When Stacy Lyn was offered a long weekend in Chicago, she responded unhesitatingly with a “Yes, please.” After all, she had never visited the state of Illinois, and this would be the thirty-ninth of fifty. Only eleven more to go, but those eleven could wait while Illinois revealed her wares.

The town on the lake earned its moniker of the Windy City. Yes, the temperature was a mere twenty degrees, but it was the incessant gale that stole the body’s heat. Frigid. That’s the only word that can sum Chicago’s brand of cold.

Chi-town was all decked out in her Christmas finery, making Stacy Lyn’s spirit bright. She partook of all the things that distinguish Chicago: deep-dish pizza, the Navy Pier, the Willis (Sears) Tower ledge, Bombolonis, the Christmas Market, and magnificent State Street.

A word or two about Chicago pizza, if you please. One cannot compare it to New York pizza because they are two completely different entities. Neither can be better, only one preferred to the other. Stacy Lyn had never tasted any that she preferred to New York’s. Until Chicago. So there you have it – Stacy Lyn prefers Chicago pizza because though the dish is deep, the crust is still thin, and marinara makes no appearance. Perfect combination of contrasting things. Voilà.

There was a special bonus to the weekend – reconnecting with friends whom she had not seen since 2011 in Bratislava. Such seemed like a lifetime ago, until she saw them and the conversation continued as though only a moment had passed. But in seven years, the winds of change pick one up, no matter how much one protests. The question is, where will one be deposited?

This particular weekend, Stacy Lyn landed in Chicago, and she protested not at all.