I loved the ocean on the New Jersey shore. Not just a little bit -- I really really loved it. Actually, I just liked the ocean, but I loved the waves. I loved walking out until the water was just around my shoulders, and then fighting the current in between huge crashing waves that triumphed over me, over and over. If I faced away from them, they picked me up and slammed me off my feet. If I faced into them but tried to hold my ground, they crashed into my face with stinging, stunning force. Mostly, I waited until they were almost upon me and dove into them -- just coursing under the surface, so they would engulf me in shimmering, effervescent surf.
Chicago is lovely, and there's a pretty big lake not so far away, but it's not the ocean.