I played so much Bridge in the past 5 days that it all blends together. We made it to the semi-finals in two different knockout events. We won our section in an IMP pairs game. We went 0 and 4 in a Swiss Team…yes, as in 4 straight losses. We ate lots of lovely food and played tourist in Chicago. On one night, we had South American/Asian fusion. The next night, we feasted at a Churrasceria (Brazilian BBQ…buffet where men bring you meat on sticks). I think I got drunk off of meat. I had a big salad before having all the meats though. They also had fried bananas and a thingie that was kind of like a big french fry but made of corn. We also had American style BBQ on Navy Pier. On one morning, we rode the water bus to the NABC hotel, which was loads of fun. We may do an architectural tour when we’re back in Chicago this weekend. Oh, and I got to eat at Houlihan’s twice. I love their lettuce wraps. I also had sashimi and udon for lunch at a little stand in one of the skyscraper basement food court areas.

We had arranged to spend the NABCs sharing a hotel room with some Bridge friends from Milwaukee. The hotel was really expensive, even split between 2 couples, but we decided to do it for convenience. By staying downtown, we were hoping to avoid parking costs and morning rush hour traffic.

And yes, we considered the train as an option, but the Metra train schedule is designed for commuters…not people planning to leave downtown at midnight. There is a late train at 1am, but that would have killed us when we had to be back on the train at 7am the next morning. The El was the other option…picking up the Blue line from near ORD…but then we’re basically doing rush hour driving for 1/2 the time and train for 1/2 the time, so it’s not much better than driving all the way in.

Unfortunately, our friends accidentally booked the wrong hotel. We were in Greektown instead of near Michigan Avenue. So, not only were we paying a ton for staying downtown, we were having to take taxis to and from the site. Plus, the room was really small. The beds were doubles. They were on a totally different sleep schedule than us (as they work second shift jobs), and we were driving each other crazy with sleep times. After we found out the hotel was so far away, we were really wanting to just bail, but we’d promised to split the room with them for N days, and we didn’t want to stiff them when they weren’t expecting to shoulder the cost entirely. So, on Monday morning, when 1/2 of the couple was grousing at us for having woken her up by *whispering* (mind you, after the two of them talked full volume while we were in bed trying to sleep the night before) and stiffly suggested that we move out, we jumped on it. We were packed and out later that day. On Tuesday, we took the El option (described above). We’ll probably take Metra this weekend (more Bridge Fri-Sun), since we’re not playing in any early morning games and can thus handle the late train if need be. The fun part about taking Metra is that we’ll get to use the water taxi or water bus again! I’m sure it’s not as fun when it’s your regular thing, but it’s an adventure to me. 🙂