Sunday, April 10, 2011

At Last! Chicago!!! Part One

Ok, here is it. The post you've been so patiently waiting for. This might get kinda long, and if it does I'll find a way to break it up into a couple of parts.

The day I arrived it was in the high 60's. My hotel room wasn't ready yet, so I stowed my bags with the bellman and set out to find lunch. Down along the Chicago River (not dyed green, even tho it was officially St. Patrick's Day) this was my view.

The New Trump Tower & The Chicago River
Yeah, how about that! They don't dye the river on the actual day they dye it on the weekend before. Stupid!!! I did eventually make it down to the convention center to work, dang job interfering with good weather in Chicago!

Once I got back to the hotel that evening I decided it was time to make a grocery store run. Fortunately there was one a block away…something else I love about Chicago. You never have to go far to find what you're looking for. On the way back from the store, I had to stop and take this picture.

Again, you can see the Trump Tower, but also the Wrigley Building and I'm not sure what the gothic building is, but I would love to live at the top of it. In all my trips to this city I have tried to use my various contacts to try and get a trip up to the top of this building, but so far no luck. I have been to the top of the Wrigley Building thanks to a friendly cleaning lady who happened to be the sister of one of the temporary staff working the convention. Also once a "friend" I met and I broke onto the roof of the Hilton hotel so I could take pictures of Conrad Hilton's mansion which is perched on top. Conrad had a golf course up there! Now it's a helipad, but still! A golf course on top of a hotel!!! Conrad Hilton was my kind of guy.

Anyway, I won't bore you with the details of the conventions I was there for. Neither of them were very exciting. But, one morning when I arrived at the convention center I was greeted with this view.

Some how, watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan made being up at the butt crack of dawn to go to work a whole lot less miserable. It also helped that I had a very strong cup of coffee in my hand.

I really appreciate cities that go to the trouble to build their convention centers in a picturesque spot. Some cities just plop theirs in the least desirable part of town and hope that it revitalizes the area. (Yes, Dallas and Atlanta, I'm talking to you!) Chicago has placed theirs right along the lake front, just past the museum area. Therefore, you have great views wherever you look.

Looking back towards the city
An interesting note about the small island you see. Years ago it was an airstrip for small planes. You could stand outside the convention center and watch them land and take off. After 9/11 the city decided it was too apt to be used in a terror plot, so they closed the airport and turned the area into a running/biking path. So, you can jog/bike the entire lakefront and then head out onto the island for even more exercise. Of course, that being the case, I will probably never make it out there.

More to come…Food, food, and more food!

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