Field trip: Christkindlmarket in Chicago

Nutella-filled strudel… what the WHAAAA??
Nutella-filled strudel… what the WHAAAA??

Oh, friends… oh, oh friends… Have you ever eaten just SO poorly for SO long that you don’t actually have to TRY to start eating healthier again–your body just rejects anything that’s crap?  Because I am so there, people.  And I’m thankful.

This picture?  That Nutella-filled strudel?  No, no… that wasn’t what put me over the top.  That was insanity in a little piece of wax paper.  The kids shared one because it is total contraband, but it was Nutella–who can say no to that?  I can.  Mine was cheese stuffed.  But I couldn’t deny my kids because my husband is from Brooklyn where Nutella is apparently a right of passage.

Wait… let me back up here… So, we have lived in “Chicagoland” (this completely cracks me up, btw–I know no other major city that refers to a good hour outside of it as “BigCityLand”)… we have lived here for 4-1/2 years.  We have grown our new “chosen family” and we’ve learned a lot of the lay of the land.  But each year, we add more things to our belt that cement us as Midwesterners if not bona fide Chicagoland people.  This year, it was the Christkindlmarket in Downtown Chicago.

The Christmas tree at the Palmer House hotel


We are blessed with friends who know all the ins and outs of being in Chicago as well as I know New York.  So she told me where to park and where to meet to eat healthy food for lunch together–at Freshii in the retail space in front of/under the Palmer House Hotel.  Our friend did work related to the hotel’s renovation and it. is. stunning.  I wish I had a picture of the painted plaster ceilings.

After lunch, she walked us past Chicago’s Macy’s windows.  Along the street side were a group of percussionists playing on the bottoms of 5-gallon plastic buckets.  A little further down the street were another one of those men, but he was with a younger boy–just learning his craft.  Girly was very taken by the young boy.  Either because he was “brown” or because he looked like he was her age, or maybe both.  They locked eyes for a while.  Now that she’s had a few days to process that, I should ask her about it.

Then we went on to Christkindlmarket–which was packed.  It was PACKED with people, but we managed to quickly get strudel and get a look at the other hundreds of edible and non-edible goodies…. The smells were amazing.  The kids watched as a flock of pigeons circled for a place to land, and finally settled on a series of window ledges of a nearby office building.

As we went back towards the parking garage, we had to pass Macy’s again and for a brief moment–the kids thought they wanted to see Santa.  That changed when the line was an hour long.  In the meantime, there were stations set up to write and send letters to Santa.  My kids went to all of them.  Here’s one of BigGuy’s:



(Girly was firm on wanting an iPad this year… she’ll get over it)

Overall, it was a great day with friends, exploring more of the city.  We ate our snacks on the way home–a 50 minute trip that took us 2 hours.  But it was a good day.


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