Chicago is in the middle, both geographically and symbolically. It has the expectations of New York but strives for the fun of Los Angeles. It has both and neither.
Running in the United Kingdom and now on the Isle of Man made me realize why Gore-Tex is put into shoes. Growing up in Colorado, Gore-Tex was usually only in "winter trail running" shoes, which sounds about as much fun as volunteering to be tortured. But on Great Britain, and the Isle of Man, there are these ferocious bogs that are completely camouflaged by high grass. One moment you're trotting along on dry ground and suddenly you're knee-deep in black mud.
Davinia and I spent a week exploring the Isle of Man, a relatively small island state in between Great Britain and Ireland. Her mother and her mom's partner did a fantastic job of showing us around, feeding us (really, really well), and just generally being awesome.
Much like a person on drugs, my mind was consumed by the frozen dairy treat. I could only make barely understandable comments about how fantastic the dessert was in between licks, oblivious to the world around me, losing track of time and space as I became one with the food. Little did I know evil forces were spying from above on my every bite, every movement, and calculating their attack.
Cheddar Gorge is surprisingly similar to a lot of the touristy places in Colorado: the main attraction is nature, which brings a lot of people walking and driving around dumbfounded by the incredible natural beauty, but also lots of sporty folks, drawn in by the nearly endless sport climbing and vast trail system for walking and running.
Running to see places is great in that it combines both exercise with tourism, and one can see sights more in depth from the ground rather than from the second story of a double decker bus. Yes, I do arrive at somewhat crowded places wearing bright synthetic shirts and sweating profusely, but it also creates a nice halo of space around me at all times as most people don't like to touch visibly sweaty people.