Thursday, March 20, 2014

Want a beach body? It's time to "spring" into action!

At long last!  Spring is upon us!

*happy dance*

We here at Ray’s Bucktown B&B are overjoyed that there is no more snow to shovel, we can bicycle to work again, and that there are even little green buds popping up in our garden!  Good-bye winter – we won’t miss you. 

If you’re anything like this chica, when temperatures finally hit 50 degrees, you rifled through your closets and drawers pulling out your wrinkled spring clothes that haven’t seen the light of day in months. 

But wait.  Hold the phone.

This top doesn’t fit quite like it did last summer!  And this cute dress seems to have...shrunk!  You mean to tell me that while I was hibernating through the Arctic Vortex with warm heavy comfort foods that I gained weight?  Oh the humanity!!!!

Whelp, time to get back out there and sweat off those pounds I *mysteriously* gained before summer gets here!  Good thing Chicago is one of the most fitness-friendly cities out there!  Pretty much anything you want to do is available!  Here are just a few of the many many ways to get yourself in shape this spring!

Chicago Lakefront Path A favorite spot for runners, walkers, bikers and inline skaters alike.  This beautiful path runs along the lakeshore from Ardmore to South Shore Drive – that’s a whopping 18.5 miles of trail!  And it’s so much more than just a trail – there are volleyball courts, beaches, tennis courts and soccer fields.  The path will take you past several Chicago landmarks too including the Nature Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Navy Pier. 

Have you always had a deep desire to be able to put your foot behind your head?  If so, perhaps a calming yoga class is your forte.  Moksha Yoga has several locations throughout the city, including one only 7 blocks from Ray’s B&B!  And if you’re only in town for a short while, they offer 1-hour classes for only $13. 

Push FitnessBootcamp Cardio & Strength Training
Are you ready to do some serious sweating?  Does your workout feel incomplete if you don’t shout at a punching bag?  Push Fitness Bootcamp Cardio & Strength Training is your answer.  Run by a mother-daughter duo, these ladies are sure to get your body moving!  Tae bo, kickboxing, bootcamp and interval training classes will send you home with some seriously sore muscles.  Maybe come on back to Ray’s Bucktown B&B and relax in the steam room!  $15 for a drop-in.

Mixed Motion Art
Can’t stop your feet from tapping when a catchy tune comes on?  Maybe a dance class is more up your alley.  Mixed Motion Art  offers Zumba, ballet, mambo, chambo (?) and something called Shake IT!  I’m not sure what it entails, but it sounds awfully fun!  Single classes run from $12-$17.

And finally, for the most ultimate form of exercise that has ever existed, that is also totally free, watch this video.

The Last of the Season's Inside Suggestions

Happy Spring!  Forgetting that it snowed this morning, we are looking forward to what will hopefully be a quick-thaw in the coming weeks.  While it's still a little nippy and unpredictable outside though, we suggest taking up one of those "so geeky it's cool" pastimes and check out Chicago's growing pinball scene.  If you happen to be, or are related to, a cool Logan Square resident this will all be old news, but we can't all be as hip as you now can we?

Emporium Arcade Bar

Emporium Arcade Bar - This is probably the most well-known place to grab some (somewhat expensive) beers, and play some pinball and other arcade-style offerings.  Most pinball machines are towards the back but really you only need to go 10 feet inside the entrance to get to the best game -
Tapper - it's a game where you serve people beer, while you're drinking beer.  Everything in life comes first circle.  Full Disclosure:  we heard they expanded and we haven't been since, so let us know how the new space is if you visit!  Rumor has it they now have a space for live music. Location: Near the Damen Blue Line el stop at 1366 N Milwaukee.

Logan Arcade

Logan Arcade - Formerly Logan Hardware - which was a record store with free arcade in back which this particular manager has spent countless hours watching her record-buying-arcade-playing-i'm-not-a-hipster-i'm-just-"broke" friends buy records of bands she's never heard of and play games based on comicbook characters she's never read about.  Anyway Logan Hardware the record store has moved down the street and Logan Arcade the Arcade/Bar has set up shop with over 40 video and 25 pinball games, and 20 beers on tap.  Manager may be able to get behind it now that they serve beer! Location: 2410 W Fullerton - really close to Ray's!

Headquarters Beercade

Headquarters Beercade - Your Lakeview option if you don't feel like travelling over to the Blue Line side of town. A good bet, but stay away on weekends if you don't like mixing bros and pinball. Location: off of the Diversey Brown line stop on the edge of Lincoln Park / Lakeview - 2833 N Sheffield.

NOTE: As far as we know, none of these venues serve food (apart from perhaps a bag of chips) so prepare to take a snack break or eat before you go to keep your finger energy up and mind focused!

Interested in an article on Chicago Pinball written by someone who actually got a degree in English and plays pinball? Here's a link to friend Collin Brenann's picks (although what does it say about our friendship that until 5 minutes ago we thought there was only one "L"...)