Monday, November 7, 2011

Now in Chicago

Last night I visited with my brother and his family. We decided to go out to dinner and I of course chose Indian. Seems like I got an early start on "Delhi Belly", but I have to say the food was outstanding. This morning I drove to the airport and dropped off the rental car and then proceeded to the American Airlines check in counter. I was surprised because at 11am it's really wasn't very busy. The self check in for coach was moving along pretty quickly but I continued on until I found the red ribbons indicating the First Class check in counter. There was only one person in front of me so I only had to wait a minute or two.

The agent behind the counter checked in my one bag, put a priority sticker on it and pointed me in the direction of TSA security. Getting through security was also a breeze taking only about five minutes and once through it was a one minute walk to the Admiral's Club. That's American Airline's club for select first and business class passengers. I walked in and Patricia tried to check me in but told me I wasn't eligible. After mentioning that I was traveling on an international itinerary she keyed in the right code and I was admitted. The Admiral's Club is a wonderful, quiet and comfortable place to wait until it's time to board. There's always complimentary coffee, tea, sodas, snacks and fruit and because it was in the morning there was also juices and muffins available. At the bar beer and other alcoholic beverages are free but  there is a charge for top shelf liquor and for food items ordered off the menu.

I waited for about two hours (I got there early) and enjoyed the wifi, a blueberry muffin and lots of orange juice. I have no idea what happened but when I looked down at the foot of my pants there were two small bloody stains, I had hit my shin on something. Jorge and Anna, to people working to keep the Admiral's Club clean, came to my rescue with some cleaning products and rags and in no time my brand new khaki pants looked good.

Boarding was at 1030 and while sitting in seat 4E on this Boeing 738 I was served a predeparture beverage (diet Coke this time). We left promptly at 11 am and once at cruising altitude our flight attendant came around and served us more beverages and a dish of hot mixed nuts. Then we were offered a choice of a salmon salad or a hot chicken sandwich for lunch, I chose the salad. The salmon was actually quite good, my lunch included pita chips and hummus and for dessert an oatmeal and cranberry cookie. I don't remember what the inflight movie was as I was too busy playing Angry Birds on my new smart phone.

Surprisingly we arrived in Chicago 20 minutes early. My bag was the third one on the carrousel and once in my hand I caught a shuttle to the Hilton Garden Inn. I was supposed to spend the night with my cousin here which is why I originally got an overnight ticket but her plans changed so I'm at the hotel. The shuttle driver, for whatever reason, was very talkative on the ride over from the airport and as I was checking in he gave me a free drink coupon for the bar. It was put to good use of course. Now I'm in my room, unwinding, getting ready for a hot shower. Then I need to iron a shirt and get a good nights sleep before tomorrow's long journey.

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