Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

After spending hours upon hours hunched over your Anatomy notes, the different lobes of the brain begin to melt together, the cranial nerve pathways become jumbled, and you begin to lose hope that you will be sleeping more than a few hours later that night. A slight whimper of defeat escapes from you as you take yet another swig from your coffee cup.

That might have been a bit dramatic. But sometimes life as an optometry student can be overwhelming. When the going gets tough, you just need to escape and take a little time off for yourself–which is exactly what I did a couple of weekends ago!

I’m not sure if you have heard of it or not, but Chicago has this little thing called Lake Michigan. On days when the sun is shining and you have some time to sneak away from campus, the lake is definitely a prime spot to hit up. Especially because there’s a newly developed lakefront destination right by ICO–31st Street Beach and Harbor. It’s only a 15-minute walk from campus!

You have to believe me when I say that this place is incredible. This is the first year the harbor has been open since its construction, and it currently holds the title for being the greenest in the world. Additionally, the panoramic view of the city from the roof of the harbor is a must-see.

31st Street Harbor

In an effort to spread the word about their location at 31st Street, Chicago Water Sport Rentals invited the ICO bloggers to spend a day playing with their toys. The facility is tucked just around the corner from dock J and rents kayaks, Jet Skis, paddleboards, etc. They even offer discounts if you show them your student ID.

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Bloggers Jenn and Kelly joined me on the lake!

During my visit, I tried out the paddle boards and the jet skis. Maneuvering on the water via paddleboard is super-relaxing. I was tempted to throw out an anchor and take a snooze on the board. On the other hand, riding the Jet Ski gave me a huge adrenaline rush! There’s something special about experiencing the Chicago shoreline while zooming around on a Jet Ski. It’s by far one of the best views of the city I have seen since moving here.

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My visit to the beach concluded with a light supper on the patio at the beach’s only restaurant, Pier 31. The patio comes complete with a live reggae band and a great view of the lake–what more could you ask for?! After three hours on the lake, I felt refreshed, re-energized, and ready to get back to my Anatomy notes. Seriously, check out 31st Street Beach and Harbor for yourself before it gets too chilly outside or your brain explodes from all the information you’re trying to pack inside of it–whichever comes first! I promise you will not be disappointed.