I am a city girl. I admit it. I love the hustle, diversity, and entertainment. I was technically born in Lubbock, Texas but my parents moved to Park Ridge, IL (a neighboring suburb of Chicago) when I was a year old. The only experience I had of farmland or “the country” was when I went to church camp in Wisconsin. I loved the experience with animals, the small town ice cream shops, learning to water ski, bonfires, and the night sky that could stop you in your tracks.
I love the county. I love the city. I want to experience both and have my kids experience both. I am a Gemini. I don’t believe in astrology, but I do feel that my personality is very fitting of a Gemini. According to astrology.com, “Geminis are a mix of the yin and the yang, they are represented perfectly by the Twins. The Gemini-born can easily see both sides of an issue, a wonderfully practical quality. Less practical is the fact that you’re not sure which Twin will show up half the time. Geminis may not know who’s showing up either, which can prompt others to consider them fickle and restless.”
My husband, on the other hand, would choose the country if his job did not keep him in the city. He loves the simplistic pleasures, safeness, and the wilderness experience (aka fishing). He doesn’t care to drive around for a half-hour to find a parking spot so we can try the hottest new restaurant…and then wait another hour to be seated. He cringes when he has to spend more than $30 just for the meat and the sides cost what he would normally spend on his entire meal. He does not care for micro-brewed beers and will walk out of any bar where he cannot get a domestic light beer. He has worked on the Chicago Police Department for over 16 years and has seen the best of the city and the worst. He doesn’t see neighborhoods anymore- he sees crime statistics. I look at the beautiful lakefront and he tells me of the out-of-control mob scene that happened the week before at that very same spot.
We live in the city of Chicago and will raise our kids here but we both made the decision to purchase a summer home in Michigan versus upgrading our primary residence. I do get frustrated that we have to penny pinch and that I can’t upgrade my 90’s furniture but I am so glad our kids have city and country experiences. I’m really hoping olive green and burgundy become the “it” colors next year. I love it that they can climb trees, go horse back riding, catch frogs, and fish. I also love it that we can hop on a train and be in the loop in 20 minutes. I know our kids don’t comprehend how fortunate they are but I know they will some day. Having two homes, that both need a lot of work, definetly has it’s set of challenges but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Over the next few months I plan on blogging about things to do in Chicago and Southwest Michigan. There are a ton of places to visit to give your kids the country experience without having to add a second mortgage. The city girl, or Gemini, in me has to always have somewhere new to check out with the kids. I am always looking for suggestions, so drop me an email if you have any ideas.