Four years doesn’t seem too long in the grand scheme of life, but when those four years are pivotal, it means more than words can express. Chicago, the city where Anik and I truly started our careers, were engaged, planned our wedding, were officiated in a park (courtesy of amazing reviews on Yelp), got our puppy and wrapped up our 20s.
Before I left Chicago, I was asked by a co-worker what I would miss most about the city. Hands down – it’s the people. People really make the difference in any city, but in Chicago they make it home. Who else can you map out your next, amazing 9-course dinner with? Or complain about the weather 6 months out of the year with?
Chicago has a certain vibe to it – it gives you the sense of “we’re all in this together.” That attitude gives the city it’s hustle and bustle and it’s vibrancy. When it was warm outside on a Tuesday afternoon, we’d find people lined up waiting for a seat on any and every restaurant patio. When the Cubs play their first game – the city takes a personal day. And after experiencing the Blackhawks take the Stanley Cup 3 times – the excitement even has the potential to delay your move. I’m not sure we’ll get to experience something quite like it again.
The food, oh the food. Coming to Chicago, we were definitely not foodies and would grab any old glass of wine. Chicago helped us appreciate the intricacies of flavors and how they work together, good pairings and plating techniques. I took beer-brewing lessons courtesy of MillerCoors, learned how to prepare the perfect cup of coffee at Ipsento, and watched chefs plate at restaurants like El Ideas. I hope Seattle’s culinary scene can keep up, because we already have a list of restaurants ready to hit up.
The winters are brutal – no matter what anyone says. We did invest in the warmest jackets at the Northface store, so we had that going for us, but nothing can shield wind chills of -30. However, there is something beautiful about seeing Lake Michigan frozen over. And when the summers come around – and I mean when it’s 50 degrees, the micro minis and sandals come out in full force. Summer = festival season, but it’s also the time to experience new things. We took sailing lessons on Lake Michigan last year, which I’m assuming will come in handy one day.