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Trip Report Lilaki's Trip Report: Chicago, July 1 - 5

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Hi Fodorites,

I’m back from our trip and am slowly piecing together my trip report.

First, thank you to EVERYONE who has helped me on this forum. I have spent hours upon hours planning this trip and this forum has been absolutely invaluable!

A bit about ourselves … DH and I are in our early 30's from Toronto. We travel quite a bit for work and once or twice a year for fun. We move pretty quickly and aren't big into beach/lounging around vacations.

DH had a conference in New Orleans from June 28 – July 1. The original plan was for him to fly home on July 1 (our Canada day); but then we noticed that all flights from MSY – YYZ go through ORD. So we thought, why not plan a weekend getaway in Chicago? I flew into Chicago from Toronto and DH flew up from New Orleans. My flight landed at around 1 pm and I was at the hotel around 2:30 pm. I caught the blue line from O’Hare station and got off at Clark/Lake where I caught a quick $5 cab ride to the Swissotel. DH took the same route a few hours later. The blue line ride in was great; I smiled as we zoomed past traffic!

Thanks to citylights … you were spot on with your description of how to buy the farecards and transit passes. I had $2.25 ready in change for the farecard and used my credit card to purchase two 3-day passes. The farecard is not a plastic card, per se; more like a really thick paper card with a plasticized coating. I guess Toronto isn’t that advanced because single ride fares are still considered tokens and tickets!

The Hotel

We stayed at the Swissotel on Wacker. I saw a great rate on Orbitz, contacted the hotel and they matched the price (and also gave us the first night at 50% off). The hotel was nice; although, service was indifferent. I wouldn’t stay at this property again because it was a bit out of the way from the action. Next time, I’d prefer to stay either IN the Loop or closer to Mag Mile. But again, the price was right!

I had requested a high floor and a view of Millennium/Grant Park in the hopes of seeing some of the fireworks show. However, the front desk and concierge both told me that there were condos block most of the view so we’d be best off to head out to the streets to see the show. Our room was on the 30th floor.

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