So I’ve been in Chicago for 2,5 days now and I absolutely love it so far! But I’ll tell you about that in a second.
On Thursday we had our third and final day of orientation. Or really the last half day because everybody was leaving for their final destinations a little after lunch. We got up early and had a talk about travel and legal stuff, really all the practical stuff that you need to know for the first few weeks. Like how to get your social security number and all the travel information. Then after that we talked about communication with the Hostfamily and the children you’ll be working with. It was all pretty straight forward. Be respectful, be honest, and talk talk talk. Don’t lose the kids, don’t hurt the kids etc. They told us about some laws that might impact us. Basically, it was a lot of talking.
Then, at around 2 PM, I left the cozy hotel to go to La Guardia airport for my final flight to O’Hare international airport. Everything went very smoothly, thank God. I checked in, checked my bags (which weren’t too heavy!) and went to the gate. There was another girl from orientation with me. She was also going to Chicago, but had to take a later flight. So we waited at the gate together and had a good time. We were both really nervous though.
The flight to Chicago was good. No TV screens this time though, so I had to entertain myself with my books and music. But that was okay. The flight was 2,5 hours or so but it went by quicker than I thought. But in no time I arrived at O’Hare and I have to tell you, it was a much much better welcome than I got in Newark. We flew pretty low over the city so I could see all the Christmas decorations on the houses and they had the prettiest differently colored lit trees that made it a beautiful sight to see. Unfortunately I didn’t get close enough to them to take a pictures but you’re going to have to take my word for it.
And then.. Chicago!! By the way let me tell you, O’Hare is one of the prettier airports that I’ve been to. I got picked up by my hostdad, A and he drove us to the house. Which is absolutely huge and beautiful. As is the neighborhood by the way. It’s very American with huge houses and cute Christmas decorations. At the house I was greeted by K, the hostmom and the current Au Pair, Daniella and the baby, L. They are all so nice! It’s really good so far, I feel right at home and I can definitely see myself living here for a year.
On Friday I went along to take the kids to school, then I had coffee with K and went shopping for some food and shampoo. After that we went home and took care of the baby until A came to pick me up to practice driving and to pick the kids up from school. I drove all through Oak Park and the neighboring areas without trouble and I’m so proud of myself; driving in another country! It’s snowing very heavily right now so I don’t know how much I’ll be driving in these first few days but I will definitely be driving more when things settle down.
So today I got up early and went along with K to bring the oldest girl, M, to ballet lessons and then I went to the Oak Park Library which is HUGE and brilliant and basically heaven. I have a feeling I’ll be hanging out a lot around there. After that I went back home with the family and hung out a bit. Saturday afternoons are typically no work days so I’m currently in my room, watching a new episode of Vampire Diaries on the huge flatscreen HD TV. Can you say paradise?
So all in all, it’s really good now. I’ve got a little over a week until work really starts for me because the current Au Pair is still here. So from Monday on, I’ll be working alongside with her, getting a feel of the routine and stuff. This also means that I’m currently sleeping on the pull out couch. But that’s okay for now. I’m really very comfortable. But then after she leaves on the 20th I’ll be able to move into the main bedroom and get all my stuff settled in.
Can’t wait for it to all get started to be honest! To go to the city and to figure out where to shop and to get the routine down. I’m really looking forward to it all! But first, tomorrow is the first Cluster meeting so I’ll meet all the other Au Pairs who are close by. So that’ll be good!
I’ll keep you updated 😀