How to be a Tourist in Chicago

This last weekend, I went back to Chicago to go see old friends from my old job (as well as an old friend from my IU days).  I used the opportunity to play with my new camera and take cool pictures.  This also earned me such digs as “You have lived in Chicago and NOW you decide to play the tourist?”

Oh yeah. Totally.

Anyway, we started out meeting up with old coworkers at the German Christmas Market…

I know…..I left Germany to go to a German Christmas Market. Laugh it up.

But to be fair, it was a reunion with coworkers (who all work for the same German company). Technically it was fitting for us.  We also went last year so we wanted to keep up the tradition.  It meant a lot to see my favorite people again.  Of course it was impossible to see everyone from my years in Chicago but it meant a lot to spent the time with those who could join.

That’s the thing about coming back to a place after you left.  There may come a time when you find that no one is left – they have all moved on.  I have felt that with my old university stomping ground (another post for another day), Bloomington is a wonderful city filled with wonderful memories and yet everything changed when everyone left.  It feels hollow compared to my time in Chicago.

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Courtesy of my darling Anna

I really felt like I had never left.  I have only been gone from the city for a mere six months.  But in that time, I have aggressively planted new roots in my new home in Germany.  I am glad I came back Chicago.  And I will keep coming back.  I met some really awesome people during my time there and cemented relationships with friends I had known before we all moved to Chicago.

Doug (old friend from IU) with his gorgeous wife who he just married in October - Meesh
Doug (old friend from IU) with his gorgeous wife who he just married in October – Meesh)

I know this post is titled ‘how to be a tourist….’ but my trip was something more for me.  We were fortunate that we could stay at the gorgeous Palmer House (we knew we were staying for a night, so we made it count):

Little side note: the black and white photo of the gentleman with the piano is the amazing Victor Borge.  If you don’t know who that is – google him.  I actually knew him personally and he was a wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL man!  How did I know him? Well, that’s another post for another day…..

I didn’t do the normal haunts for Chicago – The Bean, Water Tower Place, Magnificent Mile, Hancock, Willis (Sears, honestly), Millennium Park, Chicago River, Navy Pier.  I have done it all….multiple times.  If you go to Chicago, use this list and see everything. But I did get to see the old Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) with their Christmas decoration:

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I still love Chicago.  The city has been good to me.  I have some amazing friends and it was the magical place where I met T one very random day while at work.

When T and I first met in Chicago
When T and I first met in Chicago at Willis Tower

Life is a compilation of unexpected moments.  Some Good.  Some bad.  All teach you something.  Don’t forget where you came from – even if you only spent a few years there.

What about you? Is there a place where you spent a short amount of time but made a huge impact in your life? What is it?

Bis Freitag!

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