Monday, June 30, 2008

The End of Chicago

I realize now that I never posted the end to my trip. I guess because it was rather uneventful.

Got up - rushed to get ready.

Took the airport shuttle again, but didn't feel like killing the drive.

Wandered the terminal.



Got stuck on the runway for 45 minutes.

Got home and did mountains of laundry.

Made a mess of the house that is sure to drive my husband crazy for days on end.

Headed to the Saucer for Karl's 200 Beer Celebration


The End.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chicago Day 5

Woke up to a blaring siren.

Turned off the alarm, rolled over and went right back to bed.

Finally got up and headed to my last trip to the McCormick.

Went to two so so sessions. In all it was a really good conference and well worth the money.

Came back to the hotel.
Finally talked Deirdre in to trying a new restaurant.
I had an awesome mini pizza. She had pasta. I don't think I'll even get her to eat a Chicago Deep Dish.
Afterwards, I doped myself up, and braved the subway one more time and headed down to Michigan Ave.
I really went for shopping (ok, H&M) but managed to see some sights as well:
Then I discovered all these dresses. I couldn't figure it out, but I'm assuming it's something like the cows or guitars that are put around cities.
Found my beloved H&M. Discovered I really don't like shopping in downtown Chicago because you have to keep going up and up and up to find what you want. I rather have one giant floor full of stuff.
Couldn't find anything cheap enough to buy so I could get a Small Brown Bag even. :(
Braved the subway for the final trip and headed to the hotel to meet up for some dinner.
Decided to walk to a place we had been eyeing since day one.
Oh my god it was fabulous!
I'm taking John when I come back in September!
Walked back stuffed and slightly tipsy. A great way to end the Chicago trip.

Chicago Day 4

Woke up and decided I deserved a pedicure.

Ohhhhh......it made my foot feel better.

Found out the spa doesn't take credit cards and can't charge it to my room. The lady is totally fine with me coming back and paying her some time during the day.

Really? You don't even know my name.

Ended up wallking to Walgreens to buy some old lady orthopedic insoles for my shoes and got cash to pay for the pedicure.

Headed to the McCormick for my sessions and to tour the exhibit hall.

Wore the same stinkin' shirt for the 3rd day (always over another shirt) trying to win an Ipod.

I got nothing.

Finished the day and headed to the hotel to drop off all the swag and to get some food.

Ate some awesome spinach ravioli at the corner restaurant.

Felt I needed to explain that the Chicago Gold Coast is not the 3rd Coast. The GULF Coast is the 3rd coast

Deirdre and I with our yellow wrist bands and our blue glow necklaces headed back to the McCormick to see - Lionel Richie.



Earlier John asked what I was doing this evening. I said casually, going to see Lionel Richie. Appearantly my husband is a huge fan and I was NOT showing enough excitement for this appearantly momentous occassion.

Walked in to the auditorium and checked to see if our necklaces were glowing (they had broken just walking around the hall on Sunday

Turns out they were and we got to move up to VIP seating!


Enojy some clips below from the show (I apologize for having the songs wrong. I did not have time to prep properly for the show. I had only found a little bit earlier that John had downloaded Lionel Richie's Greatest Hits onto the Zune) They also sound better if you turn the sound down:
1. Opening Song

video

2. Realizes HR people are crazy. Talks about his 30 yrs in the biz and surviving Nicole for 27.
video

3. Easy Like a Sunday Morning
video
4. Brick House and Fire

video

5. Hello
video

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chicago Day 3

Last night my foot started hurting. Thought some rest and ibuprofen would improve it. Not so much.
Woke up and it still hurt.
Gave up on the conference and decided to head back to the hotel.
Got solicited for pot by some employees of the convention center. They swore it would make my foot better. It did cross my mind, but only so I could go back and start talking to exhibitors about drug testing.
Passed on the opportunity and instead came back to my tiny room.
Yep - that 1 1/2 foot space is supposed to be a closet.


