Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicago

I am now in Chicago for the FFRF convention. I arrived late yesterday afternoon, and -- after figuring out the shuttle/bus situation -- I arrived at the Hyatt Regency at about 7:30 p.m. very travel weary. The traffic was your typical big city mess at rush hour, with accidents and crazy drivers. I tried to pass the time by counting Obama stickers on passing cars. I figured that I would see oodles of them, since he is their senator, but I only counted four. After checking in and eating at one of the hotel's four restaurants (Mama something-or-other, typical Italian fare) I fell back into my room exhausted. I did manage to see both Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow's show, and catch up with my favorite political blogs before I fell asleep.

This morning I was determined to sleep in, since this is the only day out of the three when I would have that opportunity. I initially awoke at 8:30, but returned to dreamland only to re awake at 11:30 a.m.. I reminded myself that I was still on west coast time and to my body it was merely 9:30, so my guilt was assuaged. It was a gorgeous day outside and I left the hotel and headed toward the (obvious) Frank Gehry structure a few blocks away. I found out that the structure was part of what is called Millennium Park and I spend some time walking about and taking pictures. Whenever I saw someone frolicking with their young child I immediately missed my son Justin. He's been talking up a storm on the phone with me since I arrived, although I haven't a clue what he's saying. After enjoying myself at the park I went in search of a late lunch. It was difficult not to find someplace so crowded that the patrons were spilling onto the outdoor dining. I wanted something quiet and found a non chain Mexican restaurant called Cocina Barro that was just what I required.

The actual FFRF convention activities start at seven o'clock tonight, so I still have a few more hours to read (I'm nearly done with Choke) and get some more rest before tonight's events. After my late lunch I doubt that I'll be hungry enough to eat before the convention starts, but I'm fairly confident that there will be plenty of late dining to choose from on a Friday night in Chicago.

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