My First Air BNB Experience

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Upon meeting me, one will quickly learn my favorite place to be is in the city. When we drive into the city, I almost immediately begin to feel like its home. I have no idea why...I wasn't raised in the city, Ive never lived in the city...always a hard core suburbanite; BUT it feels like home.
My life is one that is filled with so much beauty and I have SO much to be grateful for...I know this to be true. But sometimes it gets just plain hard and overwhelming. Im sure you can relate. 

As I mentioned in my "hello" post, we have a foster son. He's been in our home for three years this August and it has been a beautiful, and yet grueling, three years. Please don't misunderstand me, Im not trying to make light of what he's been though, because its terrible; but because of his unfortunate start, he has some real behavior struggles. In the first three days he was in our home he smeared feces on the wall, slapped me across the face twice and called me a bi***. 


Not how I'd always dreamed of beginning our family.

But we've grown in ways I could not imagine us growing. We are still a MAJOR work in progress guys...but moment by moment I grab on to grace. 

He has grown, we have grown, and slowly but surely we're becoming a family. Only by His grace.

This being said, it still gets the best of me. And this particular week I had the realization I was becoming a less than pleasant version of myself. Instead of "responding" 9 times out of 10, with the occasional "reaction", I was reacting way more than responding. I felt physically drained and downright exhausted. 

I looked at my husband and I said, "I need 24 hours". And he happily gave it to me. I booked myself a little Airbnb place, and off I went to enjoy some quiet, some reflection, some respite and some time with Jesus. 

This was my sweet little home for the weekend. My room had tons of natural light. The apartment had a little kitchen, bathroom and a second rental bedroom. 

.....this was where I'd do this a little differently next time....for a time of respite and get-away, sharing an apartment with a total stranger was a bust for me. I wanted to meander about the place in my pjs and instead felt nervous most of the time. So, for this reason ONLY I wouldn't recommend an Airbnb for this particular purpose. But everything else was lovely! I paid $40 a night for a gorgeous rental in Wicker Park which is a beautiful, historic area in Chicago. I am an architecture buff, so this city is my jam. 

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Right at the end of the block where my apartment was located, was Dollop! Which, if you happened to have read my last post, is one of my current top 5 favorite coffee shops in the city. I was so delighted in this surprise! It had the most epic set of windows which let in the morning light like a dream. I didn't get a photo so I used the one from their website which is identical to how that morning felt. 


I spent my first morning in this delightfully cozy corner shop, with my hot espresso, chocolate croissant and journal. I prayed, reflected, journaled. It was so life-giving, I hardly have words for it. 

After a morning of rest, reflection and focus, I decided to rent a Divvy bike and go about the city. I knew out of the two days I had in the city, this was going to be my nice day. It was cloudy with some sunshine, and 58 degrees. As far as a Chicago springtime day goes, thats a downright heatwave!

I decided to pop in to the Watertower Place shopping center and wander about a bit. As both a mom and a wife, it's not often I can meander the shops with ease and literally NO time frame to have to be back....I figured Id take advantage. My hubby said that he'd like to buy me some designer sunglasses for Mothers Day this year, so I went into Sunglass Hut for a look around. I wanted something unique and I fell in love with these....Im still trying to decide if Im cool enough to pull them off...haha.

After my shopping I did some walking about, touring local neighborhoods and walking by the water. It really was so refreshing.

By the time I was near my apartment, I was beat! I had biked a solid 7 miles, walked a good 4-5 miles and was ready to chill! So, I grabbed some sushi, a bottle of Rosé, put on my sweatpants and had a delightful Netflix and chill the very literal meaning of that phrase, of course ;)

The next morning I was greeted with much cooler temperatures and RAIN. Which is much more in line with typical Chicago spring weather. So, I decided to park myself at this very cute coffee shop called the Filter Cafe. Its like a giant living room filled with lounge chairs, couches and so.many.hipsters. I was definitely feeling right at home.

I happily sipped my latte, and relaxed here until it was time to go home to my family.

All in all, I would definitely recommend both getting away to unplug, and doing so through Airbnb!

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