Bye Bye Polar Vortex

Theoretically, summer will return to the polar-vortex-battered Northern Hemisphere. What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

I am looking forward to going swimming in the Pittsburgh CitiPools. By swimming I mean, moving around in the water with Ledcat as we discuss world issues. I like to tread water for exercise, but we don’t really swim.  We usually head up to Riverview Park after Ledcat is home from work, spend an hour or so then come home to enjoy dinner and relax. A great week is 3 or 4 trips to the pool. The City charges us $60 for a family pool pass which includes two “guest” passes that we use to invite friends to swim.  Daily admission is $4 so if we swim 8 times each, we’ve made our money back.

Riverview Pool Photo: CitiParks
Riverview Pool Photo: CitiParks

Riverview is a very nice pool. It was recently renovated and draws a lot of “day traffic” from folks holding events at the park. It is rarely overly crowded. Nothing fancy – just a water fountain, bathrooms and plenty of green space to spread out your stuff. Sometimes, we’ll go to Jack Stack pool in Brighton Heights which is smaller, but stays open a few weeks longer than Riverview. Jack Stack has less space to stretch out and parking can be a challenge because of the baseball fields. But we’ve met some nice people there and the guards keep it under control.

The pools open in early June and typically close right before Labor Day. June can be chhiillllyyy so we sometimes wait a few weeks. According to Farmer’s Almanac, here’s what we can expect:

Summer will be hotter and rainier than normal, with the hottest periods in mid- to late June and early to mid-July. Watch for a tropical rain threat in mid-July.

Uh oh. The problem in the summer of 2013 is that it was hot and stormy so the pools often closed and when they reopened, the rain has cooled both the air and the water. So I went swimming one time. Ledcat’s coworker has a son who is a guard at our favorite pool so she can get a day by day description of how warm the water is and if there’s any sense it will close due to the weather. That’s super helpful.

So glad we invested in this Chihuahua sized deck chair.
So glad we invested in this Chihuahua sized deck chair.

The other thing I like to do in the summertime is sit out on our deck and read while the dogs mosey around the yard. Our deck is pretty boring, but we have a nice umbrella with a table set. We have a chaise lounge that Ana uses as her personal throne. The yard is interesting, especially after the grass is cut. Old dogs chasing birds, the occasional strange bug and people walking their own dogs in the field behind our backyard make for entertainment galore.

Simple summer pleasures.


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