My Chicago Tradition

I love Christmas because it is the time of year when my family comes together and I love the joyful feeling that I get from it. One of my favorite things to do is to go to Chicago with my mom during the Christmas season. This will be our fourth time in a row going downtown and I hope that this tradition will continue for as long as it can. It started from my mom asking if I wanted to go downtown with her and I loved the idea! 

We travel either by train or take a bus and then transfer to a train to go downtown to avoid driving and parking there. Even though we get up a bit earlier to make it, missing sleep is worth it for the day ahead. In all honesty, going there and coming back are some of the most boring parts of the day because all I'm doing is sitting for a long time, wishing that I was already in Chicago.

After getting off the train, we go and see the big Christmas tree they have outside by The Bean. We look at the decorations and admire them for a while and (if we aren't too cold) we go over to The Bean. It seems funny to me when I see tourists or residents trying to get the right angle for taking a picture in front of The Bean. Until I realize that it is probably what I look like when I travel and take photos... If we go by The Bean, we might go see the skating rink nearby and watch the wonderfully diverse array of people skating around. I'll admit, I'm very jealous that they can skate easily because I fall instantly unless I am gripping the railing for my life!

Once we finish looking at the tree,  we go over to Macy's to look at the windows before going inside. I personally don't like the newer windows with themes; I prefer the old looks the windows had rather than the newer features because the older ones appeared more lively. The old windows had warm colors and made me feel happy while the new ones feel too cold and I can't connect with them as much. We go inside of Macy's and set up a time to go have lunch in the Walnut Room, the same room that the tree is in. After a bit of "window shopping" (I am guilty of buying things once I start looking), we go to the Walnut Room and splurge on a three course meal. I love eating with my mom because I can catch up with her from being away from college so long and we get to have some one-on-one time. It is also really cool seeing how Macy's decorates the tree.

After we eat and walk through Macy's, we go to the Christkindlmarket. I love going there because they have amazing Bavarian soft pretzels that I make sure to get when we go. It is an outdoor market where people sell food, hats, gloves, scarfs, etc. I got my favorite scarf from there and I still use it today (it is incredibly warm!) We spend a lot of time here because there are a lot of things to see but also because the huge crowds move very slowly. 

At the end of the day, we would take the train (or maybe the bus) back home and I am left with a lingering happy vibe. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend the day with her and have fun. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have a close connection with her. I have always been close with my mom and see her frequently, so I never feel distant from her, but going to Chicago keeps building our relationship to have some mother daughter time. Even if we never go to Chicago again, we would find something else to do to keep our bond strong.