Strudel & Bratwurst: Christmas Time in Chicago

Strudel and bratwurst…sounds like names for twins or a set of dogs. Or it’s the delicious meal I enjoyed at Chicago’s 15th Annual Christkindlmarket, a German Christmas festival nearby my hotel.  The festival attracts American, German, and other vendors from around the world as they offer an assortment of handcraft items. There are nice items to be viewed but I think the real treat here is the delicious food to eat. There were a number of food vendors offering an assortment of desserts, beer, and meats.

Chicago at night during ChristmasI’ve spent the past week in Chicago at the annual FEMA Risk Analysis Directorate conference. Our stay at The Drake Hotel brings in FEMA employees from headquarters and the regions along with FEMA contractors. This year the dialogue revolved around Risk MAP and how this program will be implemented throughout the nation. The days were filled with excellent discussions about identifying flood risk, collaborating with communities, developing strategies, and most importantly, implementing strategies in the community to reduce risk and save lives. This is much of my bread and butter of what I do with FEMA, though I usually focus on all natual hazards.

Skype photo of familyI’m looking forward to an early flight tomorrow to be back with Laura and my kids. Each evening we chat on Skype when I travel. It’s always an entertaining time trying to connect with everyone as Autumn wants to stand or eat, Ethan runs here and there, and Laura trys to orchestrate everything. Her and the kids have all been a little ill this week so I’m hoping to head home to give her much deserved rest.

Chicago Photos (Blackberry Camera)

3 thoughts on “Strudel & Bratwurst: Christmas Time in Chicago”

  1. Looks like a good week….great pictures. Glad you get out and take in the beauty of the city sights at Christmas. See you soon.

  2. Thanks Brian. Yes it was a great time. We hold our conference here each year (or at least for the next four years) and I’ve found it be a great city to visit. The Risk MAP project is our new program to implement to influence communitites to understand the risk they face as a result of past and future development trends, among other variables. FEMA is developing some nice GIS based tools to analyze the flood risk.

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