Sunday, June 5, 2011

SunCHIne and Summertime: Festivals, Brew Tours and GRAETERS!

Finally. After last week's DISASTROUS weather (I mean, how can you ring in summertime with 57 degrees, gloom doom clouds, and torrential DOWNPOURS? Wtf- I totally KNOW!), I had pretty much given up hope on summertime in Chicago.

I love giving up hope. You can never really be disappointed, if so. Man, talk about glass-half-full kinda thinking at its FINEST. It's a gift, really.

Irony of ironies, as soon as I had completely written off summertime in Chicago this year... well, the weather somehow magically skyrocketed 40 degrees in a 24 hour time period (no joke- it was in the 50s on Sunday, 90s on Monday... again, wtf, I know)... and the sun finally decided to grace us with her magical rays... ALL WEEK LONG!!!!lkjasldkfjlds!

Now, summertime in Chicago is pretty well-known as an unbeatable kinda wonderland. The city really just comes ALIVE... the streets are suddenly flowing with people coming out of hibernation, street festivals are all OVER the place, and everyone just seems that darn happier. Sigh. I love this place. Can you tell at all? ;)

This first summer weekend (that actually FELT like summer) was no exception. From MayFest in Lincoln Square (a German summertime festival? Sigh. Pitter patter goes my heart.) to outdoor drinks at Zella's to a Goose Island brew tour... the Chicago Tribune's LitFest (where I attended a social media lecture... MAN, I can just listen/talk/discuss the wonders and glories of social media FOREVER, really)...

Well... a perfect inaugural summertime weekend it has been.

And yet. All I want to focus this blog entry on is my recent discovery that...

Weeeeee!!!! My neighborhood grocery store now carries... GRAETERS ICE CREAM Lfdflkjsdklj!

Sweet heavens. I wish each and every one of you had been there to see my jaw fall to the ground and my heart do some SERIOUS pitter pattering when I walked by my lovely little neighborhood grocery store earlier.

Pandemonium, at its finest, if you will. Internal pandemonium, that is (I mean, I do have SOME discretion!).

If you are from Cincinnati, you will clearly understand why this news is cause for such jubilee. If you are not from Cincinnati... well, get ready. Because you are totally about to hear ALL about how/why this is cause for such merriment/jubilee/sunshine - you know, all things "sunCHIne and summertime". (Like that? I thought of it all on my own, thank you very much.)

Okay, so Graeters is this ice cream shop that has its roots in the beloved 'Nati. GOD, it is the best thing ever. I'm not the biggest ice cream fan, but that rule is TOTALLY null and void when it comes to Graeters. I mean, it's just so rich and creamy and flavorful and... well, all that is good and right in the world today.

Okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away.

Nah. I never get carried away. (Haha) It is just that good.

AND it was on SALE?!?!?!

Yeah, okay, I know. $3.99 for a dinky pint of ice cream? A little steep for my frugal little self.

But seriously- you just need to taste it. Then, and only then, will you wholly and completely understand why this thing is worth every single penny. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. GOD, it's taking some serious willpower to not just waltz on over to my freezer right now for a little spoonful (or bowlful.. potayto, potahto, really) at this very moment.

While their signature flavor is Black Raspberry Chip, you really just can't go wrong with anything you get there. And the best part about Graeters is, while they have skyrocketed in popularity (they are TOTALLY known nationwide... I'm beaming in pride, naturally), they still maintain their down-home charm. It's totally one of its more endearing qualities, if you will. Whenever I go home, you better believe this is one of my pit stops... in addition to Skyline... LaRosas... UDF... well, okay, so kill me. It's not my problem that Cincinnati has some darn good food.

Sooo... summertime festivals? Summertime drinks? SunCHIne? I'm all about them- I mean, don't get me wrong. But they simply don't hold a candle to... well, hometown ice cream, apparently. What can I say? I'm a down-home gal at heart.

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