John in Chicago: The Southwest gate… survival of the fittest

Today Cheryl and I headed off to our city to city challenge winner Chicago for our second broadcast from the windy city. Lucky for us we got to the airport early as I was new to the “A” “b” and “C” way of boarding a plane. Here’s the deal. You get a letter, you get there early, you get in line and then you battle everyone else to make sure you keep your place in line. Why? Because an aisle seat IS that valuable.


Cheryl and I were given the status of “B”. Which will not give you the feeling of the first class of “A” but will assure you don’t get the middle seat or the always dreaded back of the plane, totally noisy, have to sit there while people with full bladders stand in line to use the one toilet on board. The best move we saw was a man walk up and stand in the front of the “A” sign and make nice with the people who’d been sitting there for 2 hours, hard to be pissed at a guy who is your new best friend.


The irony of this all is that I ended up sitting in the middle seat next to Cheryl.


We got to the airport and got a glorious greeting from the mayor! He welcomed us to the city (picture of welcome to the city here). We celebrated with the ceremonial eating of the apple slices. This was followed by the ceremonial finding of the right baggage terminal which was followed by the traditional cursing of the late luggage.


We got into Chicago just as it was hitting 80 degrees. 80 in October. I hate to complain about nice weather but man, it was balmy. After a quick cab ride to our hotel I headed out for a jog around Grant Park. Grant Park is beautiful and the run along the water is always a highlight of my trips to Chicago. Plus it was getting dark and the city was lit up perfectly.



After a quick shower Cheryl and I met up and had dinner at the hotel. Luckily the ceremonial eating of the apple slices didn’t mess with the eating of the dinner. I was too tired to even have a drink or hit the city so it was a nice long dinner with my friend and a planning of the next three days. We split up who was going to interview who and decided to meet in the lobby at 6:30….which is 4:30 back home…which is normal for me but not Cheryl (or our engineer Kevin Suggs!) I feel for them but now they know my pain.


We headed across the street to a gas station which was the most narrow store I’ve ever been in. It made NYC stores seem massive. A man grabbed my arm on the way out and told me “you know I’m going to be fine” I nodded that I did and then we left. I assume he’s going to be okay.


As I type this the credits to Miami Vice are on the TV…the movie…worst cover of “in the air tonight” I’ve ever heard. Wish you were here! Off to bed…..

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One Comment

  1. Audrey
    Posted October 3, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    How fun! I’ve never been to Chicago. I love these little behind the scene vacation posts, keep ‘em coming!

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