Three or four days in the windy city made for the most amazing vacation. It was full of walking, biking, lots of getting used to the city again for this ‘country girl’, eating donuts, pizza, and meeting new friends in ice cream shops. Honestly, it was just what I needed, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to hang out with two of my sisters and have that special sister time that comes so rarely when you all get older.
Psalm 149:1-5, ‘Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.’
How did it go down? Well we left our house EARLY on Saturday morning. My other sister and her friend took us to the airport at 4:30 AM, and we got through security without any problems.
Saturday, April 13th, 2019
We arrived in Chicago around 10:30 AM and hopped on the train. I was on a mission to find donuts because of seeing, Erin, the donut connoisseur, share different donuts from around Chicago over the years.
I put ‘donuts’ into my Google Maps search feature, and it came up with many different options, but the easiest place to access, was ‘Do Rite Donuts’, and I went for the Birthday Cake donut. Y’all, I was just SAVORING God’s kindness and goodness in that donut, because it was the best cake donut I’ve ever had. It almost melted in my mouth.
The city was beautiful that day. We went to the bean (which was super crowded) since it was Saturday, but we only stayed there for a bit and then went to our Air Bnb, did a bit of grocery shopping, went to McDonalds for internet, and came back for dinner.
The next day was when the exploring began after being at church with some brothers and sisters there in Chicago! Psalm 122:1-2, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.”
Sunday, April 14th, 2019
Sunday was a BLIZZARD in Chicago. It really lived up to its name that day, ‘The Windy City.’ Every time I looked outside (from the warmth of a cozy building) I thought of these verses in Matthew 8:24-26, ”
“And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
I can’t say I was very good at remembering this when we were walking through the windy cold snow and getting our feet drenched. I complained one too many times at least inside as we walked from church that day to the Adler Planetarium.
As a girl who has lived most of her life in the country, I’m always a bit overwhelmed by big cities. There are so many people, so many stories, so many lost souls, and it makes my heart feel weighted down.
But I am so encouraged that EVERYWHERE the gospel of Jesus Christ is going forth; especially as today is Good Friday (where many celebrate around the world) and also mourn the day in which our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ died and said, ‘It is Finished.’
I’m thankful that Jesus is winning, and I’m thankful for Issa and Tracy that I met in Chicago who both seemed to be Christians, one from Jordan and the other (I’m not sure).
After celebrating Palm Sunday with the saints there at church, we walked to the Planetarium and got food, warmed our feet, dried out our socks and shoes, and we left the Planetarium around 6:00 PM.
The Planetarium (though sadly filled with lots of references to evolution) made me think of how AWESOME it is that our God Almighty made every single galaxy (even the ones that we haven’t explored yet) and how He even calls the millions of stars by name.
Psalm 147:4-5, ‘He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”
Monday, April 15th, 2019
Monday began with a gorgeous 8 mile bike ride along Lake Michigan. You wouldn’t have thought that we were still in the windy city on Monday. It was so calm outside; I almost couldn’t believe the difference. Y’all, bike rides (even on the tourist bikes) along a gorgeous peaceful lake; there is nothing on this earth that is quite so peaceful. I’m so thankful that God mercifully gives His children pockets of peace even though we look to heaven for that ultimate, completed peace (with no more warfare.)
That was an awesome day. After dropping our bikes off around 11 AM, we girls kept walking towards downtown. We sat and took pictures by the lake, and we pressed on further into town to find boba tea (which we did!) at a cute little shop called ‘Vivi’s Bubble Tea.’
There was also a Barnes and Noble there, so my younger sister browsed the store, while I charged my laptop and enjoyed watching the hustle and bustle around me.
After hanging out there, I was on a mission to find icecream, and Baskin Robbins is ALL over Chicago. They have them paired with Dunkin’ Donuts in most places, so we found one about 200 yards down the street. I was …. admittedly pretty hungry, and it was amazing to think of how far God has brought me in food freedom to get a giant cone (share a bit of it with my sisters) and not really feel or allow any guilt about it to enter my head (just thankfulness).
At Baskin Robbins we met a sweet Christian young man named Issa which was cool, and it was a joy to pray with our brother in Christ afterwards. We headed down to the Bean again and Millennium Park. There was a really big children’s playground there, and I really just had to enjoy the slide. The girls waited for me while I indulged my 5 year old side.
After walking around for a bit longer, we headed to find some famous Chicago style pizza (AKA: deep dish), and my sister, R, found this wonderful fun little ‘hole in the wall’ restaurant with big slices of pizza.
That full day in the windy city was wonderful. Afterwards, we headed back down to our Air Bnb, and we put up our tired legs, read the Bible together, watched a cute little movie, and went to bed.
I would go on, but we had one more day or day and a half in Chicago, which was fun, restful, and full of more soaking in the sights and sounds of the city. I have to say, though, when I left, this country girl was ready to get back to our country roads and the quiet of our country home.
Tell me: have you been to the windy city?
What’s your favorite city you’ve visited?
Would you prefer sunny and windy or almost no wind and drizzle?