10 Things I Miss About Sweet Home Chicago


November 21, 2011 by themommahen


If you’ve spent any time on this here blog, you know I waver back and forth between missing Chicago and being so thankful for having the opportunity to move here. There are three times a year that I absolutely adored as a Chicagoan: the return of baseball and the Chicago Cubs to Wrigley, summer (the season that reminds you why you choose to live in Chicago), and the holidays. Since The Husband and I’ve been watching The Boss on Starz and as we plow smack-dab into the holiday season down here with no snow on the horizon and considerably less holiday decorations than the Windy City, my sentimentality levels are a bit elevated. (BTW, my take on The Boss? Awesome potential and great concept, though the Red Shoe Diaries feel of the gratuitous sex scenes takes away from the drama of the story, IMHO.)

So, if you can bear with me through one more journey down memory lane, I thought it would make my heart ache a little less for the City of Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher to the World, the City that Works, to list out, in no certain order, the top things I’ve been missing lately:

  1. Dsc06450

    Our friends. Duh, but I had to say it. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and The Husband and I’ve realized just how solid our network of friends was is up there.

  2. Our church. I surprised myself and The Husband (who at the the time was merely The Boyfriend) by converting to Catholicism at St. Vincent dePaul in 1996. In 1998 we were married there, in 2003 I became the lay leadership head, and then in 2006, 2008 and 2010 the Hatchlings were baptized there. Such a young and vibrant (and FUN) community to be a part of and one we can’t match down here. 

  3. Pizza. We still eat pizza a lot, but c’mon, we’re talking about Chicago. Just can’t compare.

  4. Restaurants and delivery options. I’m so sick of planning meals and asking myself “what’s for dinner?” We still manage to pick up a meal at least once a week, and I’m not going to argue that the lack of options down here has been better for our budget, but man, I miss having the foods of the world at our fingertips.

  5. Walking anywhere and everywhere. Chicago is one of the best walking cities – it’s so easy, you don’t even think about it when you’re out, and can walk 2-3 miles without even noticing. And if you get tired or need to go farther than you want to walk there’s always #6.

  6. Public transportation and cabs. Believe me, I complained enough for the whole city about waiting for the bus, riding the bus, waiting for the El, riding on the El, but deep down I always knew how awesome it was. How awesome? So awesome, The Husband’s wallet has the CTA map on it. (Awesome gift for the season, folks.)

  7. Christkindlmarket. We went last year knowing it was our last one before moving South. Great way to celebrate outside, view the tree, visit Santa, enjoy some great food and sip on an adult beverage.

  8. Shopping. This is a funny one for me because I actually don’t enjoy shopping. (Gasp! My secret’s out!) But when I do shop, I prefer it to take as little time as possible, so my now 45 minutes to an hour drive to get somewhere to shop makes me really miss Michigan Avenue and even the little shops in our ‘hood.

  9. Dsc05248

    The skyline. The Husband and I used to joke that when the skyline quit making our hearts go pitty-pat it was time to leave. The pitty-pats ended several years ago as our lives changed and the skyline became a symbol of the challenges of living in the city as a family, but I’m pretty sure that the next time we are able to go to Chicago, our hearts will be pitty-patting like crazy.

  10. Our youth. Chicago is and always will be a symbol of our young lives together. Moving there, Cubs games, getting engaged at Wrigley, late nights with great friends, getting married there, buying our little shoebox of a condo feet away from the busiest El track section in the city, starting a family there, and all the ups and downs along the way. We’re figuring out this new phase of our lives and while we’ve got each other and our family, we’ll be just fine. But it’s fun to remember those 16 years as our Great Adventure before our Great Adventure: The Sequel Down South.

It’s funny – we rehash these stories and when we’re done, after the “Ooooooh, that was awesome times,” comment, we stare distantly, lost in our memories and then I usually say, “I wonder what we’ll remember most about the next 16 years.” And that usually jolts me back into the present, ready to soak it all in.


3 thoughts on “10 Things I Miss About Sweet Home Chicago

  1. JustAddHeat says:

    Ahh. Yes. There was so much I complained about. By the time I left, though, I still marvelled at the skyline, I still felt lucky to have takeout/delivery/best falafel sandwich EVER at my fingertips, and, even the flocked trees…. Chicago around the hoildays is magical. I’ve feeling a bit nostalgic too. Thanks for sharing. (I wonder if Sultan’s on Clark delivers… ;))

  2. Larisa Spillman says:

    Heather, yes!! to falafel, (though Angelina’s here in Ptown is rockin’.) You know I’ve considered actually ordering Giordano’s, but I think this hankering I have is for a visit back, but then I realize how much has changed — I would be a visitor, a TOURIST, now. Not really, but I remember how I was when I heard someone was back in Chicago visiting after moving away. Oh, riiiight, you USED to live here…how nice! 🙂

  3. […] Should we have moved? […]

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