Summer – the weather is pretty fun. It gets nice and warm but not quite to the same extent as what we were used to growing up.
Block parties – apparently they’re a thing here. They have bouncy houses and piñatas and a hundred or so people (with oodles of kids) hanging out together and sharing food. With the amount of diversity in our neighborhood, it ends up with a really eclectic blend of cultures.
Biking – there aren’t any hills which is especially important when you’re bike is laden with a baby seat and a Trail-a-Bike or a trailer. The Lincoln Park trail runs the whole length of the lake shore and offers some incredible views of the city. All around biking here is awesome!!
Neighborhood Diversity – I really enjoy living amongst so many different cultures. I enjoy walking through our neighborhood at dinner time and smelling all the different ethnic cuisines cooking in the different houses. I also like the different nationalities represented in Addilyn’s school. I love that you can see Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc people living together in the same neighborhood.
Proximity – Where else will we live where we’ll be within walking distance of church, work, school, a Starbucks, and at least a half dozen restaurants? We’re even within walking distance of a couple of parks and a hospital if needed. We can walk to the train if we want to go downtown so really, if we wanted to, we would only need to use our van to get groceries.
Beach – while we haven’t taken advantage of it nearly as much as we should have, Chicago has beaches with relatively clean water. They are much better than any Kansas lake's beach and probably better than our Galveston beaches too.
Museums – while they can be pricey if you go on any regular day, there are some awesome museums here, most of which offer free days.
Magnificent Mile – when you’re in the mood for people watching, this is a great place to go. You can also enjoy watching people while walking around downtown and end up eating something yummy on the way.
Lurie’s Children’s Hospital – We’ve used Lurie’s a couple of times and are immensely grateful to have one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation so close. We have quite an emotional attachment to the hospital and staff after our experience with Asher (and now Albert).
Culture – if you’ve got some money, Chicago has endless entertainment. You can go to a Cubs game or enjoy a number of other professional sports. There are concerts and theatre (unfortunately we’ve only been able to partake in the concert realm thus far) galore.
Food – There is the obvious food advantages of Chicago such as their deep dish pizza, Italian steak sandwiches and Chicago hot dogs (not to mention fun staples like The Billy Goat). There is also every ethnic cuisine imaginable to discover and explore throughout the city. For example we have discovered we enjoy French food and have tried out a couple of different and absolutely amazing French restaurants. After we have conquered French maybe we’ll move on to Cuban (not likely but that’s my vote), Turkish or Filipino.
Free TV – Since we live in a major city we are able to get 20 or so channels with just a basic digital antenna. We are pretty attached to our news team at NBC Chicago.
Libraries - Tyler wanted me to add that he loves the abundance of libraries. There are many very large and thorough libraries really close to us. That means if we need a book, any book at all, we can request it through interlibrary loan at our campus library and it will be sent over quickly or we can wander over to whatever library might have it and find said book ourselves if we want.
Trees -There are some lovely trees in our neighborhood. I love that they make a tree tunnel over our streets (on nearly every street). I also love that trees surround our second floor apartment and make it feel like we are living in a tree fort. And I love the all around feel of our neighborhood with all it's brick houses and apartments. I will miss walking Addilyn to school, especially in the fall when all the leaves start changing colors and our neighborhood looks gorgeous!