I arrived in Chicago’s Ohare Airport on Friday, July 10, 2009 for the American Library Association annual conference, after a slightly turbulent flight from New Orleans and a rather hard landing. I headed to the airport shuttle and booked a round-trip ticket to the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue, where I had reservations. Seeing this van should have been an indication about how my day would go. It was a bad “omen.”
The shuttle ride took 2 hours from the airport to the hotel. Fortunately, the van was full of wonderful people – ladies from England, librarians, ALA exhibitors, and our fabulous driver who even provided us with snacks.
I was so ready to decompress and get to my room after that long shuttle ride. When I arrived at the hotel, I was very dismayed to learn that the hotel did not have my reservation, which I made through the ALA housing system. ALA informed me that someone had cancelled my reservation. Unfortunately, all the hotels in the area were overbooked and sold out. I was “homeless at the Hilton.” But, fortunately, my publisher, Libraries Unlimited, came to my rescue. Barbara Ittner, an editor at Libraries Unlimited, offered to share her room with me. James Ingle, head of international sales, switched rooms with us so that we could have two restrooms. I am sleeping on a pullout sofa bed, which is actually pretty comfy.
My publisher took me to dinner at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian churasco steakhouse that served 16 kinds of roasted meats carved tableside. It was delicious. Afterwards, we went to a blues club called Buddy Guy’s, right behind the Hilton. Thank you Ron, James & Christie for a fun evening!
Fortunately, all’s well that ends well. I found a place to lay my head and was wined and dined. Yay!
Until next time…