Chicago:Airport to Downtown to Schaumberg

Mar 31st, 2005, 12:16 PM
  #1  
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Chicago:Airport to Downtown to Schaumberg

We have a family get together in Schaumberg in July. We will want to fly into O'Hare, spend a couple of days playing in downtown (probably will stay at Swissotel on Wacker) and then go to the burbs for the party. Will head straight from there to airport on Sunday.

What do you recommend for transportation? My husband really doesn't want to rent a car, and thus drive *shudder* and park in downtown. Is there a subway line (el-train, whatever) that goes to Schaumberg? If so, to cabs hang around there? How in the world will I get to the airport? (assuming we can't con a relative into it).

If there are websites I should be looking at to educate myself, please let me know.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 01:04 PM
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The Metra runs from Arlington Heights and Mt. Prospect to downtown. Both these towns are close to Metra. Check metrarail.com for schedules. The Blue Line El runs to and from O'Hare from downtown. You can also get a cab from the Swisshotel to O'hare. I'm not sure how prevelant cabs are at the Metra station though so I'd beg and plead for a relative to pick you up once you get to the burbs.
swalter518 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 01:04 PM
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P.S. it's ShaumbUrg, not Schaumberg...
swalter518 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 01:24 PM
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Close, swalter. It's Schaumburg.
jlm_mi is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Doh! Forgot the "c" sorry!
swalter518 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 01:52 PM
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Litespeed

There is a suburban based bus system called Pace. You can connect to it from downtown if you really want to. Schaumburg has it's own metra rail station but for me either the Arlington Heights or the Roselle Stations are more convenient from the Woodfield area.

Out here is the burbs, we all have 2.3 cars in the driveway ;-) so you will be like a fish out of water. I don't blame you for not wanting to park downtown (I don't either). I would recommend that you take public transportation to O'Hare after your play time, rent a car there and drive to the retail, hotel and entertainment mecca known as Schaumburg!

Let me know if you have more questions, the Schaumburg area is my home turf.
placeu2 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 01:56 PM
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One more thing:

Here is a website that will tell you plenty about the NW suburbs centered around Woodfield.

http://www.chicagonorthwest.com/
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Mar 31st, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Placeu2

That just might be the ticket. We take the el to downtown, (ah, the luxury and sophistication of arriving at one's hotel pulling a suitcase down the street!)

Then el back to airport, hoof it to a rental counter, and the rest is like a normal car rental experience.

yes, that sounds perfect. We will not be Carless in Schuamburg (sounds like an indie film) in case my husband decides to make multiple white castle runs. (we live in the land where there have always been Krispy Kremes, but no "sliders".)

How long would you think it takes to drive from O'Hare to S. on a Sat a.m and back on a Sunday afternoon?

If for some reason this doesn't fly w/ the husband, i assume the next step is to find out exactly WHERE in S. the cousins-in-law live so I know which of the Metra stations you mentioned? And, by "if you really want to" I assume that the PACE buses are appalling?

Many thanks!
Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 02:41 PM
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LOL

Actually the busses are fine, just hard to find. They have schedules but not near as often as city buses.

Sat and Sun to and fro O'Hare are no big deal, 30 minutes at the most, usually less.

As for your husband...perhaps I could convince him to get a beef at Portillos? It's on the way to the Castle....EEEeeYYYuuuKKK do adults really eat that stuff??

On the transportation issue...the EL is a loop thing only and does not go to the burbs. You are looking for CTA or Metra transportation to get out here. One more link for you. Read about the blue line. http://www.ohare.com/ohare/ground_tr...round_cta.shtm
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Mar 31st, 2005, 02:47 PM
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Schaumburg has a lot of cul de sac and curved streets a la subdivision. It would be very useful to print yourself out a Schaumburg or NW Chicago suburban map, if you don't want to buy one. That area is dense, and the traffic is heavy.

And believe it or not, I have lived with taking a Pace bus several times in my adult life. They are actually nicer than the CTA. Having said that, you will see if you look at any Pace schedule- that distances are immense and routes are irregular (do not often follow one street or straight direction) and are often infrequent- compared to city CTA bus routes.
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Mar 31st, 2005, 02:51 PM
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And I have to defend sliders. Nothing against Portillo's beef, but when you come back- WC is what you crave.

I have cousins that want me to air ship them frozen. And I have.
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Apr 1st, 2005, 05:45 AM
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RE: Portillo's - would that by any chance be an "Italian sandwich"? Husband keeps talking about some sort of Italian beef that his grandparents used to buy him when he went to visit as a child (I understand if the family still owned property where their house used to be we could just have Charlie Trotter come over and make us a burger).

If so, i would love to get the 411 on it. I can pass on the sliders, personally.

JJ5 - good point about the map. the only times we've been to the relatives' houses, someone else was driving, and I remember thinking "how the hell do they tell which house is theirs?"

Thanks again
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Apr 1st, 2005, 06:19 AM
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Litespeed Chick...where are you traveling from? I love your sense of humor!

I have not heard the term Italian Sandwich but I am not Italian by heritage.

