It’s Time to Plan a Winter Escape from Chicago


I love living in Chicago. I love the energy here, the gorgeous architecture, the intense north/south baseball rivalry, the diverse cultures and food, the Lake, the clanking, rattling el train, the amazing museums, and the granduer of the Magnificent Mile. But I’ll be the first to admit, when winter comes, my thoughts to turn to leaving Chicago – not for good (the summers more than make up for the winters, plus there’s actually lots to do in Chicago in the winter) but just for a week or so to remember what it feels like to have a warm sun shine down on my shoulders, and not have to bundle up until I look like the Stay-Puft marshmallow man just to step outside.

When I stop being able to recall why I choose to live in a place where the words “wind chill,” “below zero,” and “lake effect snow” are used on a near daily basis to describe the weather, I plan a winter getaway. Sometimes it is to a tropical locale, but more often than not I choose a place with mild temperatures; coming back with a tan isn’t a requirement. This year, I’m thinking Phoenix, for the sunny Sonoran desert, the great hiking, horseback riding, spa treatments, and golf vacation packages.  There are lots of cheap flights to Phoenix available from Chicago, and if I can find some good Southwest flights, I can fly in and out of Midway, a low-stress, less-crowded airport where I can arrive 45 minutes before my flight with no worries.

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I’m thinking that my little Phoenix getaway will be just thing to warm me up, remind my why I love Chicago so much, and get me re-energized to enjoy all the cold weather fun to be found in the Windy City.

Photo by kira_westland