When Things Open

Okay, so I just published a blog about how terrified I am of the world opening again, but I’ve also been thinking about the things I want to do when it opens up. So, I thought I’d run through my top ten.

  1. I want to go grocery shopping. Online shopping has been a life-saver, and I can spend a lot of time browsing online. But I want to go to the deli counter, the seafood counter, the meat counter. I want to walk around looking at all the things on sale. I want to pick the cut of meat. I want to randomly find that one item I wouldn’t have looked for, but hey, it’s there and it’s a good price, and now I need to buy the things to plan a meal around it. I miss grocery stores so much!
  2. I want to sit at a bar and order drinks and appetizers. If you read my blogs regularly, this has come up often. My husband and I used to (pre-pandemic) love going to our favorite spots and just ordering off the appetizer menu until we were full. It’s kind of like tapas except in restaurants that don’t actually offer tapas. It’s delicious. Sometimes it might be a little less than healthy, but be honest, tapas also allows you to just eat junk. Pair them with fantastic cocktails or wine and the wonderful conversations with the bartender, and you just can’t beat it.
  3. I want to eat in a fine-dining restaurant. Yes, we have gotten take out from a few, and it is amazing. But nothing beats the atmosphere of a nice restaurant. And I especially love places that offer a tasting menu or pre-fixe menu. I love the element of surprise when you just allow the chef to create a beautiful meal.
  4. I want food trucks. There are a few here and there that pop up, but I always seem to miss them until it’s too late. And I just don’t feel like dealing with the hassle, as we are very quarantined, and so the process to just get take out is so complex. But I miss being able to go to one street and have like 20 choices. Sometimes, I would choose like 3 trucks and order different things to make a great meal.
  5. I want food courts. Some of them are great. Some of them are terrible. But like the food truck rows, I just love that you can get a variety of things. It’s like a buffet except without people sneezing or reaching their questionably clean hands into the dishes!
  6. I want delivery. Part of our quarantine routine includes that we don’t do food delivery. Adding a delivery driver to the mix just isn’t something we decided was acceptable. So we only get food we can pick up for take-out and only do that on occasion. I miss the “I’m too lazy, let’s just get it delivered” nights. Also, some of the places we love are far enough that if it were delivered we might pick it, but to go pick it up is just a pain.
  7. I miss traveling. One thing I always insist on in traveling is trying some of the local fare. I generally eschew chains when on trips. And the more local I can find, the better. I love a good local mom-n-pop diner or a restaurant that has been in town for decades and has a colorful history. Or that beautiful café in Paris that has been there for so long and offers such very classic French cuisine.
  8. Wineries! Oh, I miss touring wineries. I probably haven’t told you all how insane I am for wine, but it’s a well known thing among my family and friends. And I love local wineries. They always have the best stories and the proprietors and employees are so nice.
  9. I also miss museums. I love art museums. We live in Chicago, so we have some great museums. And we’ve toured a boatload of museums in Paris. I really want to get to New York and to London for their museums.
  10. Finally, but not least at all, I miss the little shops. You know, the spice shop, the deli, the cheese shops. Okay, yes most of the ones I miss are food related. But walking into my favorite spice shop is just an amazing moment. And the olive oil shop I go to is amazing. I mean, my sister orders their oils online from 1,200 miles away because I took her there once.

There are many more things I miss. I mean, a good ball game is always up there. However, right now, in this moment, these are my top ten things I look forward to when it is safe again.

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