilogy and Jurassic Park.

Watching TV alone and totally content.

Watching TV alone and totally content.

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Gordo loves bananas, carrots, cheese, and peanut butter to an extreme. He is the best cuddlier and most attentive listener. Whether we are leaving him for a few hours to run an errand, or days for a trip, the goodbyes are always filled with lots of hugs and reassurance and treats. He can be a little bit of a diva and hand you the occasional sass, so he fits right in with the family.

The way Gordo greets us every time like he hasn’t seen us in a full ten years is the best feeling. The way he follows my mom around the house, like they are a couple of magnets that can’t be separated, is just about the sweetest thing. He will stare you down if you are eating vanilla ice cream until you give him a lick. He knows when everyone wants to just chill, and when he can get someone to run around the house and play hide and seek. He is cooperative when we want to give him new hairdos like below.

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So we are probably obsessed with Gordo to a potentially unhealthy level, but I feel like most dog owners are the same way. The dogs deserve it. They keep us sane and healthier and happier. So, Happy Belated National Dog Day Gordo, we love you pup!

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One of my new favorite pieces of art to go up in my room.

One of my new favorite pieces of art to go up in my room.

Today marks Day 3 back in the wonderful Lone Star State. It has been good to be home with no schedule and lots of doggy snuggles. I miss Chicago terribly, but knowing there is the potential that I’ll return in a year made leaving a little easier! And thanks to Snapchat of course, the roomies and I can keep up the ridiculousness.

I am so thankful my mom came to help move me out. We got to have a great dinner celebrating a successful summer and she was such a help in wrapping up things at the apartment. Of course, we made everything fun – from trying to fit all my belongings into five suitcases to arriving early at the gate and somehow being last to board the plane. Anne and Becca couldn’t help but notice and giggle at how similar we are, and I have no complaints about that! I’m a lucky lady to have a woman like her by my side always.

Proof we are the same person.

Proof we are the same person.

First stop off the plane? Tex-Mex at Pappasitos. Real QUESO. Finally. And so many fajitas and tortillas. I was in Heaven and so happy to be sitting around a table, laughing at stories and catching my family up on the last few days of my time in the city.

YUUUMMM. FINALLY.

YUUUMMM. FINALLY.

How Gordo and I spent our first night reunited.

How Gordo and I spent our first night reunited.

The rest of my time so far has been so low key, just how I’d hoped. A short coffee visit with a lovely friend, lots of naps, House Hunters marathons, and tummy scratches for Gordo. I missed that cute pup a whole lot.

Tomorrow mom and I travel again. This time the trek will be the seven hour drive to Rio Grande City in South Texas to visit my sweet grandparents. Not looking forward to the even higher temperatures, but excited to spend time with two of the greatest people in the world.

Keeping this blog over the summer has been one of the coolest things I have ever done for myself. I am so glad I stuck to it and happy others were able to enjoy my adventures with me! All the support and visitors to my little space on the web have really meant so much. With the next couple weeks being the last of summer and then a hectic fall semester on deck, I know that even making the three posts a week goal I had for these past couple months will be challenging. That being said, I look forward to posting as regularly as possible still with my schedule, which I guess will be something I figure out along the way. There’s still so much in Austin I want to document and share so I’m looking forward to it!

Happy Monday everyone! Hope this week brings relaxation and time with loved ones.

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