Hello Chicago, Goodbye Chicago
Just a quick writeup of my weekend in Chicago for work and a big HVAC engineering conference--a real whirlwind trip. Saturday was a flight and a meeting; Sunday was a full day of classes; and Monday was lunch with Tappan, a half-day of classes, and a flight home. It was a good trip, but I feel pretty much the-opposite-of-refreshed for this week of work.
Unlike previous trips, we were staying in Chicago, not out in exurb-land; our hotel was steps away from the CTA Red Line, and the conference was held at a gorgeous old hotel (the Palmer House Hilton).
Dinner on the first night was out in Chicago's Greektown--it's the first time I've ever seen Saganaki (Greek Flaming Cheese) lit off--I'll have to try making it sometime.
The walk from the hotel to the conference was about a mile--a beautiful but friggin' cold walk down North Michigan--about 5 F outside. Yikes. Note to my friends--if we spend some time exploring Chicago as a tourist town, my vote is Not In January/February.
Sunday's dinner was deep-dish pizza at Giordano's--Perlick's recommendation--thanks! Good call. Unfortunately, both of those nights, I was too wiped out by the end of classes/meetings to really go out and enjoy the town. Ah well--blues at Buddy Guy's Legends will have to wait for another trip.
Monday was catching up on email in the hotel lobby, and then lunch with Tappan and his friend Pete (who lived at Tep over a summer). Tappan is doing well--striving along doing the stage manager thing in Chicago-area theaters; I gave him the quick update of everyone that I run into. Incidentally, AJFBS--Tappan was really apologetic about not keeping in touch with you; I forwarded him your contact info. But thanks to Tappan for hanging out!
Lunch at Hot Doug's ("The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium") followed--yum. Tappan also had a strong recommendation for Kuma's Corner ("home to the best burgers in Chicago, on the corner of Belmont and Francisco")--perhaps on the next trip. The afternoon was a half-day class ("Low Temperature Radiant Heating & High Temperature Radiant Cooling Systems"--really interesting, actually), and my coworker and I caught the CTA back to O'Hare.
And what's a trip like this without transit dorkery! I've been on a lot of trains, but I have to say that the doors on the CTA Blue Line are terrifyingly powerful. Did the transit authority have in their spec: "Must be able to remove limbs from people trying to hold door open"? It makes this kusssshhhhh KAWHAM!!!! noise at every stop. Did they just have spare bomb bay doors from some World War II aircraft that they got from a salvage yard?
Anyway, an uneventful trip home, and then back to the slog of a week. Having a non-fully-booked weekend is definitely the plan for Saturday.