Saturday, August 9, 2008

From Cornfields to the Big City

We drove to Iowa last Sunday so that my daughter could attend vacation bible school at the church my in-laws belong to. We saw some of the flood damage the next day. We could see how high the water of the Des Moines river was in several different places. This is supposed to be a parking lot.

Things are still a bit of a mess in lots of places.

On Tuesday, my husband and I drove past mile, after mile, after mile of cornfields. What used to seem fairly boring and benign, now looks poisonous to me. Fields of corn, unfit for human consumption, government subsidized and headed for cows, high fructose corn syrup, and ethanol.

Our destination though - far from boring. One of my favorite and arguably one of the best cities in the world. My old hometown.

My kind of town, Chicago is.

Stayed steps off of Michigan Avenue. Enjoyed happy hour with old friends along the Chicago River. Wonderful meals, old favorites and new restaurants discovered. A museum visited. A walking tour of the Gold Coast.

Walks by the lakefront.

Could there be a more beautiful city? The first time I drove along Lake Shore Drive, right here, between the beach and the high rises, I said "I'm going to live here." And I did.

I even bought a few books.

I love the small independent, but there is something to be said for the huge chain. While I feel like I've seen everything in my local Barnes and Noble, the Michigan Avenue Borders had new things to discover, books I'd never seen or heard of. Love that.

Love being home, too.


Cath said...

I hope you know that you feed my addiction to the USA with your wonderful photos, Tara? Never been to Chicago but hope to one day. The daughter of a friend of mine lived there for a few years and adored it so I know I would love it too.

bermudaonion said...

I haven't been to the Windy City in years, but this makes me want to go back.

Quirky Cafe said...

I would love to go to Chicago one day -it looks a fab city.

Such a coincidence that you bought Pomegranate Soup :-) I picked up The Lace Reader yesterday too!


Danielle said...

Chicago is a fun town. I wouldn't mind living there actually! It must have been nice to be back for you! And I broke down and ordered the Lace Reader, too. I've had the Merhan book for a while--need to get around to reading it as it looks good!

Tara said...

Cath, thank you! I do hope you'll come someday to the USA and Chicago especially. It is a unique city with a character all its own.

Bermudaonion, I've been lucky enough to visit every year or two since we moved away...we do think of retiring there someday but I'm afraid the money would run out rather quickly.

Quirkey Celt, it is and you should! I'd heard so much about The Lace Reader and couldn't stand it anymore and had to buy it.

Danielle, being able to go to Chicago is always a treat for me. It's a strange feeling, knowing my way around, feeling like a native, but at the same time, not.

nutmeg said...

I am currently watching ER on dvd and am definitely getting my "dose" of Chicago! I think one of the reasons I am so glued to it is I like watching the show as it passes through the seasons. Some of us Aussies look longingly at snowy cities - especially at Christmas time. I have an abiding desire to spend Christmas in a large North American city at least once in my life - New York or Chicago would fit the bill nicely thank you very much :-)

P.S. I received my copy of Resistance and am ready to go - just say the word.

P.P.S. I had exactly the same reaction as you to all that corn!

Sarah said...

There is nothing like going home!

I was pleasantly surprised by Pomegranate Soup so hope you enjoy it.

Tara said...

Nutmeg, I can understand why snowy cities would be appealing....but I'm guessing a week here in January would send you running straight back to Australia. Truly, Chicago is lovely at Christmastime, with all the lights and shop window displays. I will email you about Resistance.

Sarah, hi! Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Pomegranate Soup - did you read the sequel as well?

Iliana said...

Chicago is fantastic isn't it? Glad to hear you enjoyed your getaway and of course enjoy the new books! I like that cover for Pomegranate Soup.

Tara said...

Iliana, yes. Yes!!! Cannot get enough of Chicago. Isn't that cover great? I loved that two of the books I picked out that night had similar colors - tan and red - a favorite combination for me.

Anonymous said...

Oooooh...Pomegranate Soup and The Lace Reader. Two excellent choices!

Tara said...

Hi softdrink, Thanks! I'm glad you think so.