When we moved here six years ago I never thought this would happen. In fact, during that first year I contemplated a move back to Omaha more times than I can count. Everything seemed so much harder and more complicated here. Everything was just .... so beyond my comfort zone.
And six years later my feelings have completely flip flopped and all I can see is the ease of living in a city. Stepping out of my comfort zone was the best thing I have ever done.
But let's back up to our first "vacation" here about seven years ago.
Chris and I took the train from St. Louis (where he was living) to Chicago for the weekend. For some reason I thought trains were fancy and we would get onboard and magically it would be 1945 and the men would be in suits with hats, and the women in skirts with stockings. And we'd drink champagne in our private cabin while we snacked on whatever nice treats the magic train from 1945 was serving.
Have I mentioned lately that my brain leans more toward imagination than logic? Because if you've taken the Amtrak after 1975 you know that scene I described above isn't quite how it is...
Regardless, our tickets were $40 each and it was still a fun time.
We stayed at a hotel called the Inn of Chicago because it was cheap and it was downtown. The rooms reminded me of Europe (because they were tiny and no nonsense.)
We had no idea what to do, or where to go, we just scampered around like two lost tourists. I remember we ate at a terrible Mexican restaurant simply because it was next to our hotel.
Here we are at "the bean." Look at our cameras. Our CAMERAS. So tech savvy.
I also know for a fact that we ate brunch at Grande Lux Cafe. And if you know what this means, yes we can all giggle about it. I still do.
I'm pretty sure it's Quartino in the background of this photo, the "fancy Italian" place we ate our last night before we boarded our train the following day. I know I'm feeling good because that navy and white striped dress was my favorite dress. It only came out for special occasions.
"Can you ever imagine living here?" Chris asked at dinner.
I said yes, but I was lying. The thought of living in Chicago terrified me. Sure, it seemed exciting. But also really scary.
After St. Louis, Chris's job took us to Topeka, a place I don't speak too fondly about. But in hindsight, I know it's Topeka that ultimately brought us to Chicago. Had we landed somewhere a little more familiar, like Omaha or Kansas City, we'd still be in Omaha or Kansas City today.
But instead we're in Chicago.
We had to go to our realtor's office the other day to drop off a check. Thanks to being able to sign everything online these days, it was our first time stepping foot in his actual office. As we walked inside I looked to the left and noticed the hotel, The Inn of Chicago.
It was one of those moments that gave me goosebumps. It felt like someone pulled the curtain back on time for a second and I was able to peak back on 2009.
Hey you! I know you're on vacation now, but in seven years you'll be at this exact spot signing papers to buy a house. Can you believe that?
No, me from seven years ago can't believe it.
I also can't believe the road it took to get here, and the experiences I've had along the way, but I wouldn't change it for anything. Because hey, we just bought a house!
And by "house" I mean condo, which means the third floor of a building. No one really buys entire houses here.
Oh, and guess what? Our new fridge has an ice maker!
And IN UNIT LAUNDRY. Ice and laundry on me for 2017!