Hi this is Leslie Harris, and the beach is my happy place.
Now if I could be anywhere in the world, I would be on Delray Beach in Florida, which is where my mom lived. I have so many happy memories of being there with my mom and my kids. We would go to visit her at least once a year, and I loved it as much and possibly even more than the kids did.
I used to live near Chicago’s lakefront, before I was married. I don’t know why, but I never really made it to the beach very often. I really liked driving on Lake Shore Drive and seeing the lake, and living that close. Maybe that’s why I appreciate it even more now.
Last Wednesday, I went to the 31st Street beach, which is one of the newer beaches in Chicago. It’s a small, but pretty beach, and they are doing some prairie restoration. (LOOK at how happy I was to be there!) They also have a beach house with restrooms and a burger joint. There are even some parking spaces right off of Lake Shore Drive, but if you can’t find a spot there, there are some more on the other side of the Drive.
I feel really grateful that we live so close to the lake. I know sometimes it feels like it’s far, but I only realized a few years ago that there are many places in the country or you can’t drive to the beach, not even to a lake.
The last year has been hard, with the pandemic, the loss of my mom and a bunch of other personal stuff, so I spent a lot of time at the beach in Evanston last summer. It took me about an hour to get there, but it was so good for my soul, and the Chicago beaches were closed.
Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, and the end of the pandemic is in sight, the Chicago beaches are officially open. While you will pay for parking, Chicago beaches are still 100% free, and you can bring a picnic lunch.
I highly recommend treating yourself to a day at the beach. You’ll be glad you did.