Friday, June 24, 2011

Days Are Still What We Make of Them

The group circles up, waiting for news of our flight.
When I woke up this morning, I settled on the fact that our time in Chicago was over.  The bags had been packed, the tickets were set, and we were prepared to arrive at Cornell and meet with several school officials.  The ceremonial last ride on the Chicago train to Midway International Airport was rather uneventful, and we were simply ready and waiting to depart.

However, as chance (or fate, if one wants to think that way) would have it, there would be no leaving Chicago today.  Once we arrived at the airport, we found out that the flight was cancelled.

This was a complete shock to me, as well as to everyone in the group.  I doubt anybody would have expected it, but it was in black and blue on the flight screen.  For a second, I just stared at it without understanding what exactly just happened.  But as my mind began to wrap itself around the situation, things became a lot more surreal.

It turns out that the plane had a few mechanical errors that kept it from going to our connecting terminal in Detroit.  Thus, the Delta staff scrambled to figure out what to do with us.

In the meantime, my fellow Cornellians and I set up camp right next to the special services section of the Delta Terminal.  We had a chance to relax and spend time together in an unusual setting.  It only boosted the hilarity and the antics of our group.

My very first Chicago-style hot dog.
Four hours and many course reviews, phone calls and card games later, Delta gave us a few Taxi vouchers to take a taxi cabs to a hotel near O'Hare Airport.  The trip itself was long and the car was quite stuffy, but it was strangely enjoyable.

We are now staying at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago.  In reference to the Hotel Operations Management course I am taking, I found that the hotel was independently owned and operated by the Intercontinental Hotels Group, a standard business model.  I find the rooms to be much more spacious and have a much more modern feel to it, as opposed to the Drake Hotel, which, while vintage, was not to my tastes as the Intercontinental.

With a little bit of time left, I joined a group of ILC-ers that decided to visit the Millennium Park with Ms. Neal.  We managed to make it to the opening day of the Tastes of Chicago, where various local businesses set up vendor stands and sell food.

The trip was wonderful.  From the big turkey legs for sale to the Bean, the trip rightly served as an appropriate ending for our time in Chicago.

All that being said, I am still looking quite forward to Ithaca tomorrow.  The plane will be leaving early, and we will be taking a different route than was originally planned to Ithaca.  And I am certain that I will enjoy the next phase of our journey just as much as today.

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