Whoever coined the phrase "like a walk in the park" must have had this past weekend in mind. One week removed from snow, we had one of those rush-the-season weekends that make you think summer's right around the corner.
With the warm temperatures and sun shining bright, it's no surprise that folks flocked to the parks. It was hard to tell who was having more fun - the kids playing on the swings or people like me taking it all in.
There's something about the energy at a park, especially on the heels of bad weather, that gets your blood pumping. Whether it's kids playing, adults walking or dogs lounging, there's a feeling of freedom at the park that only comes from not being at school, work or in a kennel.
And the park is truly a democratic entity. It's first come, first served on the swings and see-saws. It doesn't take a fancy reservation to use one of the grills or picnic tables, and you don't have to worry about toll lanes on the walking paths. It's one of the few places in the world you can go for an enjoyable afternoon without having to bring your ATM card.
To that point: people watching is an activity that fits all budgets, and it's another entertaining sidelight at the park. And dog watching too. You'll see all kinds, including one I saw last weekend that appeared to be the George Wendt of black labs. And if you listened closely, you could hear his owner telling the story of how she rescued him after he was abandoned.
While the dog in question didn't look to have missed many meals, there are other animals at the park who are also well fed. I was at Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville, so those of you familiar with it know I'm talking about the ducks and geese that live there.
These fowl are so used to being fed by humans that they all but overrun you as you walk by. They're not my favorite, but hey, the park is open to everyone. Just be sure not to leave your plate unguarded when they're around.
The ducks might be a little more lonely this weekend. The forecast doesn't look so good - rain is on the way. But when we get award-winning weather to go with our award-winning system, a walk in the park is never a bad way to spend a day.
E-mail Todd Cline at email@example.com. His column appears online on Tuesdays and in Wednesday's print edition.