The two days we had planned on staying in Chicago slowly turned into three. A much needed break. We hadn't had more than one day off since Spokane and our legs were beginning to notice.
We stayed in the North end of the city with our friend Abby. We grew up with Abby but she has been living in Chicago for the last five years or so. She was adamant we get deep dish pizza, Jeff and I passed, Kyle gave in. I wonder if people from Chicago only eat deep dish when they're hosting their friends from out of town.
Chicago is big. Bigger than I had imagined and bigger than I knew what to do with. Other people seemed drawn here due to the size. They enjoy the feeling of being a part of a bigger organism: a lively, ever growing city. Being a part of that is exciting. Just passing through the city, however, I didn't feel the excitement. I felt like I didn't belong, that I was on the fringe. Wandering across the country for the last two months, living comfortably with little makes me wonder if I will feel apart of Seattle anymore. Have I been stripped of those familiarities and comforts? I'm not sure. I do know that I will return with a greater appreciation and understanding of humanity, and hopefully be more patient and compassionate because of it. I couldn't help but think of returning to Seattle while walking around the neighborhoods of Chicago. It's all so different from the one street towns we've become use to. I suppose I'll have some readjusting to do.
Regardless of how connected we felt to the city, we had a wonderful time visiting. We explored it one cappuccino at a time, making our way to thriving pockets of the city and people watched as we went. We went to a Cubs game and felt like we were participating in one of the city's sacred traditions. We learned people in Chicago go to Cubs games to actually watch the game, whereas people in Seattle tend to go just to drink beer. We found more Seattle friends living in Chicago and experienced their version of Chicago for an evening, which ends up being staying out until 3:30 am.
Even after three days, I barely scratched the surface of the city but I saw the Bean, so that counts for something!
Photo: Wrigley field // Heritage Bike and Coffee Shop one of my favorite parts of the city