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Chicago Memories Part One

July 21, 2009

I have so much information crammed into my head from this past weekend’s Martha Beck Coaches Convention that I think it will take me about two weeks to write about it all! Today I’m just going to write about Friday and maybe try to throw some life coaching in there, too.


My flight was due to leave Asheville, North Carolina for Atlanta, Georgia at 12:40 pm. We boarded the plane on time. Then the captain came on and said that we couldn’t take off until 1:38 due to heavy air traffic in Atlanta. Ugh! The flight to ATL is only 35-40 minutes, but the  next leg of my trip was the flight to Chicago, and it was to take off at 2:31 pm! Yikes!

We ended up landing in Chicago at about 2:16 and I called a friend to find out if, by chance, my next flight had been delayed. Sadly it was already boarding while I was stuck on the runway. By the time I got off the plan 20 minutes later, my flight was awaiting takeoff without me. I went to a help desk and it turned out I’d already been re-booked on the 5:25 pm flight. I had a couple of hours to kill, obviously.

I was grumpy for a while, but I got over it. I was mainly upset because I was set to volunteer at the registration table starting at 5 pm Chicago time, and this was no longer going to happen. I finished a book while I waited and time went by pretty quickly.

As boarding began I looked down at my new boarding pass and noticed I was set to board with Zone 1, the very first group to get on the plane. I looked at my seat number: 4 D. Was it possible I was in first class??? Hell yes! When I got on the plan I saw there there four rows of first class seats and I was going to be up front with the fancy people!

I have never flown first class before and who knows when I will again, so I took full advantage of this situation by drinking some free wine. This leg of my flight FLEW by, no pun intended. My seat was wide and comfy, I was at the window, which is my preference, and I had an interesting seat-mate to talk to the whole time. I was in Chicago before I knew it!

When I landed I decided I’d attempt to use public transport instead of taking a shuttle, since the money savings would be significant. It was fun! I know, I know, I’m a country bumpkin, aren’t I? I have never lived anywhere with much public transit, although I’ve taken it in NYC and Washington DC a few times. It was easy because I had great directions from the concierge at the Embassy Suites where I was staying. Or so I thought.

When I got to downtown Chicago I followed the directions to the Embassy Suites on State Street. And then I tried to check in. Whoops, somehow I was about 10 blocks from the Embassy Suites where the conference was being held and where my reservation was. I sighed, got a map, got some directions, and dragged my bags the ten blocks to the right hotel.

Needless to say, I was pretty darn tired when I got there, but excited! I immediately ran into two of the coaches from my coaching class and we chatted away until I decided I needed to eat dinner! One of the coaches, whom I’ve mentioned here before, Kat, and I, decided to go out.

Years ago I heard about a place called The Chicago Diner that was entirely vegetarian and mostly vegan, but I never thought I’d get to go. However, Kat is mostly vegan and was into the idea of finding it when I shared it with her, so we used her nifty iphone to get directions there. It was five or six miles outside of town, so we walked for a while, took a subway ride, then walked some more to get there.

The neighborhood where the restaurant is had a great vibe. Young, hip, alternative. Lots of food, bars, people. It was neat. By the time we got to the restaurant it must have been 9:30 at night (10:30 my time!) but it was still packed! We had to wait a little while, but not nearly as long as we thought we might. Everyone in the restaurant was young and looked like they were having a great time, one waiter even had the whole restaurant sing to a patron celebrating a birthday.

If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan you probably don’t understand what it’s like to have extremely limited choices when you go out to eat, and how overwhelming and exciting it is to be able to eat ANYTHING on the menu when you go to a place like this. Kat and I had a hard time choosing what to get! I settled on vegan tamales with black beans and rice, because I love tamales but it is so rare to find one I can eat, as they usually have pork or chicken in them. They were delicious! Kat got a raw plate with veggies and “nachos”.

After dinner we decided to take a cab back to downtown because it was so late and we were so tired. My room was gorgeous, and on the 15th floor. My bed was soft and nice, or at least I think it was, I must have passed out about ten minutes after I got home!

So, what lessons can you learn from my experiences Friday?

  1. It’s not worth getting grumpy when life doesn’t go according to plan, because something even better might come along. I’ll admit, I was semi bummed and grumpy when I missed my flight, but I quickly realized fretting over it would do me no good. And besides, I ended up with a neat experience that has never happened to me before! First class was fun and now I have a story to tell about my first time there.
  2. Sometimes you’re going to get the wrong directions, and that’s okay. Maybe you’ll get lost driving to someone’s house. Maybe you’ll get wrong directions to a job interview. Maybe your parents will mis-direct you on a career choice, because they’re trying to protect you. Or your friends will point you in the direction of a certain man or woman who turns out to be very, very wrong. It doesn’t matter that you go in the wrong direction. What matters is what you get from the experience. Did you enjoy the trip anyways? Are you still going the wrong direction, but finally are figuring that out? There is always another chance to go the right way, believe me.
  3. Let the Universe know what sounds good to you, because someday you might surprise yourself and get it. Way back when, when I first heard about The Chicago Diner, I never thought I’d eat there. Why on earth would I be in Chicago? In fact, even when I booked my trip I didn’t think of it; it didn’t occur to me until a day or two before my trip. But I put it out there and I got there. So keep shouting out your dreams, even if you think no one can hear them. You have no idea when or how they may come to you.

Be Joyful and stay tuned for more on my trip!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2009 4:38 pm

    Sounds like soooo much fuN!!!!!!!! I want to go to Chicago now 🙂 I’m going to be flying soon…but thankfully, when I go overseas (with Air Canada), we get free wine/beer 🙂 I take some to help me sleep lol!


  1. Chicago Memories Part Three (Make Every Day Shine) « Jen Trinque’s Recipes For Creativity

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