I imagine he is referring to Italian beef which is excellent at Portillos. It can be ordered wet (dip the roll in au jus before installing the seasoned beef), dry (let the beef drip a good bit before installation) or just say beef and you will get something in between the above (probably the best choice for a beginner). You can also order sweet (sautéed green peppers) or hot (giardinerra).

On the other hand there is the Italian sub which has several types of meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce and spices. Also a good choice from deli style places if you prefer a cold sandwich. This is not to be confused with the generic Italian that you get at Subway.
placeu2 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 06:53 AM
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Litespeed Chick, the Italian beef is probably what your husband is thinking of as people seem to associate it with Chicago. Placeu gave a good description of it-Portillos is good, as is Al's Beef. My bro. likes Buena Beef too and I know there is one in Schaumburg but I haven't tried it.
swalter518 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 07:07 AM
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JJ5
 
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Very thin slices of Italian spiced beef with au jus dip and hot gardinar' have been sold in Chicago / Melrose Park/ Chicago Heights/ Back of the Yards Festival(big carnival behind the stockyards that went on for probably almost a century) for about 60 years at least. My Sicilian grandmother sold them in her cornor grocery store at 52nd (South)& Wentworth until the year she died in 1952. I actually sliced the beef for them when I was a little kid. Dick Portillo (and I know the man, my son-in-law is doing some of his staircases $$$$) didn't invent them, but does them well. There is also an Al's Beef which is franchised all over the place now that is excellent also. I sure miss Luigi's House (Portillo owned and was my favorite South Suburban Portillo restaurant) but he has cut back. Portillo's name is just on his fast food outlets, he has about 35-38 other restaurants in that group all over the Chicago area. You can get a good Italian Beef sandwich at many other smaller outfits as well- but some of them are not as lean. And it's all about the bread. The modern crust is too soft.

Have a great time in Chicago and get yourself a good downtown map as well. I carry one with me that folds out of a plastic card, the streets have name designation in both directions downtown, as do those in both directions on the North side. Drives us South siders crazy, who do the numbers. Napoleon was correct on his number/grid system. It works.

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Apr 1st, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Placeu2 : you're too kind. Greenville, S.C. - where people don't own the clothes necessary to visit Chicago at Christmastime. I'll be happy to roam the city without having my feet freeze into blocks.

You guys sound suspiciously like foodies. My favorite dining in Chicago has been - Le Bouchon, TRU, Charlie Trotter, Blackbird, and Manny's. Anything new and fabulous we should try? Manny's still good? Where should a person go for a.m. pastries & coffee reasonably near Swissotel? Any idea if Portillos is open on Sunday? Any other tips for play-time in July?

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Apr 1st, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Litespeed- Portillos is open every day-more like a good fast food place. Check out this link for dining scene info...
http://www.chicagomag.com/dining/dish_story.htm
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Apr 1st, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Litespeed Chick, I stayed at the Swissotel last year, and we did eat at the Palm there once, but for breakfast I think we walked into the underground tier to Hyatt etc. and without going outside, nor to the other hotels connected- there were several good choices. At Swissotel you are "out" and "looking" at the lake- so you have a bit of a walk back to Mich.Ave. /River area. If you use the underground- you don't get "stuck" on the wrong levels to transverse. You don't want to walk down to the streets/ parking etc. below- if you can help it. We did, just to see everything.

Palm had good lobster/steak but there are so many others around that are just as nice- or better. But we had a great time and loved the service. I think my favorite steak is at "The Saloon" or Morton's. Ruth Chris is good too.

Go to the top floor gym/pool and take a gander at the view. The Swissotel is on a piece of land that juts out into the lake and you can see the entire curve of Lake Michigan Southward from that spot. There was a triangled area next to the hotel that was being constructed last year. It may be some kind of park or polo ground now.
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Apr 1st, 2005, 08:50 AM
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This is Chicago Chick...everything is open 7 days a week except for car dealers on Sunday (which is a blessing for you on golf road). Oh yea and one chain of hobby stores.

swalter mentioned Buena Beef, also very good. Portillos is on Golf just West of Plum Grove and Buena is on Higgins just East of Barrington Rd. (which is actually Hoffman Estates).

Whew...that should get you started. If you see me in the area (my license plate matches my screen name, white SUV) please give me a Hey Y'all!
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Apr 1st, 2005, 01:09 PM
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This is just so funny (coincidence)- and I don't know if you'd be at all interested, but one of the best brunches in the world and definitely in Chicago's past- has been WNUA's Smooth Jazz live on-air channel (entertainment with brunch) on Sundays until 2pm and it was always downtown. Some years it was in Hilton Inn & Towers and lately it was at Swissotel. But now it is, guess where! Schaumburg. If your flight is late Sunday and you don't have to get to the airport early, and you are a real foodie and love live entertainment and jazz greats in person. It is now at 1850 E Golf Rd. Schaumburg. Rupert's ON the Top (Your brunch price and jazz are a combo and it is pricey, but worth it.)
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