As many of you know, I live in Tropica where it’s slow, hot and green. This past spring, I undertook the task of having my house painted. I had been putting it off for years and it was time to face the music. As is local custom, I hired one painter who methodically worked his way through the house, inside and out. I was prisoner of my house for the six weeks it took, rising early in the morning to let him in, driving to buy more paint and supplies, letting him in and out, waiting until he finished at six. It was relentless and mind dulling.
During those tedious days I promised myself a present: what I’m doing now. Which is, I’m on an urban retreat in Chicago, my second city.
People who live in cities crave silence, green space, fresh air, sunshine. They want to leave stress, dirt, noise, public transit, crowds behind. They want mountains or beaches with sparkling water.
I want what I don’t have. As I live in a place that is a vacation destination/tropical paradise, what I want to escape to is bustle. Noise, people, good public transit, museums, theatre, concerts, lectures, libraries, shopping, restaurants, bookstores in English.
I’m flat sitting for my cousin who’s in the U.K. on business. And it’s sweet! I have a list of museums, called all the theatres for discount tickets, selected restaurants to visit. Shopping is done in between. Whilst tourists to Tropica flock to our native mercados, I thrill at Jewel Osco, Mariano’s and Eataly. (I love you Mario Batali) I appreciate good public transportation that everyone rides, not just the people who can’t afford a car.
So I write you on this lovely early summer day, sitting out on my urban balcony, enjoying the sounds of the city. I rise early and write every morning. On my to do list: Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry. Bloomingdales, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macys, Gap, Uniqlo. Ravinia Festival. Walks along Lake Michigan. Steppanwolf theatre, Goodman theatre, Looking Glass theatre. Haven’t even gotten to the Lyric Opera, or the Joffrey. Plus, strolls through Chicago’s different neighborhoods and things like settling into a good knitting shop for a chat with a pro. And of course: Go Cubs!
Wishes for a happy week everyone!
Lovelies! Where is your idea of heaven? Let me know, let us all know. Give us ideas for our next retreat. I’m talking the comments box, people! Please share this post via the clever buttons below. And if you haven’t already, enter your email in the box on the right so you won’t miss a thing.