Chicago 2013 Update #1

This hotel! OMG stunning. The lobby! Most dramatic, elegant hotel on the circuit (at least here in the United States) that I’m aware of. Contemporary, Hyatt-atrium style, like Atlanta. Excellent for spying! Relaxing in the lounge or bar you can watch every person walking around the balconies on every level on their way to their room. Or someone else’s room. You get the picture.

This is that great hotel where one year the Bondage Convention was held. Such goings-on that year! Also the Wheelchair Convention and the Soapy-Clean Salesman’s Convention, all simultaneously. That was a good year at this hotel.

(Click here for the that Update.)

(Click here for Pictures)

Televisions in the elegant lobby restrooms! One over each sink projected from within onto the wall-to-wall mirror beam-me-up-scotty-style.

Televisions in the elevators! Brilliant! I’ve always been bored on the elevator. No more! Now I can watch CNN on the way to my room and keep up with important world news: “Hideous norovirus outbreak on the Royal Caribbean! Cruise ship forced to turn around mid-ocean to power to nearest hospital.” Eeeew. Last month overflowing raw sewage and mass starvation on Carnival, this month vomiting and diarrhea on Royal Caribbean. Eew eew. That settles it. Cruises definitely on our Not-Bucket List. Also, CNN is stupid.

Glass elevators with multi-colored light show on the underside which one watches float up! up! up to the skylight and night stars at the tippy top. (Glass elevators are also favorable for spying. One hides behind a planter watching to see who exits the elevator on one floor, after a few moments appearing on another walking quickly to duck into a different room. Tip: it helps if you carry a small notepad to keep track of which room goes with who, etc.)

Fire at the entrance to the clubby restaurant in the gigantic atrium lobby. A big fire, not a small fire.

Way over on the opposite side a second restaurant – upscale, fine-dining – also open to the lobby. And a bar lit with multi-colors glowing through the bottles on glass shelves. Like you’re on a space ship. Lobby floor dotted with enormous glowing glass tiles lit from below like you’re walking in outer-space in a starry galaxy. Contemporary touches at every corner – skylights everywhere, angles, curving corridors, floor-to-ceiling glass.

Club Lounge is awesome – elegant food for breakfast, dinner, snacks throughout the day, honor system for beer, wine, even mixed drinks! How nice to be treated with respect as if I’m trustworthy.

They forecast 1-2 feet of snow for DC the day before I was to fly here to Chicago. Grocery stores sold out of bread, toilet paper, and milk – all things I need in a snowstorm. They were calling it the “SnowQuester” (for non-US’ers – that’s a play on the word “Sequester” which is your guys’ version of “Austerity” or, in plain English, “We’re broke.”) They closed the government for this snowstorm! That’s unheard of in DC.

I thought between the sequester and airport personnel being fired and a snowstorm I am never getting to Chicago.

Snow dumped on Kansas and Boston. But in DC? Nothing! Not even a dandruff flake. I had a totally easy flight, and this hotel is walking distance from the airport so getting here was tres magnifique.

Hey, I have a question: Do you use Sky-Mall? Any of you Frequent-Circuit-Travelers? For Christmas shopping, since you’re on a plane more than you’re in an actual mall? I earmark a SkyMall magazine every flight, take the catalog home with me intending to buy stuff, and a month later look leaf through what I marked and wonder WHAT WAS I THINKING?!? I don’t even have a cat! Why do I need a Litter Kwitter 3-Step Cat Toilet Training System? Or a Bacon Throw and Pillow Set Complete With Bacon Fragrance?

Frequent-Circuit-Traveler Question #2: Are barf bags good for anything besides barfing? They’re free so I could be collecting them if I had some re-purposing ideas.

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