Well we made it to Chicago all right and my first plane ride is over with! The plane was very small and slightly sketchy. We flew with united express and there was one aisle and two rows of seats. This gave it a very claustrophobic feeling so I glued my eyes to the window. As the plane rose, I could see all the little houses and rice grain sized cars.
Day One- Happy Halloween!
I was really worried about the ear popping that I have heard so much about, but there really wasn’t anything intense. I brought gum to make sure I had something to ease any discomfort away. It was windy and raining so there was turbulence the entire flight, but I didn’t feel very green until the descent. That… was not a happy feeling.
When we arrived it was raining; Paul and I ran around trying to find a shuttle to the Palmer House Hilton. As it turns out, there is no shuttle, but there is an L train stop about two blocks away. By asking a lot of questions we ended up getting off at the Munro stop and making our way up to the street. At this point a very friendly homeless man led us directly to the hotel’s door. The whole time we walked, he told us we were in very good hands and he would get us where we needed to go. We took shortcuts through buildings and he always knew where there was a ramp to help us with our unwieldy suitcases. We gave him some money for his trouble and proceeded to check in.
The young man checking us in was amazing. As it turns out, he recently returned from Hawaii and still in the mellow vacation mood. He upgraded our room, checked us in and pointed out various attractions that he considered to be “must see”. This hotel is right in downtown Chicago, central to everything.
After registering for the conference and the obligatory hotel exploration, we checked out the lounge. This lounge is only on our floor and is stocked full of free snacks and drinks. In the morning, the lounge serves breakfast and at 5pm they have hot h’ors d’oeuvres. Tonight was Indian night, apparently, so I didn’t eat much. There was a veggie tray that I took full advantage of, and water with orange or cucumber options.
We snacked a bit and wasted time in the gift shop before getting back to the room and looking into some real food options. It has been raining all day, so we wanted something close and easy. Miller’s Pub is right next to the hotel; it is pretty much attached.
Paul ordered Buffalo wings, and I ordered a spanakopita, and an artichoke and spinach dip for us to share. The dip was amazing, but the spanakopita was about ¾ of an inch of mushy spinach with cheese and pastry wrapped around it. Needless to say, Paul liked it.
Now we have retired to our room for the night. As I finish writing this post, I can hear the wind outside picking up force and ebbing. The rain is beating against the window makes me glad to be warm inside. I guess people aren’t lying when they call it the windy city.