I Was Thinking About Something Else

That pretty much sums up my life nowadays. I will be doing something, walking into a room or driving, and I will go askew. Someone will inevitably ask at that same moment, "What are you doing?". Which will confuse me and I can only respond, "Yeah, well...I was thinking about something else".

(formerly A Connecticut Yankee)

Location: Connecticut, United States

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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Deep Breath...exhale...here we go!

It’s only been a couple of weeks but it feels like forever. I’ve wanted to comment on other blogs, but I had to think, well if I have time to comment then I should be able to put something together myself. But actually I haven’t. While I was away in Chicago yes life went on back in Connecticut, but at work, and I know it only looks this way to me because it just affects me, but it does seem like work did stop while I was gone and I’ve been doing catch-up since getting back. Mighty worth it though. I’d do it all again for Chicago. And a trip note. My wife and I do the same job in two different buildings of the same place, so we attend the conference at the behest of our fearless leaders. This is cool because for us it’s a vacation, really, no kidding.

The day before we left: The kids were bundled up and off to the grandmothers, the dog was bundled up and off to the kennel. Sidenote: the dog LOVES the kennel and it really is a nice family run business and they take good care of him whenever he’s dumped there (Thanksgiving for instance), as we approach the place he goes nuts, ready to see all his dog buddies or something.

The day we go: We just make the plane (9ish or so A.M. flight). The flight from Hartford, CT, to Chicago, IL, got into the windy city (because of some huge tail windy) like a full half an hour early and the tone for the trip was set right there. It’s going to be awesome. We have been here before so we’re not fumbling around as much trying to figure the basics like transportation, etc. So we’re into Chicago at 10:30 am, even more time to enjoy the city, very, very cool. Our conference stuff isn’t until the next morning, so it’s time to play! We drop our stuff at the hotel, too early to check-in, and we find out our room is not the upper floor room with the king-size bed as requested, but the ground floor with two doubles (boo, hiss). We balk a little at Hotel Desk Trainee Katrina (no relation to the Trump Apprentice Katrina) and head out to embrace Chicago.

Transportation…not a problem. Very cool train system circumnavigates the city. For a buck and a quarter you can go anywhere in the city. Free trolleys will take you to the bigger places too. Cool. So we check out the Shedd Aquarium. Initial thought, whoa, this is very expensive, but as it turned out, well worth it. This one exhibit though, the person that works there announces as we approach, “You’re now in the Philippines!”, to this I had to laugh (chuckle, if you will) because I lived there for three years and this didn’t look anything like the real life Philippines. But hey, the penguins and otters were funny as they always are.

Scoped the city a bit more and then headed back to the hotel. Lo and behold the now experienced desk clerk in front of us did have the room we wanted (woohoo) so it was off to the room with a view. I love the view of big cities at night from on high when there all lit up. We grabbed some foodage ( I had beef at every meal because let’s be honest, it’s Chicago – sorry to all you bleeding heart vegetarians). A variety of beers were always near as well. A decent amount of sampling went on throughout the trip.

Next day, conference stuff. Actually wasn’t boring although it could have easily gone the other way. That night was Chicago pizza (meat on it, of course). More beer (of particular note was an oatmeal stout, tasty…mighty tasty). Caught the Apprentice finale. Ditka’s Restaurant was all over the news because Bill’s sister and friend’s were there. It was amazing.
Conference stuff, blah blah. Big reception buffet dinner. Open bar. Dancing. Open bar. And of course the open bar!

Conference stuff, blah blah. Then into Chicago! Others told us that this place called the Navy Pier was cool so we decided to check it out. It turned out to be this pier that juts out into Lake Michigan for what seems like a half a mile. And it’s a big marketplace/Atlantic City Boardwalk combination, which yes, did turn out to be cool. We were able to note behaviors of Midwesterner’s on this occasion and apparently in lieu of other activities they like to dress up in formal clothes and have formal dinners and proms in a group setting. What do I mean? Well along the pier there were several yachts moored. And teens and such were lined up to get on them all dressed up. Bear in mind they had to walk from where they parked and now you’re talkin’ a bitchin’ long way in formal attire no matter which yacht you’re heading for. But I guess if you’re in Chicago, that’s what you do. Then at the end of the pier was the building that was some kind of Navy depot in the beginning, but was now…a formal ballroom! So folks in their tuxes and evening gowns trucked the half-mile to get to this ballroom. Actually, it seemed a bit more than I would be willing to do, but then I’m not from Chicago. Had a Chicago-style hotdog grabbed a couple of pizzas for the road and back to the hotel, souvenirs in tow.

Leisurely flight back to Ct the next morning, picked up the weasely dog, the weasely kids, and home sweet home.


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