We found out last week where the Army will be sending us this summer. I normally wait until we have orders in hand before announcing our next adventure because so much can change between learning such information and actually arriving at said duty station. But this time around, the information was published as part of board selection results, so Army friends were contacting us throughout the day offering their congratulations. It felt a bit surreal to have so many people know right of the bat – we’re used to keeping the information to ourselves for at least a little while and having it be our little secret.
So where are we going next?
Known for great food, amazing music, and arguably the best architecture in the United States, Chicago will be the place we call home for the next two years. Truth be told, we were hoping for a West Coast assignment because it is the one region the Army hasn’t sent us in the continental United States. But we can’t really complain about the Chicago area – our assigned location, Fort Sheridan, is on the bluffs of Lake Michigan in the Highland Park area, which is about 25 miles north of downtown Chicago.
Beyond a layover at the airport, the kids and Clay have never been to Chicago. I’ve visited as a kid and again for a girls weekend a handful of years ago but barely scraped the surface of the famed city. I can’t wait to take Clay and the kids to the Museum of Science and Industry, which blew me away as a sullen teenager. We’ll cheer on our beloved Nats when they play the Cubs at Wrigley Field and I’m sure we’ll spend hours wandering the city and enjoy the various parks sprinkled throughout the city. We’re looking forward to living in a northern climate again – I’m already stocking up on sweaters as they go on clearance down here. And Clay and I will be closer to our extended families in Michigan and Ohio, which will be pretty cool.
A friend joked that the Army is technically sending us to a coast – it just happens to be Lake Michigan on the North Shore. We’re super excited to live so close to a major body of water and plan to use our paddle boards and kayaks as much as the weather allows. I’ve shouted from roof tops just how amazing Lake Michigan is – especially up in the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan, where I vacationed every summer growing up – so I’m sure we will spend the majority of our free time on the water, which is how it should be.
We’ll make the most of our time left here in the Washington DC area but we’re ready to move on – maybe because this is the second time we’ve been stationed here or perhaps it is because we’ve never lived in a place longer than 35 months. The thought of staying in a place longer than three years feels so foreign and if we’re being honest – not for us. Clay and I have found comfort in a somewhat nomadic lifestyle but we realize the the kids may not feel the same way as they get older. However, they’re both excited for this move and the opportunities that moving to a new place can bring. Only time will tell what Chicago has in store for the four of us but we’re looking forward to finding out!
“She is novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.“Mark Twain
On top of the Willis Tower Sky Deck on the Ledge in 2014.