We finally have a place to stay. :)
I'd been nervous about booking through Hotwire, but my friend, Stacy, urged me to give it a shot since many of her friends have had good luck with it. Plus, you can specify the neighborhood and star rating, so it's not like you'll get tossed into a flea bag motel 40 miles out of the city.
So, this morning, I gave it a whirl. I found a really good price in the River North area, clicked the "purchase" button, crossed my fingers, and breathed a huge sigh of relief when the hotel's name came up.
We're staying at the Hotel Sax!
I'm pretty excited because this is one of the hotels I'd been ga-ga over for a while, but I could NOT justify paying $370/night for it. We got it for $149/night. Incredible.
I totally fell in love with the decor. I'd decorate our house like this if we were homeowners.
It's right next to the Marina Towers, my favorite residential complex in the city. It's actually referred to as "Marina City" since you can live there and never leave the building, thanks to hair salons, grocery stores, dry cleaners, restaurants, movies, an ice rink, bowling alley, and so on right within the complex. The apartments/condos are pie-shaped, due to the shape of the buildings, and the balconies are curved. It's wicked cool. I've always wanted to live there. Always.
Anyway, Harry Caray's is next to the hotel as well, along with the House of Blues. It's on the river, only a couple blocks from the one of the main L hubs (State/Lake).
Unfortunately, when I traded my shift last week, I forgot to submit the request for a half-day on Friday. That was my entire reason for trading my shift! When I realized I'd forgotten, I submitted my request, but they've already reached capacity for time-off that day. Rats! I did manage to switch my 8:30 for a 7:00 shift, so I'll be out at 3:30 (and dead tired), but at least I can get out a little earlier.
I'm still sad because we'd planned to be in Chicago around 4:30, enough time for dinner and sight-seeing, and now it'll be more like 6:30 or so. I suppose that isn't terrible, but I'm still ticked because we'll probably have to drive instead of taking the train.
So, the current plan is to get home as quickly as possible after work, pick up Brent, drive as fast as I can without endangering anyone or getting pulled over, and try to make the 4:45 (Central Time) South Shore train out of Michigan City.
If we're close to Michigan City and don't think we'll be able to make the train, we'll keep driving all the way to Chicago and park on a street somewhere. I used to date a guy who lived on the south side (the non-sketchy part), and I know for a fact there is a ton of street parking near his old apartment. It's right by the Orange Line, so that's a huge bonus. We can park the car and take the Orange Line to State/Lake and then walk the two blocks to the hotel. If we do manage to catch the South Shore, then we'll get off at Millennium Station (Randolph), and it's only a half-mile walk to the hotel from there.
Either way, it'll work out. I'm still annoyed with myself, though. ;) I really wanted to relax on the train and get there early, not drive like a bat out of hell and risk the chance of having to drive into Chicago during rush hour on Friday. Oh well. We'll still have an awesome weekend in the city, and two hours won't make that much of a difference in the end. I really did want to take a river boat tour Friday night, and now we'll be too late, but Brent pointed out it'll probably be way too cold anyway. It's been getting down to 40-50 shortly after sundown lately. So now I'm thinking maybe we can have dinner somewhere, walk around downtown for a while, maybe get some cupcakes at Sprinkles, and then crash with a movie since I'll be pretty sleepy at that point (especially since Chicago is an hour behind Michigan).