Pretty sure my bathroom (and my bedroom) at home is bigger than this.
Ended up having to go to the ER for my foot.
Thankfully insurance in the ER room gets you in quick.
After some Xrays that basically said nothing, but the Dr. thinks it's either tendonitis and/or swelling or the start of a stress fracture.
They can't tell either from an Xray (great waste of money there)
Gave me pain meds and some steroids that should clear up swelling or tendonitis.
If that doesn't solve it then I'll have to go in for an MRI at some point.
Good foot, bad foot
Got back to the hotel and got ready to head over to Navy Pier for a VIP Reception.
Met up with Euan to get a bite to eat. Little did I know I'd be drug across downtown (thank GOD for pain meds)
Saw all the Michigan Ave sights (I'll hit up the stores on Wednesday)




FINALLY found a place to eat and get a beer.

Said our good byes and Euan set me off on another adventure - The L
Got to my "stop" only to find that the construction had put me MUCH farther from my hotel than I thought.
Found Old Town
and what would be the Church of Reverend Faith
Finally made it back to the hotel only to find that I had locked myself out of my room. Great. What other way could have ended this day?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chicago Days 1 and 2

SATURDAY


I barely survived John's driving on the way to the airport, but managed to get there in one piece

Found out the San Antonio Airport no longer believes in AC.

Got to Chicago a little bit late

Missed our first shuttle.

Spent 30 minutes waiting to get on one a the while thinking "I could be on the train halfway to the city right now.

Finally got on the shuttle only to be asked for the address of my hotel. Seriously? Do you see that sign there by the shuttle - we take you to A, B, C, D and E hotels. Are you telling me that you seriously do not know how to get to hotel B? Isn't that your f'ing job to drive people from the airports to hotels A-E? Last I checked your job didn't seem that hard.

Found out the driver was a mind reader since he then asked us to please not cuss him out as he's had a long day (yeah, like we haven't?)

Got to the hotel only to discover this is the smallest hotel room I've stayed in in my entire life. In fact my master bedroom is bigger than this hotel room. I'm pretty sure my bathroom at home is bigger than this one. Isn't that the point of staying in a nice hotel room in a major city? You're supposed to have this huge room with the most comfortable bed in the whole wide world. Yeah. Not so much.

Rushed to get ready to meet up with Euan and friends for pizza and beer - I swear he must have been a mind reader too. $12 cab fare later I arrive and then we walk back 6 blocks to the pizza place (coulda saved a few dollars).

Got some Chicago beer and some deep dish pizza.


Then we all piled into a cab



and headed into downtown to an 80's bar.

Sang a bunch of crazy songs, danced our feet off and laughed at the interesting people hanging around the bar.


Started to walk back to the hotel, stopped at Walgreens with all the other drunks to buy muffins and water, finished the short walk to the hotel and passed out fully dressed watching Hot Fuzz.

SUNDAY

Woke up and called Mom aka my coworker. Told her I could be ready in 30 minutes to go and registered for the conference.

Figured out the complicated shuttle route and made it to the McCormick Center.

Got registered and found a vertically challenged in more ways than one sign.


Tried to figure out the subway schedule. Gave up and took the bus.

Arrived at the Art Institute of Chicago.







Finished up with lunch at Panda Express (classy and Chicagoish right?)

Headed back to the McCormick to hear Sydney Poitier.

Then it was time for free drinks and food in the expo hall.

Got $20 in Starbucks giftcards (THANK GOD since it's about a $1 more than usual),

Deirdre kicked my butt in Wii boxing. Hoping she still doesn't want it in case I win the Ipod and she wins the Wii.

Polished off the freshly baked cookies, got out passes for more free food and booze at a couple of receptions for tomorrow and headed back to the hotel.

Wore the wrong shoes all day and could barely walk the 2 blocks to the hotel.

Now I'm sitting on my big bed, resting my foot and blogging to all of you.
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