hello, all! we’ve been back in the united states for about three weeks now and it’s been a whirlwind through four different states; visiting family and friends, attending important weddings, and loooads of travel by air, bus, and train. now we’ve mostly stopped in one place long enough for me to write a little somethin’ – thanks for your patience.
the days leading up to our flight to the u.s., i wasn’t as much of a nervous wreck as i was, knowing i was about to fly out on our big trip last year, but this time, the only hard thing was leaving behind our pup. i had no idea it would be so hard! i mean, it was pretty hard for our little trip earlier in july, but this time we knew she would be back at “doggie summer camp” with our kind breeder who he knows well. but ohhh, it was harder. it felt wrong to be away from our ferdinand, if only for that one rest of the day at home, packing.
on the flight to chicago, i had all kinds of dark thoughts and was feeling pretty low about leaving our beloved pup halfway across the world, but a bit of rest and a warm welcome from family on alex’s side in chicago dispelled any negative feeling, when we woke up the next morning – lots of sleep behind us – ready to see the city!
i’ll tell ya – walking around downtown chicago after being around only south bohemian farm houses is quite a trip! what an introduction back to america. i was so excited to see all the sights i’ve only known from movies and tv!
i had a bit of a plan in my head for our few days in chicago, involving things like a cubs game, a comedy show, or a blues bar – and we did absolutely none of these things. upon our arrival, i realized i was far more interested to see the real chicago of alex’s awesome extended family – what life was really like in the little neighborhoods.
staying in the thoroughly colorful mexican neighborhood of pilsen (bearing a czech name due to the amount of immigrants living there in the mid-20th century) was much better than i could have planned or anticipated. i wouldn’t have got to know the amazing neighborhood mexican bakery with the conchita pastry of my childhood…. or the tamale stand ladies…. the characteristic architecture… or sipping an xl chelada at a house show with bands that wouldn’t be out of place in olympia, washington (if that means anything to anyone….). the best places to get tacos. (in case you hadn’t guessed – we about ate our weight in mexican food and couldn’t have been more excited when we were offered breakfast tacos the morning after our flight!) a bag of tamales to go for taking on the train to michigan (best idea).
we also got around quite a bit from wrigleyville to wicker park, i feel like i didn’t miss anything, even though we didn’t do any traditional “chicago things”. wouldn’t change it at all, and now i know quite a bit about this highly underrated american city.
traveling as a house guest visiting friends is probably one of my favorite ways of taking trips these days. in addition to seeing all the places that are important to your friends in their daily life, you get to reconnect. as i live an ocean away, that part is perhaps the most valuable part above all.
this post is a part of wanderful wednesday.