Relax, Chicago

The city is big and beautiful, action packed and exciting. While we often find solace in our homes after a busy day at work it can still be tough to find a spot where peace and quiet is actually an option. No matter where we live in Chicago, we're just a few blocks away from a major thoroughfare where the El roars overhead; or the air-brakes and BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP of a bus are disrupting our quiet time. Sirens echo off of buildings at any time of day and not to mention our neighbors who at some point just need to stop it.

We've got a number of parks, thanks to an excellent parks and recreation system but those too can prove to be just as tough to enjoy peacefully with busy roads, sports leagues and your common, screaming young-in. So where's a place to find some quiet, throw up a hammock, read a book or romance your hot date? 

The lakefront, between Belmont Harbor and Diversey Harbor, that's where. I often find peace along the large concrete steps where noise can only be shared from one direction.

Without any structures within several blocks from just one direction (the west), noise can't echo and can only die in the eastbound winds towards the lake. Cyclists and other passersby seem to blend in to the scene as they're there for similar reasons and if your're up front for the lake's serenade you'll never even know a couple of people had passed. 

The lakefront offers one-of-a-kind views which provide pastel-filled sunsets, boats sailing in the distance, a calm breeze and the wishy-washy-splash-blurp that mysteriously soothe us into a state of relaxation.

Bring a book, bring a friend and connect with the natural beauty.

See you out there,



Day Trip Pilot

Best. Saturday. Ever.

What's even better is that we'll get to repeat this Saturday any time we want and it doesn't have to be a Saturday which would plainly make this the best. day. ever.

As you may or may not know Adventures Accessed has day trips, one of which takes groups on a backwoods horseback ride through some of Michigan's finest state forest and follows up with a tour of Bell's Brewery, beer flights and dinner. Well last Saturday I ran through the punches of this trip, bringing months of planning and relationship building into action. It paid off.

I picked up a few friends in The Blue Whale for the ride up to  Michigan, which was gorgeous. Everything went swimmingly at the ranch and everyone had a relaxing ride on horseback. We rode for a while and worked up a deep thirst along with an appetite that could only be satiated by Bell's beer. A quick 50 minute drive (plenty of time for my pals to nap) and we are standing in this grand facility where magic happens.

After the tour we hit up their Eccentric Cafe and General Store for beer and food and we can safely say the grub is serious. Do I need to make mention of the beer?

I think the best part was watching everyone have a great time. It made me think to what future groups this trip will bring, who will make new friends via horseback riding and brew touring, will this be a trip that plays host to celebrations? Whatever this trip brings down the road I'll just be happy to have been a part of it.

The Maiden Post

Enjoy the original musings of Adventures Accessed's happiest camper (and founder), Aaron. Expect to see updates, thoughts, poor jokes and enthusiasm in this project to connect Chicago with the outdoors.

Whew, now that the intro is done I can finally speak my mind and if I had to say one thing at all, well it'd probably be what he (I) said above (see? poor joke). Really though, I'm absolutely thrilled to share the adventures and good times ahead and even more excited to meet new people and to try new things.  

I've got one suggestion for the spring that you may help you appreciate the season and what it can do for us visually. As you walk around the city, the trees are dotted with green, red or white specs called buds. They don't look like much as you walk by but if you can get close enough, I encourage you to go face to face with one of these buds and see what intricacies they hold. It could be the start of a magnificent flower on the neighbors catalpa or a bright green cluster of leaves waiting to unfurl on one of the many maples. Whatever tree or shrub or plant it is, if it's budding I promise you'll see something you've never seen before, you just need to make the effort to see for yourself.