The subtitle to these posts about Chicago could really be the time I really fell head-over-heels in love with Chicago. I have always enjoyed my time in Chicago, but this time I REALLY enjoyed it. While I spent part of the time vacationing there, I also worked part of the week (and have worked there about 4-5 times) so I feel like I have a somewhat realistic impression of what life in Chicago would be like - or as good of an impression as you can have while not actually living there! We will see what the future holds, but I would be happy if it included a Minneapolis OR Chicago zip code.
Anyways, back to the post at hand. On Saturday morning we woke up and headed up to the Lakeview area to meet up with Nora & her husband, and a bunch of other bloggers! I had not seen Nora since her wedding last October so we were so overdue for some face time! I am really glad she was able to detour into the city on the way home from her vacation so I could see her in person.
|So happy to be reunited!|
|All the bloggers/tweeters that came to breakfast! I was so busy catching up with Nora, I didn't get as much of a chance to talk to the others as I would have liked!|
|Chicago is so pretty!|
After our afternoon of adventures, we met up with Lauren and headed up to Nilsa's condo as she was kind enough to host us for some pre-marathon carb loading! It was so fun to have a low key night in - and a homecooked meal which is something I especially appreciated after my string of meals out. Nilsa and her husband have a soon-to-be-3-year old son, Gavin. I sadly do not have any pictures to share, but it was definitely a very fun and delicious night. They even had salted caramel GF cupcakes which were divine. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and went to bed fairly early.
Sunday morning - race day - quickly came. I got up with the girls and we snapped a photo together before they headed off to the starting corrals.
The morning of the race was another tough morning for me. I was excited for my friends, but sad that I was not going to be running the race with them. I let myself experience those feelings of sadness but quickly cheered myself up a bit by picking up a PSL - with whip - before heading out to meet up with Nilsa, my spectating partner in crime.
|It was such a beautiful morning. I had tear-stained cheeks, but a smile on my face as I headed up to the 10 mile mark|
After seeing everyone at mile 10, Nilsa and I hopped onto the Divvy bikes and biked down to mile 15 - I left her there and proceeded onto mile 20 as she was hoping to meet up with Amber to run miles 15-20 with her (which sadly didn't end up working out as we just missed Amber).
|I heart the divvy bike system - such a great and inexpensive way to get around!|
Amber was maybe 10 minutes behind her so I did not have to wait long, and she was also smiling and in good spirits!
The rest of Sunday was fairly low key. We enjoyed some Garrett's popcorn (I love that stuff!) and then went to a pizza place for dinner that served Chicago-style deep dish pizza - and also had a GF option for me! Yea!
Of course, Monday morning came too fast, which meant I had to say my good byes to Amber and Anais. I walked to the train station and snapped one last photo of Chicago.
I know that there is a widely held belief that you should be able to be happy anywhere, but I truly believe that there are some cities where it's easier to be happy. Chicago is one of those cities for me. I love that it's a large city with a great public transit system and a tangible buzz, but it also has great outdoor spaces and access to water. Every time I visit Chicago, it sort of feels like coming home - which is a feeling I never have had and honestly never will have about Charlotte. That's not a knock against Charlotte - it's knowing who I am and what I value in a city. And I certainly value what Chicago has to offer.
Are there other cities you visit that you feel you could call home? Besides Minneapolis, I also feel like I could call Chicago, New York, and Paris home as they all have a feeling of 'rightness' when I visit them. Of that list, the only places I would realistically call home are Minneapolis and Chicago as I know I am meant to live in the Midwest.