Well, for starters, I didn’t realize how damn busy I’d be! Sheesh, guys. I’ve been running like a headless chicken lately, shopping for Christmas gifts, working my ass off at the office, and generally trying to do ALL THE THINGS.
I’ve been a busy lady. But here are 8 ADDITIONAL things (in no particular order) that I wasn’t expecting when I moved to the Windy City.
1. Thrift Stores!
Well, of course thrift stores are awesome, but I wasn’t fully aware how damn awesome until now–mostly because I didn’t have access to that many before. I’ve always been an avid antique-er and fan of old knick knacks, but most of my usual antique stores didn’t carry clothing. Now I live near two excellent thrift stores with an insane selection of clothes and cutlery and furniture. I’ve purchased dresses, shorts, tank tops, and one very cozy sweater. Also, these perfect curtains.
So anyway, thrift stores FTW!
2. Buying Beer on Sunday!
I was born here in Chicago, but I was raised in Indiana. And here’s something those of you who don’t live in this state may not know: Indiana is dry on Sundays. You can’t buy any beer, wine, or hard booze. (Although you can go to a bar.) I’m sure it might not seem like a big deal, but I can’t tell you how many lazy Sunday afternoons, with perfect warm breezes and sunshine, could have been improved with a nice 6 pack of craft beer. I feel like I always craved beer on Sunday–and now I can buy it whenever I want!
Six months ago, I was totally a Chicago tourist. I had no clue where I was going around the city, and I also had no idea that I stuck out like a sore thumb. Now that I’ve been here awhile, I find it’s incredibly easy to tell the visitors from the natives. It’s not a bad thing–tourism is a huge industry and I’ve lived in other tourist destinations before (Costa Rica, anyone?). It’s just funny to feel like I’m not the imposter anymore. I finally belong in the “lives in Chicago” club.
4. Thai Food
Confession: I am a curry whore. I’m an absolute sucker for coconut curry–I would even go so far as to say it’s one of my favorite foods. Unfortunately for me, there were no Thai restaurants anywhere near where I lived in Indiana, so I had to settle for making my own sub-par version. However, there are Thai restaurants aplenty here in the city, and I am going HAM on that curry. I have been GrubHubbing the shit out of the Thai restaurants in my area. (I’m also too lazy to leave the house. Or wear pants.) I’ve tried at least 3 or 4 now, and I fully intend to try more.
YOU CAN’T STOP ME! Mwahahahahaha!
5. Loving the CTA
Calling myself a nervous driver might be a bit of an understatement, so when I moved to Chicago, I planned to travel mostly by subway. What I didn’t realize was how much I would come to love the damn train. I ADORE taking the train. Commuting on the red line is 10 MILLION times better than driving to work. And I know I’ll have to walk in rain and snow as the seasons change, but I don’t care. Last winter was AWFUL and I can’t count the number of terrifying drives I made in icy or snowy conditions, with low visibility. I saw so many accidents, cars off the road, and cars spinning out on the highway.
Now, all I can say is: FUUUUUUUUUUUCK that! I’m CTA all the way, baby!
6. Lakeside Living
When I stumbled upon my new apartment, I wasn’t terribly familiar with the area. I spent maybe an hour wandering around before I decided to fill out the application for it. What I didn’t understand then was exactly how close I am to the lakeside.
It’s just a 15 minute amble to get to the marina near me, and another 5 minutes has me at Montrose Beach. It’s FANTASTIC! I’ve never lived this close to a beach before, but I could definitely get used to this. The location is perfect for jogging, and the boyfriend and I have been swimming (albeit in the very chilly water) twice now. Love it!
Guys, there is a LOT of vomit in the city. Like, it’s all over the place, all the time. It’s on the street, it’s on the sidewalk, it’s smeared on the fabric seating of the CTA… Chicago is like vomit-central.
8. That all of my hobbies would fall by the wayside and I’d vanish from my blog for 6+ months…
I know it’s been a long, long time since I updated. There are a lot of reasons for that, but one of the main factors is that Chicago is just bursting with things to do and see. Each weekend, and lazy week night, I find new areas to explore, restaurants to try, and neighborhoods to visit. And I’m still learning!