Wednesday, December 17, 2008


With the state of Chicago (ah-hem!) being such a hot topic these days, I felt inspired to post a few photos from our Thanksgiving excursion to the appropriately named Windy City.

It all came about when Chyah of the forums recommended signing up for the Travelzoo Top 20 weekly best deals e-mail list. is a website that consolidates the best deals from all the major travel websites.

Thanks to Travelzoo, we booked a hotel suite a block from Michigan Avenue for $119 a night. We then spent a few days enjoying Chicago over the Thanksgiving School holiday.

The first order of business was to get a metro pass. We only had to pony up a cool $20 bucks for the 4 of us to enjoy unlimited public transportation for the duration of our stay. No cabs here. Public transportation is a hoot and the kids loved it!

I was anxious to check out the giant bean at Millennium park. OK, cool. Now I saw the giant bean. It looks like... a giant bean. I can rest peacefully. It was pretty cool though and the kids enjoyed making goofy faces and posing in it's reflection. Come to think of it, so did I.

My little brothers and nieces and nephews joined us the following day. The brave ones among us took an elevator to the top of the Sears building and the weenies (like me) kept the home fires burning at the ground-level Starbucks. They could have spent all day up there as far as I was concerned so long as they didn't insist my ass be with them!

That evening we walked from our hotel to the Cheesecake Factory in the John Hancock Building for dinner. While there, we stumbled upon a lavish Christmas Village and model train display in the lobby. It was easy to get lost in ones dreams while watching the trains winding through the village that was literally as big as a house. It made me realize how lame our "Thomas around the Christmas Tree" set really is, but fortunately, I don't think the kids made the same connection.

Thanksgiving morning we checked out of our hotel, but not before we caught the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade winded its way down State Street and we meandered through the crowd and found the perfect spot to observe. The floats were huge to the point of intimidating and there were marching bands from all over the state of Illinois. The only thing that we will do differently next year is arm ourselves with a thermos of hot chocolate and a thick blanket. Otherwise it was an awesome experience.

This was such a blast we decided to take a similar excursion over the Christmas Holiday. I see on the Travelzoo list there is an $89. deal at the Chicago Marriott Courtyard. This time though, we'll leave the car at a park-n-ride outpost. The hotel parking bill was $48. a day. Yikes! But aside from that, we are THERE!


Anonymous said...

The Hubby and I have been known to get four star hotel deals for $85 a night on Millennium Park/River North/Gold Coast areas on I recommend that for trips to Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Hey wait a minute! Is that how your Godson ended up with a Thomas the Train Christmas Tree Set for Christmas from you??????!!!??

Diane Vespa said...

That was just the starter set, wait until you see what he gets next year!!

Anonymous said...

Chicago would be a fun place to visit if it weren't for all the damned people getting in my way!. Glad you had a good time, I just don't have the ability to tolerate the logistic inconveniences of that corrupt city.