Four for the Fourth

Ah, the unparalleled joy that is the four day weekend. I had a terrifying moment on Wednesday when, after celebrating to myself after I walked out of the office, I realized just how thrilled I was at the prospect of having four days to do with as I pleased. I am concerned I’m continuing to become more and more of an adult with each passing day, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Anyway, onto happier things! The Fourth of July was picture perfect in Chicago this year: a nice change from last year’s melt-inducing heat. As soon as I refueled after my run, I packed my bag, drowned myself in sunscreen, and headed to the beach!


Bliss. Pure bliss. I went to Montrose Beach, which I’m hesitant to blog about for fear that I’m revealing Chicago’s best kept secret. I obviously wasn’t the only person at the beach, but it wasn’t crowded by any means, even with a huge chunk of the beach sectioned off for Wavefront, an EDM festival that took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


I only stuck around the beach for a couple of hours (so as to avoid the always exfoliating song and dance of reapplying sunscreen while surrounded by sand. Not my favorite practice.), but I didn’t leave before dipping my toes in Lake Michigan.


Which was disturbingly black, yes, but it had to be done. Though I’ve been to the lake several times on its east side, I don’t think I’ve ever been in the water on the west side, so I had to do the requisite stand-in-the-water-for-thirty-seconds-and-call-it-good.

When I got home from the beach, it was time to get to work on my holiday “cook in.” I hosted a friend from college and her brother for a traditional Fourth of July meal, complete with chicken hot dogs, chips and salsa, corn on the cob, and red, white, and blue fruit salad (plus a red and blue fruit salad for my allergic-to-bananas roommate). My crowning achievement, however, were my patriotic cupcakes, courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction.


After making her vanilla cupcakes and following her tie dye instructions (which, yes, food coloring, chemicals, blah blah blah. It’s a holiday, people. Worth it.), I frosted the cupcakes with her vanilla frosting (only used half the recipe, and it made more than enough for my purposes) and decorated them with blueberries and strawberries like such:


Yay America!

After feasting, the four of us returned to Montrose (this time the Harbor instead of the Beach) to watch fireworks. Again, best kept secret in Chicago. Montrose wasn’t crowded at all and you could see the fireworks from Navy Pier in addition to ones people set off at North Ave.-ish. Plus the view of the skyline is just out of control beautiful.


I filled my Friday with errands, which I promise was way more fun than it sounds. I got a haircut and chopped somewhere between three and four inches off my hair, I did so much grocery shopping, I went thrifting (?? I’m sorry, who am I ? Since when do I thrift shop? Or clothes shop just for fun in general? I scored a J. Crew tank for $8.50, though!), and most importantly, IΒ finallyΒ went to Oberweis, where I got birthday cake in a chocolate dipped sprinkle cone.


Go big or go home, eh? I legitimately cannot remember the last time I had real ice cream, so I figured I deserved to go all out.

On Saturday I Zumbad and went to Taste of Lakeview, as I mentioned yesterday, and then decided I had had quite enough activity for a four day weekend, thank you, and essentially sat on the computer doing little of value (well, I suppose I wrote this blog post, which may have value) for the rest of the weekend. All in all, it was the perfect balance of doing a lot of great things and relaxing, and can you really ask for more out of your four day weekend? I think not.

What did you do for the Fourth?
Do you often get four day weekends?Β 
Pretty sure my last real one was for Thanksgiving, although I did take a lot of time off around Christmas. That was more like a 12 day weekend though haha.

25 thoughts on “Four for the Fourth

  1. There’s only one way to describe your weekend. Perfection. I got birthday cake ice cream in a waffle cone too! Twins separated at birth? I think yes. Getting haircuts are one of my favorite forms of pampering. Oh and thrifting, I started bopping along to thrift shop in my head. Can never get enough macklemore. You just can’t. Basically your weekend was ideal and I’m still insanely jealous of this Zumba shindig because I love Zumba more than words can describe. Almost as much as I love macklemore.

    • No way! Twinzies for sure. SO GOOD, right? Noms. I love getting haircuts, too! I have a lot of trouble with buildup in my hair from hard water in my apartment, but when I get it cut and cleaned it’s sooooo soft and I’m just obsessed (I also hate having to wash my hair after a haircut and making the softness go away 😦 ). And that is some serious Zumba love. I think I would’ve loved it a lot more if I hadn’t run nine miles beforehand, but it was still a ton of fun!

  2. Food coloring, chemicals, blah blah blah absolutely made my day. I’m still cracking up from that since I have a picture of you saying that in my head (strange i know since i have no idea what your voice sounds like) and it’s very entertaining πŸ˜› i completely agree with you about it being a holiday and think your cupcakes look beautiful πŸ™‚ have a great tuesday girl!

  3. Allergic to bananas??!– the horror! I seriously eat 1-2 bananas a day and I can’t imagine being allergic!

    Your Oberweiss cone looks fabulous. I haven’t been in Chicago but they put one in my hometown and Ian loves going there for their shakes.

    I need to check out Montrose beach, I promise not to tell anyone else about it though ;).

    • Tell me about it! I think the even worst part is that she can never eat anything with bananas in them! Those berry bars I brought to book club? Out. Any banana bread, banana muffins, etc.? Out. Tragedy.

      As long as you promise to keep Montrose a secret, you’re welcome to visit πŸ™‚

  4. What an awesome time!!! I have never been on any of the Chicago beaches, but it seems it would be important to find one that is not too crowded!

    Our fourth was low key then we had guests in town until Monday. So I took a five day weekend and LOVED it. I have quite a few four day weekends, because I get every other Friday off and sometimes that links up with a holiday… or I take the Monday off. πŸ™‚

  5. well besides wanting that ice cream and sprinkles more than life itself, I have to say that I am pretty jealous of the beach fourth you had. I miss the tradition of going to the beach each fourth of july with my family. I really really do

  6. If you like Montrose beach, go up a couple miles to Hollywood beach! Cleaner and nicer!
    I just was at Oberweis the other week! yum yum!!
    4th was my birthday so I spent the entire day doing what I can never do… absolutely NOTHING. Read, netflix, video games lol

    • Oooh, I should check that beach out sometime. I didn’t find Montrose to be that dirty (well, except for the water, I suppose), so if Hollywood is even cleaner it must be fantastic!

      Ahhh how cool that your birthday is the 4th! You always get the day off AND fireworks for your birthday! Nice. Sounds like you celebrated excellently πŸ™‚

  7. Your weekend looks awesome! Epic!!
    I still have never been to any of the Chicago beaches (unless visiting after Ragnar counts, but I don’t think so) so I need to go this summer! I spent my long weekend in Iowa eating way too many tootsie rolls, riding my bike lots of miles, and having a blast in general.

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