These shoes were made for walking

Taken on a warm, cloudy January night

Before we were socked by the monster snowstorm on the way home Sunday, we had a couple of very nice, warmish days during our stay in Chicago. It made walking around much more fun. And that’s basically what Scott and I do on our visits. We walk. Everywhere. So much so this trip that my calves were killing me by Sunday. Which tells me that our suburban existence here is curbing my walking habit and that I need to get out there more.

When I lived in the city, I had to walk to get anywhere really. It was five blocks to the grocery store. Nine blocks to the gym. Eight to ten blocks to the el, depending on which stop I took. And then another six to get to my office. Just going to work every day I logged 28 blocks of walking.

Now I walk from my front door to my car, turn the key and go where I need to. I’ve even gotten a bit whimpy about walking the dogs to the park, which is only six blocks away. I use the treadmill in our basement quite a bit, but it’s pretty sobering to realize how much my lifestyle has changed.

Friday, for example, we walked to breakfast four blocks from our hotel. Then another two blocks to the subway. We got off at Harrison and walked to The Field Museum from there (15-20 blocks)*. Then we walked all the way back from the museum to Hubbard Street. (A lot more blocks!) Sat at Andy’s for an hour for lunch and music. Then walked to the Merchandise Mart, caught the el and rode in a big ol’ circle to get to the Blue Line and took that to Damen. Walked down Milwaukee about 10 blocks, then back up, then along North Avenue all the way to Halsted (another 20-plus bocks).

Then we ambled up Halsted to Lincoln (13 blocks) to the Red Lion (our favorite place!) for dinner and drinks. Then we walked up Lincoln to Southport, headed north on Southport to our old neighborhood for coffee at Avanti (23 blocks), then made our way back to the Red Line at Addison (10 blocks) and headed to our hotel. I have to map that somewhere to figure out the mileage. But it was a lot.

I guess I never even thought about it when we were making our way around. It was just second nature to leave the apartment and walk somewhere. For dinner, groceries, movies, out with friends. Now we’re so tied to our cars. Wherever we go involves getting in and driving. I think I’m going to have to do something about that. It’s just too bad that I came to this realization when it’s 15 degrees outside.

*Number of blocks are estimated based on a fuzzy memory and a map of Chicago.