Introducing Au Pair in America blogger, Maria! You can follow Maria’s USA adventures as an au pair every month on here. She’s kicking things off with giving us the lowdown on visiting Chicago!
My name is Maria, I’m 26 years old and I am an au pair from Canada who’s living in Indianapolis with a great family and their 3 children. Being an au pair is great. Not only does “the world” build you, but you build it. It builds you by giving you many opportunities to see what it has to offer, and you build it by providing great commitment to your host family and by leaving your mark in the lives of those you meet while on this journey. The reason I’m calling this my “Springboard” series comes from something my host father told me. He said, “If I were to predict, this is your springboard to your next big step in life”. This is a huge step already for me, but I totally agree that this is helping me leap forward to the ultimate independence of my life.
I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and living through my adventures (even in the slightest) through my words.
There is no doubt that as an au pair, you really get to see “the world”, no matter where you are. My first few weeks here, I was lucky enough to be able to join my host family on their own vacation to Lake Michigan and Chicago. Now being from Toronto – a well renowned, enormous city with an endless amount of places to see and things to do – you would think it would be hard to impress me… quite the contrary, Chicago is absolutely amazing! It has one of the most striking skylines I have seen especially when the sun is setting and it hits at just the right angle that makes all the glass windows glisten with the reflection on Lake Michigan. I set off to explore many different areas such as the aquarium and the museums. I saw penguins trotting, dolphins and beluga whales putting on a great show as they waved at the crowd and splashed back into the water. I visited the Navy Pier, which is quite the sight to see, housing a gigantic Ferris Wheel, many live music events in the summer and yummy food places to visit.
My favorite museum in Chicago was the “Museum of Science and Technology”. In here, there is a plethora of knowledge to learn about, not only about things in the world, but also about yourself! They had this really cool machine where it would tell you how healthy your body is by measuring the age of your organs. I’d love to know how that is even possible to know just by standing in front of a large screen! I got to make some glow in the dark putty. I would definitely recommend anyone to visit this museum as it will take up your entire day and there will never be a dull moment.
Another must see is the “Willis Tower”. It provides such an astonishing view of the city of Chicago and gives you plenty of chills being 1,300+ feet in the air! They have a little glass outlet room where you get to walk onto this platform and feel your heart drop to your stomach. Literally! I had to walk off immediately once my brain realized how high I ACTUALLY was. I took another try at it and boy was it ah-maz-ing. The beauty of the city, the long highways, the shiny buildings, the reflection of the lake shimmering from the south. It was like seeing Chicago through a different lens – everything was different, even though it was all still the same, it was absolutely spectacular!
Another must in Chicago is the pizza!!! I visited “Gino’s East” and oh my! The crust was just crispy enough to hold all the ingredients you could ask for – paper thin in the center but thicker near the end; the cheese was gooey just like it should be and the pizza sauce was the perfect base with a little added spice. It got a little messy but that’s what makes a good pizza even better!
Overall, this is one of the best highlights of my au pair year here so far. Exploring is a must, whether it’s locally within your own au pair city, or whether you need to travel abroad. It has made me feel more cultured than ever, given that I already felt “Americanized” coming from an English speaking country with similar architecture, food and people. I hope you enjoyed this article, I hope it has inspired you all to get out there and see the world!
See you next month, springboarders!