Okay, so I know I said that I would try to blog about the UNITY convention while I was there, but there were only so many places where I could get free wireless–the lobby of my hotel being one of them. However, by the time I had the time to actually make use of the Internet, I was way too exhausted to do more than check my email and make a quick stop on Facebook. And I know that I’ve been home since Sunday, but I’ve just had too much to do, which is ironic since I haven’t been working that much and have been home for longer than I care for–I’ll save that for another day and trust me, the story behind that deserves a post in itself. So here’s how my adventure began:
Day 0.5, Wednesday July 23, 2008
I’m not really counting this as Day 1 because it was just a travel day and I didn’t do anything convention-related. Nonetheless, it is when my adventures to and in the Windy City begin. My flight was at the obscenely early hour of 6:40 a.m. And before my sanity comes into question (since I am NOT a morning person whatsoever), let me just say that I chose this flight because it was one of the very few I found on Orbitz where I could both leave and arrive at semi-reasonable hours.
My dad brought me to the airport somewhat at the crack of dawn. We left the house around 4:45 in the morning since it takes a little less than an hour to get to the airport at that time of day. When I finally got through security, I made a quick stop at the Hudson Newsstand to see if there were any good books for me to buy. Unfortunately there wasn’t, but I’d brought my own books to read anyway so I was set. My first book was Almost Perfect by Julie Ortolon–I’ve got a thing for romance novels, which most my friends can attest to. I read that while we were waiting to board and then once we were on the plane. I finished it and then just went to sleep for the rest of the flight.
We landed in Memphis for the layover. Being in the city made me think of Marc Cohn’s song Walking in Memphis, which ironically, is what I’m listening to right now. I ate lunch at the airport, called my hotel roommates to touch base with where everybody was and then it was pretty much back on the plane. I think I just slept on the plane on the way to Chicago O’Hare. We landed a little bit after four in the afternoon. After collecting my luggage, I went to figure out how to get to the hotel. I found Airport Express, paid for my ticket and then was loaded into the van. An hour and a half later, I arrived at my hotel, Inn of Chicago–way too for what I was told was a 22 mile journey. Again, I dozed off in the van.
I discovered that the hotel was situated right on the city’s famous, Magnificent Mile so once I dropped my stuff off in the room and showered, I walked along Michigan Avenue. Of course, I had to enter the Gap and check out the store. It was pretty big, even compared to the store we have here in Seattle on 5th and Pine. I was impressed. I walked a bit further and found the Tribune Tower, headquarters of the Tribune Company and home to the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
I made my way back to the hotel and just read (new book this time…I’m also into fantasy books). Then I met Anne, one of my roommates for the trip. We ended up going to dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe, which is owned by The Cheesecake Factory. The food was pretty good and there was a lot. I brought it back to our hotel and ended up throwing it away since we didn’t have a fridge or anything in the room. Our other roommate Anusha met up with us at the restaurant too. Once we got back to the hotel, I ran into Shawn, an old high school friend who I literally hadn’t seen since graduation. It was totally random, but it was good. He was there for the convention too. Broadcast, not print. Small world, huh?
Okay, so this post is getting obscenely long and it is taking an equally obscene amount of time for me to actually write so this recap is probably going to come in one-day increments. I’ll be signing off now and I’ll post more later!