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Old 03-16-2004, 03:53 PM   #12
Rogue 1 OP
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: New York City
Oddometer: 659
Part 5 (Report #3 part 2)

Arrrggghhnut... The start date id 9/14/02... I had the original post under a different name and it was poorly done... Dukegirl is trying to tie it in/together for me... sorry about the confusion... and I'll look for Spartacus... thanks!

Another toll (Chicago Skyway), the MP3 is playing Tony Bennet, "I left My Heart in San Francisco" and I am wishing I had some "Frankie". I cross the Skyway and as the city comes into view I am renewed, refreshed and excited. I'M IN CHICAGO! Home of deep dish pizza, Elwood and Jake and "Da Bears and Da Bulls." Coool!

The GPS is trying to take me too the geographic center, but that wont do and I make my way onto the "The Loop" towards the tall buildings and downtown Chi Town. I pull over to take in the air and the view of The Sears Tower (top is lighted purple). I can smell the water of Lake Michigan and the night is crisp and clear.

(Sears Tower in background)

I make a call to Amex for lodging advice... no help; I gotta get a platinum card. I ride around a bit to take in the sites. What a great city... fountains in time with patriotic music, bridges and gardens and parks all lit for effect. Very clean everywhere (in this area, downtown).

Congress St.

I hit the Hilton and Cesar at the door says no vacancy. I hit the Travel Lodge and the clerk isn't quite as nice about letting me know same. I hit the Essex on Congress and Jessica also says "No room at the inn."

She calls 20 some odd hotels for me, all the way out to O'Hare! N.G. Uh Oh! I'm homeless. I feel like Joseph on December 24th.

Back to the Hilton and Cesar tries to pull some strings: no go. There is a HUGE convention in town and every single room in Chicago is occupied. (Perhaps I should have taken the room by the strip club).

Cesar discovers that Hilton is actually overbooked and is turning away reservations. They are sending people to The Monaco and he gives me directions. A wrong turn takes me to the river and a dead end...

I find myself in front of Hotel 71, VERY chic, trendy (read expensive) hotel in the vain of the "W".

The doorman, dressed in black Armani tells me, in a thick Irish brogue, that they are only accepting guests with reservations. I introduce myself to Phillip and he says give it a shot.

At the front desk I meet Reyna... very sweet... no rooms but she calls her hubby at The Westin... Damn, still no rooms! I am starting to think park bench. Damn.

Outside by the bike, Phillip charges up and says Reyna has got something for me. Inside she tells me she has been holding a room for a VIP from The Westin and they have agreed to give it up!

"Gadzooks!" I say (well, not really). I am thrilled to have a roof over my head (in such a fine establishment) but I know this is going to leave a mark on the wallet.

Reyna hooks me up in a big way at a rate of $159 (the rates on the door upstairs start at $350)!!! She is my latest savior! Thanks darlin'!

The View from my room at the Hotel 71

Phillip helps me up with the bags after the security agent (Jesse) says hell keep an eye on the Beast overnight. Upstairs I find a cheese and fruit plate and a chilled bottle of white wine (must have been some VIP, mine now!!!) and Phillip and I have a wee taste. Slainte.

Before Phillip takes his leave, he offers to show me the local pub scene as he is meeting up with friends when he gets off work in a an hour to which I reply with a hearty affirmative.

(BTW, I have crossed a timeline and gained an hour but it is now 11:15pm central, as it took almost 3 hours to find a room.)

The room is amazing, 37th floor overlooking the river, downtown and the Chicago Sun Times building. The view is right out of a movie only better.

I keep thinking of Belushi's "Kolchak" character in The Continental Divide

After a shower and change of clothes (and a good bit of that wine) I am ready to rock Chicago style. Phillip and I meet up with his friends and we end up at a fine Irish pub called "Fado."

The place is packed and huge but cozy. Snugs all over and the pints of black & tans are going down nicely (and the tequila, I should do a Cuervo commercial). At 1:30am (2:30 on my internal clock) I call it a night and head back to the hotel. I'm out like a light.


Rogue 1 screwed with this post 08-11-2006 at 10:08 PM Reason: PITA these damn bugs are a BIATCH!
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