Lest my Windy City friends worry, there are a few things I like about Chicago…despite what my last post may have you think. So, in no particular order, I present the top 10 things I actually like about my temporary home:
1. The Food. I love to eat and luckily for me, Chicago has a lot of delicious places to do just that. Seriously. I have a running list called “Places to Eat” on my iPhone and it just. Keeps. Growing! Don’t ask if I have a favorite restaurant. I couldn’t possibly choose. (Okay, if I absolutely had to choose, it’d be Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba in Lincoln Park…best tapas, paella and sangria I’ve had outside of Spain!)
2. The Cupcakes. Need I say more? If you know me and/or follow me on Instagram, you know I love cupcakes. Lucky for me, Chicago has a TON of cupcakeries…and I love them all! Especially the Pumpkin Patch cupcake at Sugar Bliss. That is my fave!!
3. Bacon and Brunch. If there are two things Chicagoans love, it’s bacon and brunch. Sometimes simultaneously. I’ve had bacon waffles at two different places already and loved them both. The waiting in line for brunch, however, I could do without…
4. Lincoln Park Zoo. I love zoos, so it’s no surprise that I immediately took a liking to Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s like a little oasis from the concrete jungle, because sometimes Chicago can be a bit too “city” for me. I like to be surrounded by trees and wild animals. It soothes me. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?!
5. The Shedd Aquarium. Okay, so I’ve got a thing for animals. Sue me. I’ve been here twice now (once for Jazzin’ at the Shedd, where they have live jazz playing throughout the aquarium, complete with fireworks across the lake at Navy Pier)…so romantic!
6. The CTA. Even though I miss driving, I do not, however, miss sitting in rush hour traffic. Enter the Chicago Transit Authority. My daily 40-minute(ish) train ride to and from work also gives me plenty of time to catch up on reading. Bonus!
7. Different neighborhoods. I like this because it reminds me of Baltimore and how every neighborhood has its own distinguishing characteristics. My neighborhood hosted an Apple Fest in September and everyone either had a baby, one on the way, or a puppy. Or, in some cases, they possessed The Trifecta.
8. The Lake. When I moved to Chicago this summer, I was confused when everyone kept referencing the beach. I’d think to myself, That is not an ocean people, it’s a lake. But I do like being close to a body of water, it’s relaxing.
9. The Festivals. You could probably file this under the food category, but Chicago’s festivals are so awesome, they need their own entry. The Taste of Chicago is typical and touristy. I should know, I was one of said tourists two years ago. For “the authentic” Chicago festival experience, you need to visit the neighborhoods. (See #7)
10. Being able to buy wine at Walgreens. Being from Maryland where you have to drive to a liquor store to purchase adult beverages, I didn’t know how convenient it’d be to have alcohol available at supermarkets, convenient stores and Wal-Mart, etc. Need me to pick up a bottle of vino on the way to your potluck? Sure, let me just stop by this City Target right here and get some Barefoot…and some lip balm…and this cute skirt. Oh, are those yoga pants on sale? Eighty dollars later…