Wandering FTW

Long, long ago in what can only be described as another life, I was living in New York City working as a flight attendant. While the travel perks of the job were as glamorous as they sound, my income had me inches above poverty level in the most expensive city in the country. I was traveling a lot but there were still several days a month that I found myself grounded. Quickly I had to discover inexpensive ways to enjoy the incredible place that I lived.

It was during this period of my life that I first took to wandering. I would leave my apartment in Queens, (Queens is MUCH closer to JFK and considerably more affordable. DON'T JUDGE.) jump on the F train and head into Manhattan. Most times I had no destination in mind. I would get off the train whenever I was feeling lucky and wander. Window shopping and people watching were always on the menu. There was plenty to see. Whether it was a new neighborhood to discover, an impressive (or not) street musician to listen to or brand new window displays to gawk at, the city never disappointed. Here’s where I should show you a picture of me happily wandering the streets of NYC. But a diet consisting of Ramen noodles and free airplane bottles of Khalua make for a puffy, puffy Molly. As a result, there will be no pictures shared.

Moving on.

Nowadays, the hubby and I are thankfully nowhere near the poverty level. But, until I find a job and those rent checks start rolling in on the house in Chattanooga we are definitely paying close attention to our budget. (Shoot, after I get a job and the rent checks are rolling in we need to be paying close attention to our budget.) One of the beautiful things about living in Chicago, wandering is back on the weekly itinerary. Wandering has been and will continue to be my primary means of getting to know the city better. Wandering is a brilliant way to uncover the hidden and not so hidden gems tucked away along the streets of Chicago. Not only is it inexpensive, I never know what adventure awaits me.

Wandering is how I ended up seeing this.

BHLDN is like the mother ship calling me home. - Lita Gown

BHLDN Beauty - Windswept Gown

BHLDN Ebullient Bolero

BHLDN Ethereal Monarch Train

Last Friday, while wandering around the Gold Coast I passed a window that grabbed the girly girl inside of me. I actually did a double take. Then I turned my wandering self around and walked right into a dream. BHLDN is an Anthropologie spawned bridal shop. BHLDN (Get it? "Beholden"?) opened the doors of its Chicago location on the brand's one year anniversary, Valentine's Day. It is only BHLDN's second store front and it is a delicious experience. I had read about the store, most recently on a blog I just discovered called Great Dates in the City, but I hadn't set out that day to visit it. That is the beauty of wandering, my friends. Unexpected surprises are out there around every corner.

So if you're looking for an inexpensive and thrilling way to spend the day, I suggest you go for a wander. Keep your plans and your eyes open and prepare to be enchanted.

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