Although we’re not leaving for another 9 days, we’ll be heading to St. Louis for most of the next week, so now seemed as good of a time as any to say goodbye to the city in which we spent the previous 8 years. We’ve had some good times together. Just a few months after we moved in, the White Sox won their first World Series in 88 years, and we’ve always appreciated that housewarming present. The ensuing parade wasn’t the only parade that the city threw us, either, as we were treated to two more in 2010 and 2013 (wait, those were for the Blackhawks and not us? I’ll take your word for it, I guess…).
We’ve enjoyed more than sports success here, too. Anna relaunched her sales and nonprofit/fundraising careers here, and I launched my legal career at Loyola. How we managed to maintain these careers between visits to Finley Dunne’s remains a mystery. We learned to navigate the public transit system and, lately, the bike paths like locals and still marvel about how easy Chicago is to navigate for being a major metropolitan area.
Most importantly, Chicago has been home to many of our best friends, people who we will miss more than just about anything else as we head out for our adventure. Chicago’s reputation as a welcoming, friendly city is well-earned and underestimated, if anything. You would be hard pressed to find a city with more people offering help to a tourist lugging around two suitcases and a look of wide-eyed confusion (NOTE: we’re taking recommendations for places like this on our itinerary).
We will miss you, Chicago. We’ll miss your incomparable trifecta (lake, park, skyline) of civic beauty as you drive north on Lake Shore Drive between Grant Park and Lake Michigan. We’ll miss your hot dogs (I don’t even want to hear about New York – there’s no comparison), your cupcake shops and your burger joints (bless you Kuma’s Corner and Bad Apple). I’ll miss your YMCA pick up basketball while Anna misses running on your Lake Shore path. We’ll miss the kickball, dodgeball, flag football, and softball leagues, where we made some great memories, suffered some humiliating injuries, and met some excellent people. We’ll miss posting up at a local bar to cheer on the Blackhawks, White Sox (although not this season…oof), Bears and Bulls with our fellow fans and will not miss a single thing about the Cubs. We’ll miss our peaceful tree-lined street and North Center neighborhood, which is one of the finest neighborhoods in the entire city. We’ll miss the view of the city from the Brown Line as it crosses from the Loop to River North.
But we’ll only miss them for a little while. That’s why this isn’t a goodbye, but a smell ya later, Chicago.