Chicago- Day 1

I’m blogging offline tonight as the hotel charges $10 for internet access — ridiculous. Sure, it’s 90% profit for them, but it’s a really poor customer satisfaction move. I can guarantee I won’t be coming back to this hotel (I will look for free WiFi next time). If I was a businessman needing to do work from my room, I guess I’d pay it, but $10 to check email and blog? No thanks. I’ll have WiFi at the workshop tomorrow so I’ll post this from there.

The drive (about 7 hours) felt quick- an iPod on shuffle can do wonders. I listened to a bunch of Venture Voice podcasts to start the entrepreneurial juices flowing today.

I also was able to play with my newest toy more- it’s a Garmin GPS 60. After telling it where I was headed it quickly figured out distance, ETA, and began tracking my journey. I had to add some major cities along the route to get an accurate measurement (94 doesn’t go in a straight line). It was nice to have a constant update on where I was and how far I had to go.

I arrived in downtown Chicago around 8pm and found the hotel. After a bit of down time I headed out to find dinner. I almost went to the hotel restaurant, not wanting to get lost, but I’m glad I didn’t. I stumbled upon Emilio’s Tapas and knew it was the place.

Tapas is Spanish . I had a macaroni dish with ground lamb, peppers and mozzarella and a chicken kabob thing. I also ordered a cabernet which was delicious. A triple layer mousse desert topped things off. The atmosphere and music were top notch. Two thumbs up.

While I was at the restaurant Bob called to see if I was at Nye’s Polonaise Room in Minneapolis hanging out with Eric (I obviously wasn’t at Nye’s). Then Jen (Bob’s wife) called to see if I was at Nye’s (again, I wasn’t). I love irony.

On the surreality of hotels
I seem to forget the alternate reality hotels exist. Somehow I’m always surprised by the $4 (or $10) bottle of water, the $3 candy bars, and ridiculously priced room service (don;t even get me started on parking prices around here!). I wonder when we’ll have a Jet Blue style hotel chain (excellent and cheap) or if we’ll see Japanese style mini-hotels arriving in metro areas anytime soon.

Time for bed- I have to be up early tomorrow. The geekery begins at 9am!