Adventures in Villa Park, IL

Posted on

Last night, at 10:30 PM, I flew into the Chicago Midway Airport.  Why?  Because I am taking a Train the Trainer class for OS X Deployment for 10.5.  I have never been East of the Mississippi, unless you count the quick stop in JFK on my way to and from Germany.  As such, I didn't know what to expect.  The flight was, bumpy at first.  I flew Frontier Airlines, which is based out of Denver.  The runway in Denver was really rough, and the plane I was on first made noises as though someone was literally riveting the thing together as we took off and landed.  Other than that, it was a pretty nice flight.  From Denver to Chicago was different.  Because I was in such a hurry to make my connection (the plane was supposed to be taking off when I landed), I had to place my smaller bag overhead, which had my reading material.  So, I read the magazine available to me, until the entertainment was turned off and then on again.  They had to reboot (and on these planes each person had their own TV screen).  The good news is that we all got free TV content without having to pay for it (normally it was $3.99).  Also, the leg room was MUCH better than either Delta or American Airlines.  I was impressed.The taxi ride was a bit longer than I would have expected, and the traffic was really light (but then, it WAS after 10:00 at night).  It was pleasant, and the hotel attendant that checked me in was very courteous.  I hadn't eaten all day (my delay at Denver was more of a mad dash), so I ate the cookie in my room.  I'm sure I'll be paying for it later, but I was really hungry.  The room was really warm.  I didn't see an air conditioning unit, and didn't know how to cool things off, so I just dealt with it.  It was still cooler than my house had been lately back home with a broken swamp cooler (which I managed to fix for my wife Sunday, before I flew out).  By that time it was midnight Chicago time, and I was planning on waking up at 6:00, since I didn't know where I was going the next day. I woke up at 7:00 AM, checked my email, and breathed a sigh of relief that the training was not starting until 9:00.  I got ready and headed down to breakfast, which was filling, yet light.  Not too much meat, plenty of egg, a half a danish, and some yogurt.  I then headed out to the training building.  I'm walking, because the training building was supposed to be less than a mile away from my location...  except I got some rather dodgy directions and ended up going the wrong way.  By now the heat and humidity was getting to me, and I was 15 minutes late to the training.  Luckily they didn't start anything important, and I was able to get settled.  I'll comment on the training on the last day (but for now I'll just say I'm enjoying it.  ^_^).  Lunch was at the Baker's Place (I think), which has the exact same menu items as Village Inn, which apparently no one on either side of the Rockies had heard of.  It was good, even though the meal came slow.  But it was right next to the training center, which gave us plenty of time to get back (five of us ate there).  After the training, I headed back to the hotel.  The traffic was horrendous, making me quite happy I opted to walking.  I hate traffic, even in Salt Lake which didn't even compare to what I saw on my way back to the hotel.  Along the way, I was looking for options to try for my dinner.  I'm not really that picky, and I like to make something light while on the road.  That way I can study while eating and not be bothered by anyone.  Well, I was about to give up on any type of grocery store until I saw it:  An Aldi.  Now, many of you may think I'm being silly, but I love Aldi.  Why?  Because I used to always shop there in Frankfurt.  They were everywhere, and held the cheapest, almost tasteless food imaginable.  But it brought back fond memories of the old days, and I picked up some things for dinner and lunch for the next two days.  I picked up fruit, bottled water (mostly for the bottles), and two dinner items.  All total it came to $14.00.  I just had to carry it the rest of the way back to the hotel (again, another Germany moment). So, how do I rate my trip to the Chicago area so far?  Traffic is a definite minus, no sidewalks reminds me of Austin Texas (and the blisters I got), and I don't really like the heat.  The plus sides are close shops, a nice, comfortable hotel room (I've since found the AC ^_^), and an ALDI close by.  I'd say that this is definitely the best training trip I've been on.  The only thing that could make this better than going to Cupertino for training would be an Apple Company Store with employee discount.  ^_^Stay tuned for details on my Training experience!