Spring Sprung Early

We didn’t have much of a winter this year, but the feeling of spring is no less potent—it just came a bit early. Golfing in February? Tulips and lilacs blooming in March?

On an unseasonably warm February evening, I drove to Delavan with friends to check out Harvest Cafe, the acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant that’s been the destination of more than a few road trips in its short existence. And we weren’t the only out-of-town visitors that evening.

Cars lined the streets of the historic downtown. Next door, at Hometown Wine and Spirits, wine tasters mingled with craft beer advocates and cigar aficionados. We strolled the sidewalk and chatted leisurely, stepping in and out of nearby storefronts. At Morgan Elser’s art gallery, we struck up an immediate friendship with the talented sculptor. Our tour of her studio—with a preview of projects in the works—inspired me to pick up a piece for my own collection. You can learn more about Elser and her work here.

It was a fabulous evening. Our food was delectable, and live music completed the ambiance. Though it was only February, it seemed as if spring was here already; now it's May, and I’m still celebrating! And so, courtesy of tonic.com, we offer “10 Signs That Spring Has Sprung”…

10. No jackets. Take off your coat and show off your new spring fashions!
9. Heavenly aromas. Flowers, freshly-cut grass and the smoke of backyard barbeques wafting through the air… Turn to page 18 for more on this delicate art.
8. Walking more slowly. We’re outside again and smelling the roses! It’s time for a stroll… Consider this year’s Garden Walk on June 14th.
7. Birds. Our feathered friends are everywhere, chirping and tweeting away. But if you keep koi in your backyard, watch out for blue herons!
6. Dropping five pounds. Lighter foods in warm weather + more time
outdoors = activity over inertia.
5. Your body feels better. A little less weight, a little more sunlight,
a lot more relaxed. 
4. Getting more done. As the days get longer, there seems to be more time…
3. Music. The songbirds are singing, and so are children in the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza, weekdays through May 25th…see springcelebration.org.
2. Buds are budding. Take a walk outside, remember that spring is a time for new beginnings, and…
1. Love is in the air. For all of the above reasons… Enjoy the season. a&s