A conference took me to Chicago for a few days last week. A whole 48 hours, to be exact. I’ve been traveling a lot for work lately – mostly local – but this trip was actually a nice change of pace.
You know what wasn’t cool? Still feeling a wee bit “under-the-weather” when my flight took off.
That Vodka. She’s a sneaky little bastard.
Like 90% of the human population on a flight, I fully intended to put my ear-buds in the moment I sat down. Thanks to Southwest allowing you to choose your own seat (which by the way is awkward when you are one of the last to board) I scoped out the least intimidating person to sit next to and picked a guy who looked to be my father’s age who didn’t avoid eye contact.
Gary, was his name, and we ended up chatting the entire hour and 20 minute flight to Chicago. Gary was on his way back to New Orleans where he is currently working for the railroad. He’s from Nebraska and had just flown home two days prior to surprise his wife on her birthday. How cute! We chatted about our dogs, love of Harley-Davidson, his three kids, his grand-kids, Jeep’s, Range Rover’s, farm life, living on an acreage, etc. He showed me a photo of the acreage he and his wife currently live on, which is absolutely stunning. They happened to stumble into it as it was originally a foreclosure, but two years and $90,000 later, they landed themselves a $400,000 home and acreage. I told him I was incredibly jealous. He followed up with the offer to sell it to me and I reminded him of the little fact that I know what he paid for it. ha.
It was such a nice flight! We shook hands, wished each other luck and vowed to keep an eye out for each other in Sturgis next year. 🙂
So, here it was 4pm on a Sunday afternoon in the city of Chicago. And I was starving. After a check-in at the hotel and a walk around down town, I ended up at Rockit Bar and Grill on Hubbard Street.
This place had an easy going vibe, cool interior and down right delicious food. I ordered a pretzel appetizer that was out of this world and for my main course the buffalo calamari salad that was equally as delicious. Two beers, a full belly and I found myself walking back to my hotel. Halloween Party aftermath. Just can’t hang.
Monday morning had me up and going for the start of the conference. Yogurt, granola and a Diet Pepsi to start my day. Figured this was far better then the donuts and rolls that typically accompany conference breakfasts.
After a morning of sessions and a working lunch, I took off mid-day for the short mile walk to Millennium Park.
To see the BEAN of course!
I even did the tourist thing and asked a stranger to take my photo.
Anyone else remember the movie “The Adventures in Babysitting”? Then you’ll recognize this building!
LOVED that movie!
I headed back to the conference to close out the day with a few sessions before heading back to the hotel to freshen up before hitting the night scene.
Two of us took off on foot downtown to check out the scene (definitely can’t miss Trump Tower) before landing at a Burger Bar for some drinks, a burger (go figure) and crappy service. We ended the night at Howl At The Moon Piano Bar with several other conference goers. This place was a total blast – and on a Monday night even! A Monday!
Tuesday morning started WAY too early with a breakfast that I should have been appreciate of, but wasn’t. It was a Hyatt Hotel, snobby plated breakfast. I just wanted a Diet Pepsi and a banana. Is that too much to ask for?
Several sessions and a lot of sitting later, I decided on some ME time and went for a walk down Magnificent Mile for some sun, exercise and shopping. It was glorious.
I even stopped at Garrett’s Popcorn, thanks to about 10 peoples FB suggestions. 🙂
Too soon I found myself heading back to the airport for my returning flight home.
This time with my ear buds in.