A Week in Chicago

After being on the road for quite some time in Florida, Israel, and NYC, I just wanted to melt into a couch and spend some quality time with my best friends from college who are now living in Chicago.
It is difficult to maintain friendships from abroad. We keep in touch using Whatsapp and a series of revolting photos we send each other while on the toilet, audio clips of the sounds of our farts, and a Facebook thread where we share our scandalous exploits with each other. I know, I'm giving away our valuable secrets for keeping long distance friendships alive. Someone should pay me for this.

Natalie, Nicole, and I in college

Nicole getting ready for bed in Chicago-
Cuddle Time!!

I am so proud of my friends Natalie and Nicole. They have an awesome house in Logan Square and they live with two other kick ass girls. They both are strong, independent females with impressive careers. I like that I want to be a better person when I am around them because they are so fun and positive and active.

Natalie looking all fancy in her workplace

 View of Lollapalooza Music Festival from Natalie's office

 Hanging around downtown Chicago

My roommate in Ecuador is from Chicago, so I had heard wonderful things before going there, but it far exceeded my expectations. Chicago seemed so livable to me. It's a big city, but with a small community feeling. My friends had a house in Logan Square with a big backyard, a sunroom, the most cozy living and dining rooms, and a spacious modern kitchen. My first day or two in Chicago I couldn't get myself to leave their house except to visit the quirky coffee shop up the street.

Me with Laura's brother and friends in Chicago

Natalie and Nicole with their awesome roommates

Their backyard in Chicago... 
Sunny summer afternoon in the kiddie pool

NYC has always seemed like the ultimate dream to me, but visiting Chicago opened my eyes to other possibilities. I never really thought about how materialistic and pretentious NYC is. I think if I were to live there, I would never feel good enough. I wouldn't ever be skinny enough, stylish enough, or have a nice enough phone or apartment. This mindset does not exist in Chicago. Sure it's not as fashionable, but people are so much more grounded and friendly. NYC has unrealistic social expectations of its inhabitants.

 A very friendly (homeless?) man in the streets of Logan Square

Photobooth at a bar in Chicago

Natalie, Nicole and I at Hopleaf in Andersonville, Chicago

While some people might not think it is as trendy or hip as NYC, Chicago still has a killer bar scene, epic restaurants, awesome public transportation, a beach, diverse neighborhoods, varied shopping options, museums, parks, and pretty much everything you would ever need, ever. 

Riding the bus around in Chicago

Beach day by Loyola University

Lovely day at the beach

The water on Lake Michigan was perfect

We've never taken ourselves too seriously

Note to self: Add Chicago to list of potential cities to live in next.

In other news, I am heading back to Ecuador in 2 days. I will be preparing for the upcoming school year, reuniting with my awesome roomie Laura, and apartment hunting. Prepare for another year of Ecuadorian merrymaking!!


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