So I got to Chicago today and checked into my hotel which was WAY fancier than I expected. The lobby ceiling was restored by the same dude who restored the Sistine Chapel (fun facts!). It's that kind of swanky. Check in was a mess. Apparently every person in front of me in line didn't have a reservation? There was a couple with a metric ton of luggage who said "we'll check back tomorrow" after being reminded that a reservation is crucial in Chicago (seriously, who travels to a big city with no reservation?). Another girl hadn't realized it was so expensive (??) and didn't have enough money so she was frantically dialing for dollars -- full disclaimer: been there, done that. Everyone else took a long time to check in, as if they'd never done this before. And maybe they hadn't, but the process is fairly simple: step up, give them your name and credit card and they give you a room key.
My check in was easy, since I didn't bother to fuss about the fact that "apparently no one confirmed a non-smoking room" -- even though I booked a non-smoking room and had a confirmation for one -- and all they had left was smoking. Fine, whatever. It's only one night. Oh, and they were out of king beds. Fine, whatever. I'm by myself, so a Full size isn't an issue. I was given a room on a high floor (16!) so I thought that was their way of throwing me a bone. Except not at all. It's currently midnight and there is major construction happening outside my window AND the El rattles by every 15 minutes. And by "rattles by" I mean "screeches in an eardrum shattering tone and rocks the entire building." So between the construction guys doing whatever they're doing (it sounds like they're blowing up the street or dropping cars from the roof - hey! maybe it's another Batman movie!) and the El, it's a regular racket in here.
But, whatever, I'm easy. I have Cartoon Network (yay Futurama re-runs!) and a feather pillow, so I'm ok. And my corporate hotel rate is only $140, whereas the regular rate is $345. Seriously! My neighbors (also subject to this noise) paid more than double and are probably sleeping even less. Oh wellz!
The special bonus is that there is a 7-11 on the corner, so I was able to get a fountain Coke (carbonated crack) and some cookies, so I'm all cool in the pool. Plus, apparently the train station is close (I hear the bing-bong when it pulls into the station) so getting back to the airport should be easy enough. I took a cab this afternoon when I got in, because my feet were tired (and hey! I'm lazy, ok?). But after the event tonight I walked back to the hotel, which is about a mile. So it kind of evens out, right? Skipping 60 billion flights of stairs for a mile walk? I think that's a fair trade. I can probably erase my carbon footprint from my flights too. I am a genius.
Oh, and on my flight out today this teeny little kid (maybe 5?) sat in the middle seat next to me and he was all dressed up for the flight. His whole family was. So cute. He had a collared shirt and sweater vest and an Indiana Jones hat (Disneyland souvenier). Seriously cute. His mom was sitting in the aisle across and his brother was someplace else. Turns out dad is a pilot, so they were standby passengers, and apparently they always dress nice for travel. Mom was fixing them up while everyone was deplaning and asking why he untucked (to which he responded "why do we have to get so dressed up anyway?") and then allowed him to "fake tuck" where he folded the bottom of his shirt under his vest. If you have to have a middle seat passenger, I highly recommend a 5 year old seasoned traveler (who critiqued the landing) who can curl up and sleep without going outside his seat space. He was really shy and quiet so I just said "peace out" and went to sleep (for the entire flight, it turns out).