when i lived in new york, a trip home to chicago meant a quiet getaway filled with days of relaxation and nights of movies or going out makeupless for shakes at the steak n shake, and then falling asleep to the silence of the suburbs. it was all about family time and scones and laziness.

now that i live in the opposite of new york, a chicago trip means eating all the tacos, getting in all the bagels, seeing this, seeing that, going to trader joe's and the asian market and stocking up on every single thing that's not available in north dakota, walk walk walking, trying new cheese, and putting an ounce of effort into personal presentation because, my heavens, there are so many people!

it's an odd and unexpected change, but so far it has been:

1. a perfect dose of city life for this newly converted farm human.

2. good for reminding me how lucky i am to have found a boy that is from a land where traffic means a slight 60 second delay on main street. (you should have seen the look on all the egg faces when they saw chicago's st. patrick's day traffic.)

3. fattening, but worth it because deep dish.

4. an appropriate amount of time for getting mildly shitfaced with my homegirls.

5. good inspiration for new foods, new design, and new fashions.

6. filled with slushy and realizing that that's probably why winter gets such a bad rap. see, up in these parts, it's so cold that the snow and ice don't have the chance to melt down to slushy until the spring. it's a much cleaner winter than the one i grew up with.

7. a practice in non-awkward human interaction because, again, there are so many people.

last week in chicago we went to some of our old standbys and also met a few new wonderful places:

blue door farm standhome of my dad's new favorite food (their massive carrot cake), cute rustic floors that would be perfect in the farmhouse, and jam stand jams!

bob chinn's crab house: after so many years, this place is still the bee's knees. and i had forgotten how kryptonite-y their garlic rolls are.

das radler: i was sincerely overdue for a schnitzel and some spätzle and the company of hipsters.

big star!: eggboy's favorite. we've learned to always go during lunch to avoid the wait.

the bourgeois pig: i've never been to paris, but i imagine that all of the coffee shops there are just like this one.

mizrahi grill: i could take a bath in their hummus and then sleep a perfect night's sleep in a bed made out of their pita.