Chicago: Winter Wonderland

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November 29th 2008
Published: November 30th 2008
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It is no doubt that winter in Chicago is punishingly cold. The windchill, like knifes, cut through your skin without any mercy. The lake looks arctic. Snow storms, icy roads....... But, I've always found ways to enjoy winter in Chicago. This year is no exception!

Christkindlemarket, located at the Daley Plaza, has been a Chicago holiday tradition since 1996. Decorated lavishly with red and green lights, snow flake ornaments, it was hard not to let the giant Christmas tree caught my attention. Daley plaza looks nothing like a usual serious courthouse. An old gentleman, in his black wool scarf, was sitting on the side of Randolph street playing accordion holiday music. Children and adults were waiting in line impatiently to get into the "Sweet Castle" to grab those European candies and chocolates to satisfy the sweet teeth. Oh, and the spicy Gluwein kept me warm from the Chicago windchill. After a cup of warm spiced wine, I was strolling the market slightly disoriented and more giggly then usual. What happen to my EtOh tolerance? The tasty bratwurst, beautifully painted beer steins, and unique hand crafted ornaments brought back so much wonderful memory of the recent trip to Germany.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Every year, the Rockettes tours Chicago. This year I finally went to see the show. (Also, thanks to the promotion code, tickets are a lot more affordable.) It was a fun show to watch. The Rockettes' signature high-kicks and formation dazzled the audience. The scene I really enjoyed was the "Teddy Bear" version of The Nutcracker. It was magical watching the teddy bears dancing beneath a glowing Christmas Tree. The Parade of Wooden Soldiers was the highlight. How incredible it is to watch the Rockettes, in stunning soldier uniforms, performed this dance in such precision. At the end, they pretended to be hit by a blast cannon, and collapsed one by one until the last dancer collapsed on an oversized red velvet cushion.

On the run: Rudolph Ramble 2008
This is a fun race to kickoff the holiday season. It is also a perfect excuse to start the holiday feast. Winter has arrived earlier this year. In December, we've already buried in snow and attacked by brutal windchill. I've learned that ice and snow are the wonders of Chicago winter running.
When I got to the course, I almost thought that I should have brought my skates. The trail was icy that I could barely walk! Then, I found out that the race was shorten from 8k to 5k due to weather and trail condition. Despite the condition, I had so much fun rambling down the lakefront path with fellow "Rudolph" and "Santa". I think I will miss cold weather running.

Today, the snow is in the perfect condition for building a snow man! (Right around freezing point, 32F) It's a little bit sad that I won't get to see snow very often soon. Such a love and hate relationship with snow.
We made snow angles. I think my snowman is adorable. Oh... what a fun we had..............

Lincoln Park Zoo Light
Lincoln park zoo is situated at a prime location: walking distance from the lake, and near by the heart of Chicago. This was my first time visiting the zoo although I have ran by it hundreds of times. On this cold winter night, we were "nuts" enough to bundle up in our best winter gears and subject ourselves to the icy, winter outdoors. The zoo was decorated with millions of shimmering holiday lights! As we walked into the zoo, we were given free 3-D glasses to see the "hidden" snowman display around the zoo. There was also dazzling musical light show choreographed with holiday tunes. We saw a few animals indoors: hippo, lions, giraffe, monkeys..... Of course, a lot of them were sleeping. I would say Lincoln Park Zoo light did brighten up people's spirit despite the seasonal chill.

You see the best way to beat the Chicago winter blue is simply by trying to have some fun. You just have to be brave enough to embrace the cold and the snow.

Additional photos below
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Rudolph RambleRudolph Ramble
Rudolph Ramble

The course was icy!

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