Easter in Chicago. Checked into the Fairmont Airport. Last time we lucked out with a north facing suite, view of the mountains, bathroom bigger than Michael Fassbender’s business if you know what I mean, shutters you could swing back from the bathtub and watch TV or take in the view, double sinks, two-person shower, the works. This time south facing, standard king, still very nice and well appointed and as equally terrifically sound-proofed. Honestly, you can watch a jumbo speed down the runway (through the Nikon Prostaff telescope, standard) and still hear a pin drop. Nice. Not so nice? Well, we passed on the $35 salmon sandwich and the other fine selections at what is arguably one of YVR’s best restaurants but also priciest, and had, for $11.99, the White Spot burger and beer special; something appealingly socialist about how the prices at YVR are the same as the city. Free WiFi for free membership in the free President’s Club, terrifically non-elite elitist, and SS promptly returned to work. Aah, the government. I could also pass on the bed, uber-soft and all enveloping, like lolling in jelly.
|Fairmont YVR: Too soft|
|Fairmont Chicago: Just right|
|Standard king on 32nd floor|
|Mies out the window. The Carbide/Carbon deco building in the distance is now a Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel.|
The plane was overbooked and crammed with gargantuan men who made up a hockey team but we finagled two seats together and I sat cautiously between a stressed out SS and a Left Wing asleep with drool dribbling into the cabin. Gorgeous day to arrive in the windy city, and arrive early, although in a holding pattern, and miracle of miracles the bag came too. Cabbed to the Fairmont (first day of baseball and Cubs traffic had the Interstate backed up). Checked in rather seamlessly. Decent room with a great SW view towards a Mies van der Rohe complex and Millennium Park with its Anish Kapoor Cloud Gate sculpture and Gehry’s Pritzker Bandshell. Common areas in the hotel not so hot, hallways and public areas a bit of a rabbit warren and with much room for improvement.
|Kappor’s sculpture, Millennium Park|
|Gehry’s Pritzker bandshell|
|Gehry also designed the stainless steel BP Bridge which snakes over traffic and provides a sound buffer; above and below|
|The Wrigley Building Chicago Is|
|The Medinah Temple, now a Bloomingdale’s|
|Aon Center, front, dwarfs the Chicago Fairmont behind|
|The Monadnock skyscraper. 16 stories, load bearing. Eight foot walls underground, six foot walls at street level, 18 inches at the top. Post fire, 19th century.|
|Willis, nee Sears Tower|
|Their Library. Kin to a famous YVR faux pas.|
|SS and a Calder|
|Thinking of our friend, er, Nina, that’s it|
|Beauty Bar, a hip bar on Chicago street|
|The skyline in Lego; as per below, not lifesize!|
Another gorgeous day Sunday. Even warmer. Got up lazily and packed and went out for a short walk then met Nigel for brunch, who had come from Principia en route to his training gym up in Geneva (returned to Filini, where I have to give credit to the fruit that came with my yoghurt: raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, not a whiff of the old crutch, melon, in sight). After we finished packing, had a quick look at the Sunday paper, went to check-out, and didn’t have our gift card to pay the bill! After totally unpacking and combing through the garbage and room twice over it dawned on me that I might have accidentally given it to Nig; so I called his cell and he was miraculously still in Chicago, and not far away, so we reconnected. Phew. Jumped into a cab to the airport—and thus began the single longest cab ride of my adult life, over an hour in stop and go traffic, plodding up to O’Hare. But, again, we made it. Check-in (three seats for two! Sweet!), got some lunch at Starbucks (two small waters, two sandwiches and two cookies: $31USD. I kid you not!), and boarded early. SS watched Downton Abbey on his iPad and I wrote the blog. His birthday to boot. Happy Easter!
|Let’s see if I can remember: Glenn Cassie, Nigel Marples, Stephen Smith. Outside Aria, the Beverly Kim enterprise that seemed like a ghost town.|