|Scott and I on our very first visit to Chicago|
After graduation, I watched in awe as many of my college friends moved into tiny studio apartments in Manhattan. It seemed unfathomable to me. The reliable, loyal and predictable daughter that I am, I moved back in with my parents until I got hitched to my Scott two years later. When we moved into a little townhouse resembling the one I grew up in, I just figured that was the way life was going to be for us. We were happy.
But, life always has surprises. A couple years later Scott was transferred to a little town in Central Pennsylvania, not too far from Western Maryland. Pay was good, cost of living was cheap, and I got to stay home with my very new baby girl Julie. We tearfully said goodbye to friends and family and set off on our little adventure in the mountains. At the time that was probably my bravest accomplishment. As an uncertain new mother I moved to a new town in the middle of nowhere with no family or friends nearby. It was certainly an adjustment for a city girl like myself. We gradually made friends and became a part of the community. The seven years we spent in the little town called Altoona shaped us as a family, and of course our family literally grew too, when we had our baby boy Johnny. Deep down we knew we wouldn't stay in Altoona forever. We made great friends and my parents only lived an hour away in Western Maryland, but the town and our family weren't a perfect match.
My dream was that we would eventually head back to Baltimore. Once again, the unexpected happened when Scott was offered a promotion in Chicago. "CHICAGO?!" was my immediate petrified reaction. I had never officially visited the windy city. My only encounter was the night we spent in the terrible airport when our plane was delayed for 12 hours. Chicago was not my first choice or second or third for that matter. It seemed so far away. So cold. So unknown. The offer, however, was too good to refuse, so we at least had to give it a shot. Chicago had me at the first visit. It was bustling. It wasn't (too) cold. It was exciting. And, it was absolutely beautiful. We were sold.
So here we are, and I have to admit Chicago has yet to disappoint. We are loving being tourists in our own town, the food is amazing and the people are too. I can't say with certainty that we are here to stay. For now, we're happy to be here.