25 October 2011

My Kind of Town

Well, I suppose this blog post is a bit overdue. When looking over the past year, I cannot believe how much I was able to fit in. The new stamps in my passport are invaluable. Dublin, Barcelona, Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Prague...I saw so much and am so grateful that I was able to do so much traveling, all while somehow finding time to finish my Master's degree.

I've been home for going on two months now, and I'm only just now feeling like I've settled back in. Although it was a bit of an adjustment, I am beyond thrilled to be home....despite my unemployment. I spend my days job searching, hoping for a job at a non-profit or university to fall into my lap. I've been hired as a sub at two different districts by me, but I'm really holding out for something permanent so I can have job security. Ahh well...

Not too much has been happening since I've been back, although Kari did come for a little visit. After showing her the thriving metropolis of Grayslake, we headed into the city to admire the beauty. We walked around State Street, headed over to the Bean and Millennium Park and ended the day with a visit to Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. I've lived near Chicago my entire life, but I couldn't help but have a zen moment when I was walking around. The city is just so beautiful! When standing by Buckingham and looking out over the skyline, I fully realized why I can home. I may miss Edinbugh, but Chicago is my home.
Kari and me on the steps of the Art Institute.
Sweet Home, Chicago!
Nerding out. HARD.
This past weekend I was finally able to go to Northwestern's homecoming. I missed it last year, obviously, so I was particularly excited. All of my college gals were there, so it felt like a big reunion. We had an amazing time and were able to fall back into our old ways, giggling uncontrollably and creating inside jokes that will last a lifetime. It was so good to see everyone, as it was the first big gathering since I've been back. (Scratch that - since I graduated!) Although we lost the football game, I managed to pull out a memorable few days. On Friday all of the alums headed to a mixer in Wrigleyville for a night of fun. Although we were made to wear name tags the entire night, we rectified the situation by stealing handfuls of glow sticks and conducting social experiments at the bar. Saturday was the football game, so everything we did led up to that. After tossing the football around at Chili Bowl and sitting on the lakefill, we got our tailgate on. Again, it was so nice to be able to enjoy a day of football. It was definitely something I missed when I was in Scotland. [Note: I particularly enjoyed the part of the weekend where I got to meet Seth Meyers. Don't worry, I didn't nerd out too hard. I kept my cool. My shaky, stammering cool.]
Networking like champs.
Being at the NU football game just felt right!
For now, that's about it. I'll just leave you all with a few thoughts that have been running through my head since I've been back:

-I run the constant risk of being hit by a car, as I keep looking right-left-right when I go to cross the street.
-Being trapped in my house all day is much more interesting than being stuck in my tiny, tiny room in Edinburgh. There are so many rooms to choose from! 447 feels like a palace.
-I have missed my enormous DVD collection.
-I fully appreciate my now unlimited access to Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and any other American site that I wasn't able to access this past year.
-It was downright muggy feeling when I stepped off the plane at O'Hare. When I spent the entire summer dealing with a constant high of 60 degrees, the 85 degree humidity felt like a tropical paradise. Even this last weekend when it was only a high of 70, I was strongly considering shorts.
-On the flip side, I am much colder than I would normally be. When the sun sets and the temperature drops, I feel like I'm in the dead of winter. Needless to say, this Chicago winter will be fairly miserable for me.