Day One actually began on the day before, with Hannah having to 10 hours & a different shift than originally planned. This meant that she didn't get to my house until around 10pm. After much planning, chatting, and plans for the next day....it was off to bed for her [I didn't get in until around midnight and then didn't get to sleep until around 1am].
So, actual DAY ONE began for us around 4am and then we embarked on our journey to Chicago via Pensacola & Atlanta. [Due to a lost power supply for my laptop, we had to stop before the journey began.] Just when we thought that we would miss our flight out of Pensacola, we made it with time to spare! [thank you, DADDY!!]
We boarded our plane for Atlanta ON TIME!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!
However, upon arrival in Atlanta airspace, we were told that we may be diverted. Despite threats of diversion, we were only held in a holding pattern. Translation here: circling Atlanta while the time for our connection to Chicago was passing!! ARGGH.
We landed [finally] and quickly made our way [politely pushing and shoving our way through our fellow passengers]. We sprint to the next gate [another concourse of course!!]...glancing at the monitors on the way and see that the flight is delayed 20 minutes [fantastic!! we'll make the flight!!!]. We slide up to the gate just as they announce that it instead of a 12:10 departure, it will be a 2:40 departure. CRUD!! But...ok...these things happen. After a gate change....a snack....and a considerable wait, we finally boarded nearly 4 hours after our original time. After sitting on the runway watching the baggage handlers let our bags get soaked and then watching them load them in slow motion, we taxied down the run way at 5 hours after our original departure.
Basically, at this point, our first day in Chicago is lost.
We were accompanied on our plane by a fellow passenger that had lived in the Chicago area for a while and visited several times a year for family. Our new friend told us of several things that we would want to do.
Upon arriving in Chicago and claiming our bags, we made our way to the CTA area to board the EL....
After purchasing two 2-day passes and hassling our way through the turnstiles [imagine two coordination-challenged individuals with multiple luggage fighting turnstiles!]
After an exciting trip [ha] on the train, sitting behind a lovely international visitor who had gas...we arrived in the vicinity of our hotel [The Palmer House Hilton] and schlepped our massive luggage up the stairs [YES, STAIRS AND TURNSTILES] to the sidewalk and down to our hotel.
We arrived in our hotel [incredible!!] and made our way to the 20th floor. We were two very tired and hungry girls.
We found a Bennigans on Michigan Avenue where Brian, the waiter, was very nice to us.
We made our way back to the hotel for bed/baths/sleep.
Sadly, other than the EL, we did nothing out of the ordinary....that would be held off til Saturday.
Will upload pics as soon as we get the cable we forgot.