So...How Do You Like Chicago?

Chicago is a "nice" city and I "like" it. We're all friends here, right? Good. So I can tell you the truth. Recently, I made my first trip home to Maryland after moving to Chicago this summer. And there was one question people kept asking: "How do you like Chicago?"

I put on my cheerleader smile and lied through my teeth: "It's great. I like it!"

It's not that I hate the city, I just don't particularly love it. Sure, I love certain things about it: the plethora of brunch spots, bacon waffles and cupcakeries on (just about) every corner. There is certainly plenty to see and do...and eat, as my Instagram feed can attest. But it's just. not. home.

I know, I know "home is where the heart is" and all that jazz. But there are so many things I miss about Maryland, my Maryland (natives will catch that).

I miss my family, my friends, my pole sisters. I miss midnight trips to the Waffle House with my sister and French toast at Bel-Loc Diner with my BFF. I miss Margarita Mondays with my high school friends and food truck runs with my old co-workers. I miss Sexy Stretch on Fridays after a long week of work. I miss pole class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I miss driving. I miss listening to the radio...and dancing in my car. (Seriously, I hadn't heard of "Royals" until this month...I'm so out of touch!)

I miss not having to pay for laundry. I miss homecooked meals. I miss going to baseball games with my family and watching football together on Sundays. I miss Purple Fridays. I miss crabs and crab cakes. I miss the apple cider from Lohr's Orchard and going to an actual pumpkin patch to pick my pumpkin. I miss Costco. There's one here, but it's not the same. They don't have Pearl, the Sample Lady, or Al, the Gas Attendant.

I miss seeing the city skyline from I-95. I miss looking up and seeing the stars at night.

But...I'm trying. I'm trying my best to adjust to a new city. I'm trying hard to navigate this new world of "being on my own." I'm trying to make the most of it. Really, I am.

So, to answer your question: I like Chicago enough, but it will never be home to me. That's a good start, right?