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Off to Chicago

Chicago VT meet day one

View Chicago VT meet on ToonSarah's travel map.

Plane at LHR for my flight to Chicago

Finally the long-delayed Virtual Tourist meet in Chicago, originally scheduled for September 202, was about to begin! Although the meeting itself only spanned a weekend, I had planned to spend a week in the city (it’s a bit far to go for just a few days) so I was leaving on a Tuesday.

My flight was from Heathrow so it was only a short Tube ride to the airport’s Terminal Five (by far the nicest). I dropped off my bag, cleared security fairly quickly and had a coffee and croissant in Pret a Manger. When I boarded the plane I was to find seat next to me empty and plane half full. But that pleasure was dimmed by an around 90 minutes delay. At first we were told simply that an engineer had to be called but later the pilot explained that the de-icer in the loos wasn’t working and they wouldn’t have flushed once we reached the cold temperatures of the upper atmosphere!

Take off from LHR on the way to Chicago

Once we finally took off lunch was soon served (OK pasta and a good chocolate and salted caramel dessert) I watched a film (The Whale, which impressed me), read a bit and was for the most part rather bored. The flight dragged more than most. When we hit the coast of Canada it felt like we were making progress but there were still three hours to go. It was only when we reached the Great Lakes, an hour or so out of O'Hare, that I could see the landscape below and began to anticipate our arrival.

Landing at O'Hare Airport

We landed in rather dull weather with a hint of rain in the air. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was through immigration, with the only question being how long I was staying. I did however have to wait some time for the bags to appear on the carousel, but fortunately mine was one of the first. My friend Rich had provided detailed instructions on using the public transit system to get the hotel which I was glad of as there seemed to be a shortage of signs around the airport. Added to that was what seemed to be a very confusing naming of stations, with several on different lines having the same or similar names!

Catching the L at O'Hare Airport

The hotel was a few blocks from the station but easy to find. By the time I’d arrived and checked in it was over 15 hours since leaving home and almost time for bed there, but I forced myself to stay up. I messaged Chris and my friends, checked emails, popped out for something to eat at the rather nice Italian restaurant opposite (Etta), read a little, until finally succumbing to the need for sleep.

My room at the Felix Hotel

The night view from my room

Posted by ToonSarah 15:00 Archived in USA Tagged trains hotel flight chicago usa virtual_tourist Comments (10)

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