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   As I board the plane, I say my final good-bye to thewhite-sand beaches, gentle breezes, and gorgeous palm trees of sunny Miami. I letout a sigh, for Miami's warmth and generosity have touched me. I buckle myselfin, and, as our plane takes off into the afternoon skies, I grab my mother'shand.

"Don't you wish we could live in Miami?" she asks. Herwords are filled with hope and envy. Poor mother, I think, you would notunderstand. There is only one place I could ever dream of living, and I alreadylive there.

I live in Chicago, the Windy City. The image of the vastwaters of Lake Michigan now flow inside my head. Sure, Florida has the ocean, butit doesn't give me that special feeling, the feeling of being in my own hometown.

Just the thought of being home again makes my body feel warm andpeaceful. My mind is overcome with fine memories of the soaring skyscrapers andglorious lakefront. Navy Pier, the United Center, Wrigley Field, the Sears Tower;I long to see them all once more.

How could I live in Miami? I cannot evenimagine cheering for any basketball team but the Bulls or eating any hot dogthat's not Chicago-style, because Chicago is my home. The charming, breezybeaches of Miami will always be in my heart, but my heart is always going to bein Chicago.






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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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