I have dreamed of visiting Chicago for years. For some of you, maybe this is a trip you have taken often. For me, though, it was on my “Bucket List.” So, when Chris was able to take a few vacation days recently, off we went! It did not matter to me when we left or what we saw when we arrived. I just needed to see that beautiful city I have heard so much about.
Let me tell you that I only need a great hotel and room service when we get away. Seriously. Everything else is a bonus in a new city because I crave beautiful surroundings and rest. In 2019, we traveled to another big city for a medical conference, and I didn’t leave our hotel room each day until the afternoon. I soaked in room service, journaled and centered myself. (Okay...no judgment!) Chris was busy at the conference each day, so my indulgences were a gift to myself—self-love and self-care. I have never felt guilty about taking that space of rest for myself on that trip.
And now, I am here—in Chicago! I am writing to you from the midst of a beautiful hotel. I have found rest and am breathing in all the beauty and the sights of my Bucket List city. Of course, we will need to return to see every suggested place and restaurant. Smile. (Don’t laugh at my juvenile reaction!) This city is truly beautiful!
I have seen the Art Institute of Chicago, the beautiful view of Chicago at the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, and the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park. We traveled on a spectacular Architecture River Tour, logged 27,483 steps within 13.6 miles over three days as we enjoyed delicious meals and sightseeing down Michigan Avenue. The streets lined with small manicured gardens were eye candy for me. We will just have to return one day to check off the second half of my list because the rain prevented any additional sites. But, wow! Chicago did not disappoint, and there is so much more still to see.
In the Notes app on my phone, I keep a running list of the places I want to see and the recommendations from my traveling friends. Why? To help me remember to dream. It is odd to pull out my phone when friends share a special place with me, but that list is golden to me. Realistically, I know most of the places on that list my eyes will not see. I understand some of the places are for young people. I am aware of how “young” I am, and how the years that I lifted Robert have, in some ways, taken a piece of my strength. I’m sure many of you can relate so well to this scenario because you are doing that lifting even now as I write this blog.
Our own bodies need attention and care as we care for our loved ones. You know what I mean: showers are required; bedsores need bodily rotations; and, sometimes, those walkers and wheelchairs need positioning. Back spasms and neck pain are real issues for many of you, I know. Add a few suitcases to a trip, and you may wonder why I would even suggest that you travel!
Like Chris and I did, many of you have dreamed for years about traveling but cannot realistically even think about leaving your house. It’s not because you don’t want to, but life in your home will not allow you that pleasure. It is a luxury to you, even if others travel casually to places all around you. I used to just purchase travel magazines so I could dream in the late night hours with Robert about the places I wanted to go. Those hopeful daydreams kept me going through some years.
Now, when my kids say, “Mom, just book a flight and go,” I still hesitate, wondering when the other proverbial shoe will drop. (It would have to be a huge one.) I get it. Perhaps you need to wait a little while longer, but do not give up on your dreams and Bucket List. Your list may need to be altered or edited. You can do that while you care for your loved one(s). Your time will come, even if it is in small measures. The tangible possibility of travel for our blog families is one of the reasons I so desperately desired to partner with a hotel to give respite and a little piece of travel joy to our subscribers. (Thank you Presidian Hotels and Resorts!) Hold onto those dreams.
It has taken me 40 years to get to Chicago. This is just one destination on my list. In Chicago, I found the rest I needed. I am here to dream and hope with you until your day comes. Keep dreaming! Make the list!
Listening Library: Here (Kari Jobe)
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
Come and rest here Come and lay your burdens down Come and rest here There is refuge for you now [Pre-Chorus:] You'll find His peace And know you're not alone anymore He is near You'll find His healing Your heart isn't shattered anymore He is here [Chorus:] Breathe in Breathe out You will You will find Him here
[Bridge:] I will rest in You [Outro:] You will find Him You will find Him here You will find Him You will find Him here
Writer(s): Kari Jobe, Leslie Jordan, David Leonard