Saturday, June 24, 2017

ALA Annual Conference 2017 - Chicago

Oy! The saga!

My last day of school was supposed to be June 19. It was still June 19 when registration for Annual opened. Then, the snow days happened. Four of them.

So. I missed the last day of school today, which made me a bit sad but I will get over it.

Way back when I registered, the airfare to Chicago was around $200. But. #2 son is doing a neurosurgical residency in Peoria and I thought I would try to visit him so I did not book my airfare. Turns out, he's on nights and basically works all night and sleeps all day. He's free the weekend when I'm not. Once we got that straightened out, the airfare out on Thursday afternoon evening was between 5 and 6 hundred dollars. 


So I booked an early morning flight. 7AM, which meant that I wanted to be there around 5, which meant that I'd be leaving my house around 4:15. Only my husband doesn't like to get up that early and is always late as a philosophical stance. He insisted on driving me and I insisted he be on time.

Only, I held us up. Got to the airport a little later than I wanted. The TSA pre-approved (Yay! Got it!) line was really long - but moving. The other line was short and not.

All was well. I was early. I was tired because of course I went to be late and slept poorly as I always do before big trips. I wasn't hungry. Suddenly, the boarding time changed on the board. A half hour later. Then an hour. We finally boarded only to discover that we could not leave the gate due to conditions in Chicago. 

Two hours later, we were in the air. Two hours of sitting in an airplane seat. Then I got hungry. Luckily for me I packed a bag of plantain chips because I didn't get snacks at the terminal because I wasn't hungry. When I'm not hungry, very little appeals to me and airport food is so darn expensive. When we finally got up in the air, the attendants gave out little packages of Bischoff biscuits, which happens to be one of my favorites. 

By the time we landed in Chicago, the sun was out and the tarmacs were dry leaving me to wonder what the heck was going on this morning! 

Rather than wait for a shuttle or splurge on a cab, I opted for CTA. My sister, Barb, showed me how easy it is to use a couple of conferences ago. I found out how close to a line my hotel is and took the train instead. I got turned around upon leaving the hotel and detoured the wrong way for a few blocks. Thank goodness for Google maps on my Smart Phone. I turned myself around and walked along the river. It was dry and sunny and breezy. Just lovely...

...until I got to the Hyatt and tried to register. Turns out, there are five Hyatts in Chicago and I was at the wrong one! Luckily, the one I am registered at was a ten minute walk north, so I hoofed it yet again. 

It's a weird set up (take an elevator up to the lobby, then down the hall to the room elevators) and the room is dark and stark but the bed is comfy and it's a shuttle stop; so it's all good.

I am here.

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