Living in the midwest is like a badge of honor for me.
While people on the east and west coasts may derisively refer to us as mere “fly-over states,” I feel like the heart of America is found within the communities of the midwest. This stretches from the American south up to the Canadian border. The Ozarks are considered part of the midwest if you refer to the National Park Service, which is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever had the honor of visiting. Personally speaking, I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan after being raised in Lansing. My mother’s side of the family is from Rockford, Illinois while my father’s side of the family is from Lansing, Michigan. We drove down Interstate 94 at least twice a year to visit my mom’s parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews for holidays in Rockford. These were my first experiences driving through the city of Chicago. I remember when I first saw the skyscrapers in the distance as we approached northward on I-90. While my parents never stopped for long in Chicago at the time, I make the trip out to Chicago several times a year nowadays just to see some of the live concerts. There’s a big psychedelic rock music scene in downtown Chicago, especially in West Loop and Wicker Park. I’m also a fan of the cannabis dispensaries in the city, such as the large location in Old Town across the street from the massive bank. They have a large selection of cannabis edibles and cannabis concentrates. I always grab something from a dispensary in Chicago before heading back toward Michigan because of the quality of weed in Illinois.