Summer's longest day

Trip Start Apr 15, 2003
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Saturday, June 21, 2003

With the summer solstice upon us, we thought it would be timely to talk about the differences in the day's timing here. The first thing we noticed is that is stays light VERY late. At the beginning of April when Melanie moved here, it was light until 9:00 at night. In Chicago, that's about as late as the sun is up in the middle of the summer. Now that we are at the longest day of the year, it stays light until after 11:00 at night! This has several implications. One is that we always think it is earlier than it really is. We're always surprised when we learn that 10:00 has rolled around and we're just finishing dinner and it's still light out.

We also contribute this as a cause for everything being on a later schedule here. Stores and museums open later - usually at 10:00. The markets don't open until 8:30 or later and are not crowded until around 11. If we go to the store before noon, it will be reasonably empty. After noon, everything gets crowded. People come to work later and stay later. And finally, it is very common that weekend social events will START at 10:00 and then into the wee hours of the morning. We had a friend over for dinner one night and he got a call at 10:30 from somebody wanting to know if he wanted to go to a party at 11.

Right now we're loving all of the sunlight. It's wonderful to be able to go for a bike ride at 9:00 and still be able to see everything. Also, we know that in the winter we'll be dealing with exactly the opposite - when the sun doesn't come up until 9:30 and goes down at 3:30!
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