...and Then I Went to Chicago, Pt. I
I remember a time when I used to dream about having a job that would allow me to travel. I thought it would be something I'd absolutely love, and don't get me wrong - it really does feel good to spend other people's money, but to be honest, traveling for work isn't all it's cracked up to be. Maybe I shouldn't say that; maybe I should say that it depends on who your employer is. Or maybe I should say that it's a timing issue. In my case, traveling now was just bad timing. I've been so busy at work ever since one of my team members went on maternity leave, and if you could see all the work I have to juggle on a day-to-day basis, you would totally get it. Going to a three-day conference in Chicago was challenging. But, I found a little bit of joy in between the mini inner meltdowns. It can be overwhelming because you're working even when you're not working. It's as if the office fell apart soon as I became physically unavailable. Definitely a needy bunch, those coworkers of mine.
Now that I've gotten my complaining out of the way, let me just say that The Dana Hotel & Spa is one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed. I LOVE boutique hotels, and even nicer because I didn't have to pay for it. I was super spoiled for the past three days, and as lovely as the room was, I wish I could have brought some of the features of it back to Ohio with me. Floor-to-ceiling windows with an amazing view, stunning wood flooring (do I always talk about these things or what?), a fancy shmancy shower situation with views of the bedroom, a fully stocked mini-bar with all the wine, and I do mean all of it, comfortable robes with matching slippers, and all the necessary cable channels that my heart desired.
I also got to experience the United Airlines Lounge. What. a. treat. I felt like a member of some top secret elite club. This was new for me, as I am not as frequent a traveler as my boss (above), so it was super cool to enjoy this perk. It was a relief to escape the normal chaos of the airport. Oh, that's just us enjoying a morning glass of wine (being an adult is so fun sometimes). Speaking of my boss, the man can drink. He literally kept me drunk since Monday. It was almost as if it were a race to see who could drink the most wine. Of course he won. He could drink me under the table. This was our first time traveling together, and I already knew that he was a good time, but this trip confirmed it. He's got way more energy than I will ever have.
I wish I could have explored more of the downtown area, but work consumed my brain and my body this entire trip. The last time I visited Chicago was 2003, so this time around, I saw it with an entirely new pair of eyeballs. Downtown Chicago is life. It's so alive, and beautiful, and there's so much to see and do. And eat. Oh, the food. We'll talk more about that in part II of this post. I look forward to going back, but for leisure. Total leisure.
Downtown Chicago photo credit: Allegro Chicago
All others taken on my iphone 7 Plus