Chicagoans enjoy spring weather

March 31, 2010 4:31:07 PM PDT
As the mercury climbed into the 70s Wednesday, Chicagoans were out soaking in the sun.

You can be sure the beach season has officially arrived in Chicago when you see the reggae colors flying and Papa George camping out with what he calls his beach bum crew.

"I bring out the flags because I love rastafarian. It is our little camp. It is a way to say welcome. Come ask a question, where's the flag from," said Papa George.

George's wife is expecting a baby girl in July and her middle name will be Sol or sun in Spanish.

"She is going to love the beach whether she likes it or not, at least until she is 18, then she can decide," said Nena Ramirez.

Decisions like where to have lunch were a little easier for most Chicagoans. Outside on the sidewalk, of course.

"It's awesome. I'm hoping to get burned. It's gorgeous," said Carly Croll.

"I love summer, I hate winter. I hated winter," said Elena Lander.

"Do you see this giant smile on my face. I mean, who doesn't come outside and just feel better with the sun shining on them?" said Julianna Arquilla.

Some Chicagoans weren't completely convinced the warm weather is here to stay.

"In Chicago, you never know when the weather might drop. I carry this with me just for safety," Chuka Wabmnor.

Wicker Park restaurant owner Letizia Arquilla has made dining as close to being on a Roman holiday as possible because Rome is where she is from.

""When the sun is out and the sky, this kind of light color, you feel you want to be out. You feel happy,"said Arquilla.

The first stretch of almost summer-like weather is good for Arquilla's business, and crazy good for Tara Heibel, owner of Sprout Home. She is preparing for the stampede to come this weekend. She said it's still a little early to do much planting but now is a great time to prune.

"You want to apply the same rule of thumb as far as cutting and pruning these branches. Quarter inch above where the node is that is active. At an angle, with the upside going towards the node. All done!" said Heibel.