It’s fun turning our vacations into extended travelogs threaded with a sometimes weird, often self-deprecating personal narrative that ensures I’ll never be invited to write for a travel magazine. This year I thought I’d also toss in our answers to a question no one asked: “How did the world look from the vantage point of our middle-class accommodations?”
Every vacation ends with a homecoming. Inevitably we have to return to reality, relinquish the perks of living outside the box for a week, resume our routines, and readjust to our not-so-exotic environments. Sometimes when we’ve run ourselves ragged to the point of exhaustion, it can be almost comforting to slip back into familiar robes and roles and ruts.
At the end of our 2020 experience, “home sweet home” didn’t have quite the same ring to it. More of a Chopin dirge than a ring.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: back in April my wife and I attended C2E2 in Chicago. Rather than stay in the adjacent hotels where all the drunken partying happens, which has nothing to with us, instead I found a nice deal through AAA to stay at the positively luxurious Swissotel Chicago, just north of Millennium Park. Our 26th-floor room had the largest windows we’ve ever seen in a hotel room from the inside. To the northeast of us, that’s the Chicago River down below. In the distance you’ll note the Ferris wheel at the Navy Pier out on on Lake Michigan. Grandiose stuff.