Let me preface this post by saying that I love Louisiana. I love living in the South, near family, and surrounded by familiar things. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t daydream from time to time about my two favorite places (that I’ve been to) that are not “home”. They are my homes away from home: Chicago and Paris. Although they are world’s apart, they each hold a very dear place in my heart. This post is just a little ode to their amazingness.
We will start with the one I am most familiar with–Chicago (pictured below, not above). I had the privilege of moving there right after I graduated from college. I lived there for two years while I worked as a teacher through Teach for America. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made to move their and to teach. Chicago is such a diverse city, where each neighborhood holds its own little culture and style. I would spend weekends hopping from one neighborhood to the next and take it all in. My favorites were Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and Andersonville, in case you were wondering.
I love downtown as well. I haven’t been to a city yet that has topped it. It has the hustle and bustle of New York with the down to earth friendliness of the Midwest. And there is always something to do. Josh and I would wander the streets for hours without spending a dime, well except for that stop at Portillo’s, and enjoy every second.
My love affair with Chicago even holds up in the winter, which is brutally cold but oh so beautiful. The views of the skyline against Lake Michigan are stunning in any weather, and there is always delicious, hearty food to keep you warm.
Now onto my second obsession. The city of lights. Oh, Paris! Josh and I honeymooned in Paris, and even though we were only there for 4 days, I fell in love. My level of infatuation? I would move there in a heartbeat. It may be cliche and everyone may be doing it, but I don’t care. I don’t think you have truly lived unless you have walked the streets of Paris, eaten from a pâtisserie, or picnicked on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower.
Paris is so beautiful. From the grand architectural views to the tiny flower-filled vases on cafe tables. You just stare, open-mouthed at its beauty. Oh, and speaking of open mouths, the food is unbelievably delicious. I could just go there to dine and then walk several miles to burn off what I ate and then do it all again the next day. Mhmm.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ll leave you with pictures. They speak a thousand words, right? By the way, if anyone would ever like to send me a gift, a ticket to either of these cities is perfectly acceptable. Oh, and get one for Josh and Jonah while you are at it. They feel the same way I do.