Yes, it may be February 20th, but spring is in the air. Today I ventured downtown with only a T-shirt on, and still managed to work up the slightest of sweats. Of course, everyone else I saw was sporting sweaters.
For those of you surviving winter in the still-frozen north, I really do not mean to rub this in your face. Really, it's my way of spreading hope. After all, if spring is finally making an appearance here, then sooner (as opposed to later) it's bound to head north. If we were still freezing, it would mean that you all would be freezing for that much longer. That's all.
Yesterday, Clara and I celebrated our freedom from freezing by going to the Venustiano Carranza Park, about a 10 minute walk from our house. I think it's actually closer than walking downtown, but the sidewalks are not at all stroller friendly and, in order to get into the park from the entrance on my street, it's necessary to climb about 100 stairs--give or take a few. But we busted out the baby carrier and conquered the stairs, grateful to spend time outside after being confined indoors.
The Parque Venustiano Carranza is situated on top of quite a tall hill on the south side of the city. The first time I went there, my friend Chris and I had just walked to the Aurrera on Echeverria from my house, were getting hot, tired, and sweaty, so in huge need of a break. We plopped down on a picnic bench at the park, gloried in the breeze fanning our faces, and promptly froze our fannies off. It's ALWAYS windy. On hot days, the park makes for a wonderful place to cool off. But on cold days, the breeze can be rather torturous. Yesterday was an exhilarating mix of skin-warming sun and fresh air.
On the way over, Clara had fallen asleep in the baby carrier. After the 100+ stairs with her additional 8 kilos on my already weak back, I risked waking her up in order to sit down. Once wide awake, I spread a blanket on a patch of grass that I found and almost immediately a trio of middle school girls flocked to us, ready to flirt with Clara. They were fun to talk with, asking questions here and there. I could tell they were often searching for something new to ask, so as not to be rude and silent. Since they were making such an effort, I did my best to improve my social skills and ask them questions, too. All too often, I lapse into contented silence, which I realize may not be so comfortable for others. [My apologies if you've been on the uncomfortable end of my silences--not intentional!]
Finally, the breeziness did get to us, and we packed up, headed down the stairs, and on home. As long as this weather holds, perhaps we'll have to have a picnic next week!
For those of you stuck in the snow--you're always welcome to visit!
Photo captions: A great view of the soccer field. Random kids balancing on a fence. Dancing statues at the park's entrance. The view from the top. [Sorry that the captions as scattered about. Blogger doesn't make it easy to line up photos and captions.]