I spent my Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago, visiting one of the greatest people I know. My friend Katie possesses an energy that is instantly infectious. People just become happier and more positive around her. When I was considering a move out to Chicago a few years ago, Katie wrote me a Top 10 list of reasons why I should do it. Knowing about my cynical nature at the time, she noted, "I hope my enthusiasm for life doesn't discredit my opinion here."
It still makes me laugh. Anyway, she sort of shows life how it's meant to be lived, so who better to lead us around the Windy City?
It's important to know a few fun facts about walking around Chicago with Katie.
1) She stops for every dog she sees. Every dog. The number one sentence for the weekend was, "Can I pet your dog?" which she asked to every owner as she bent down to say hello to their pet. It was basically impossible to get through a farmer's market with her considering the amount of dogs we saw. When we passed the cutest little puppy ever on a street in her neighborhood, Katie pushed her way into a crowd of children petting it and started to freak out. Someone passing by looked to the puppy's owner and referring to the group of people waiting to say hello said, "It must be hard to get to where you're going with that little one."
He could have easily been referring to Katie.
There are also a lot of dogs in Chicago named Wrigley. A fact that my friend shared with me and we found to be true. "Everyone here names their dog Wrigley. Every other dog is Wrigley. You'll see."
2) She knows every person is Chicago. Wherever we went, she knew someone. It was weird, and hilarious, and wonderful. At one point, we passed an outdoor seating area at a bar and she leaned over to look a guy straight in the face to make sure it was who she thought it was and then casually mentioned, "That's my cousin."
Of course it is.
3) This was how she introduced me to every person we met: "This is Jess. She's moving here."
Which was followed by my nervous reaction, and heightened indecisive tendencies, and a rush of thoughts about my favorite girl in Boston that caused me to stutter through my hellos. "Well.. I mean, um, I'm just... visiting, really."
We had a crazy good time full of great laughs, wicked sunburns, exciting sports games, and lots of beer. Chicago is an amazing city full of incredibly nice people. I absolutely adore it.
On my last night there, walking back to Katie's apartment with some take-out, she stopped to say hello to yet another dog. When she asked the owner the dog's name, he replied, "This is Fenway."
I smiled to myself about the sign.