Chicago, Chicago, that freezing cold town

23 Dec

*Obligatory holy crap how is Christmas Eve tomorrow, where has the time gone, I should post more often*

Last weekend I made my annual Megabus trip to Chicago and Milwaukee to visit friends and the city I once called home. I immediately realized two things about Chicago: it is dirty and sweet mother of Prince George is it cold! It was 19 degrees in downtown Cincinnati when I was waiting for the Megabus (which was delayed two hours), but somehow 19 degrees in Chicago felt much colder than Cincinnati — must be the windchill. Needless to say, the first thing I did after checking into my hotel was buy some thick wool socks.

OK — that was the second thing I did. This was the first:

Ghiradellis chicago

Every time I’m in Chicago I must go to Ghirardelli to get a free chocolate square and then have to spend a few minutes wandering the store as if I intend to buy something and aren’t there just for the free sample.

The next day I met a friend at the Christkindlmarket in the Loop, where we got delicious mulled wine in collectable mugs, which I promptly spilled on my expensive scarf when I tried to chug it in order to see Santa. (Santa doesn’t allow booze in his house.)

chicago christkindlmarket 2013

This was my third time visiting Chicago since I moved. Every time I notice so many changes, yet when I get on that Megabus back to Cincinnati, the city resets to 2010 Chicago in my mind and everything shocks me again the next time.

filenes

The ghost of Filene’s Basement still makes me sad.

I had some time to kill before my bus back so I decided to visit Seven on State, the food court at Macy’s where Stephen and I used to eat ramen often. I think I knew there was no way the noodles could taste as delicious as they did in my memory, but I ordered them anyway. Of course I had forgotten that they changed the recipe for the miso ramen right before I moved and so I ended up paying $13 for a sub-par bowl of noodles at an upscale food court. I miss you sometimes, Chicago, but not your inflated prices and outrageous sales tax. (I know, says the girl who lives in Central London.)

macys miso ramen

I wandered into the American Girl Place, where I would have been in heaven 15 years ago, mainly to use their toilets. The doll holder on the wall of the stall amused me:

american girl bathroom

On my train from Milwaukee back to Chicago I happened to look out the window to this:

illinois london

For a split second I thought I was back in London somehow!

As usual, my trip was too short, but I had some precious time with some good friends. My Megabus ride back went a lot more smoothly than the ride in, and we even saw another Megabus while paying the toll:

megabus

yo dawg megabus

I’ll end now with the greatest moment of American football ever aired: a monkey… wearing a Bengals jersey… riding a dog… chasing rams. I think I could really get into football if more of this were involved!

monkey riding dog bengals

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