Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sweet Home Chicago

I recently returned to the Chicagoland area after living for several years surrounded by cornfields in central Illinois. Of course I moved back just in time for one of the coldest, snowiest Chicago winters on record. Luckily being trapped indoors isn't a terrible thing for a writer--I've had plenty of time to polish up the third Cy'ren book and to put together a zombified proposal for my editor. I even joined the Chicago-North RWA Chapter. (You guys, my name is totally listed on the same page as Courtney Milan and Carrie Lofty. It makes me feel famous by association.)

It's weird coming back after having lived in a college town. I'd forgotten about the perils of no parking--or worse, parallel parking--and the booze is so expensive here. But some things never change. A list of 18 Things You Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners about Chicago has been making the rounds of my Facebook feed, and I had to share it and emailed it to my relatives. There's a lot of truth in it, starting with the observation that Navy Pier is not a must-see cultural destination. I've been there...once? Number 16 is also accurate, because it's just easier to say you're from Chicago. Everyone's heard of Chicago. Not everyone has heard of Berwyn (though if they have, it's probably due to Svengoolie).

Anyway, when you live in the area you make the rounds of the museums when you're in grade school, but after that, who has the time? This year my family has decided that we're going to make the time, and for my mom's birthday we visited the Museum of Science and Industry. As it was a frigid January day, we practically had the place to ourselves.

We saw the Treasures of the Disney Archives exhibit, wandered through the U-505 Submarine exhibit, and my dad was particularly excited by the Henry Crown Space Center (as the photo to the left shows). As I've mentioned before, my dad is the source of my love of sci-fi. He'd love to be an astronaut (and now that he's retired, I think my mom would be perfectly happy to send him on a trip to the moon, just to get him out of the house). ;-)

They're predicting more snow for this weekend, but I'm hoping that spring isn't too far off. My plan for this year is to take the time to visit more museums and historical locations around Chicago. Local people: Are there any places you'd like to visit again, or haven't visited yet but want to? Non-local people: If you could visit Chicago, where would you go? A Cub game? The Shedd Aquarium?

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