Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber
nlbarber

Chicago

I'm in Chicago for the week. OK, Bensenville, which is suburban Chicago, SW of O'Hare. It's the annual water-use database users group meeting, and our new chairman picked Chicago for the location then found this hotel. I still haven't figured out why he was so set on Chicago, but I'm trying to not interfere--I limited myself, during the planning, to a couple of mentions of why meeting at a USGS office (even one that's not a committee member's base) had logistical and financial advantages. Hotel shortcomings will be ranted on later.

But anyway, today was travel and social, and both were great. Unlike my previous, limited, O'Hare experiences (missed my connection every time!) the flight today was smooth, and landed 25 minutes early. Uncrowded, too. Then came the fun social part--gryphons_lair picked me up at O'Hare (best meeting-Internet-friend identification method ever: "look for the silver Civic with the orange kayak on top"), took me to my hotel to check in and dump the suitcase, then we met norabombay at Laredo's, a Mexican restaurant that's an outpost of a Madison restaurant gryphons_lair knows. Excellent food (I had chicken poblano enchiladas in molé), good margaritas, superior company. If only coalboy hadn't been out of range...

norabombay then took me back to my hotel, with a brief overshoot to see how far away the closest restaurants were. Ans: over a mile, and there are no sidewalks on the route. Hotel has no restaurant, but does have a free breakfast that I'm guessing will be on the low end of the scale. Did I mention we're having a rental-car-free meeting?

In light of my short night of sleep (up too late doing chores and packing), I elected to nap away my afternoon instead of tackling the Chicago public transit system to go downtown. I'll do that tomorrow (meeting starts Tuesday)--headed to the Field Museum first, then maybe Millennium Park or other wandering in the Loop area, the water tower (I am here for a water use meeting, after all...), and whatever else catches my fancy. It's my first trip to Chicago proper, so I'm just exploring.
Tags: chicago, travel, work, wuug
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