Yay! Very fun post to write up 🙂 And first bookish post of 2015! WOO HOO! I was so thankful last year the discussion of ALA MidWinter came up and I was able to buddy up with co-bloggers Nicole and Ashley from The Quiet Concert to make the trip to Chicago in January 2015! I had a blast at the one in Philadelphia in 2014 by me and had never been to Chicago before so it was a no-brainer I should jump at the chance to get an exhibits pass.
The trip started up as I met up with Nicole to fly [mostly ;)] side-by-side from Philly to Chicago. Sadly the airport spent practically an hour to de-freeze planes which gave me ample time to make small talk with the guy next to me, I had the window seat–my favorite!
While polite to make small talk if necessary you don’t need to talk the entire plane ride, whoops, like I did. Frequent traveler, I’m sure I annoyed the people behind me and I felt bad but it did make the trip go by fast, & he was a Chicago native!
Finally Nicole and I were able to depart the plane where we ended up sharing the train all the way from O’Hare into the windy city! A million stops but much cheaper, well for some of us at least 😀
When you are buying a ticket for the CTA, even if you commute to other big cities like Philly/NYC, read the kiosk because you could end up with five tickets instead of just one ticket like moi did LOL!
Up and out of the underground we made it into the city, the real actual part of the city we needed to be to find our hotel. The Wyndham Grand on the Chicago Waterfront was super nice and very accommodating. We stayed high up on the 33rd floor which was really pretty. Ashley was waiting so patiently for our arrival, that after a quick drop off of our stuff to the room we were off to get the yummiest and famously known in Chicago: Deep Dish Pizza. Getting a glimpse of the city at night, walking over the river, as well as bizarrely enough smelling chocolate which was delicious simultaneously the worst thing to smell when you have a sweet tooth and are starving. Deciding on eating at the famous Lou Malnati’s, we ordered ahead, a large pepperoni devouring it in no time. Well worth the wait 🙂 A bonus for the night was posting my pizza pic to Instagram and then this happened:
So hilarious to know fellow friends and bloggers were sitting downstairs from where the girls and I were eating at that very moment. We found them and chatted a little bit, excited for tomorrow’s events in attending the conference: ALL THE BOOKS!
When posting to social media, tag it up so you can run into friends! Or possibly creepers, but more likely friends 😉
Walking back to our hotel we got another glance at the city, hoping to mark our route to the shuttle for bringing us to the convention center where ALAMW was being held. The subway cars that fly by through the city are just the coolest. Sadly I didn’t get a picture of it, but I was able to have everyone stop so we could all do a photoshoot of a very iconic place (don’t mind that the performers seem like they’re circa 1990, as @jaimearkin pointed out haha!)
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Stop to see all of the famous things you can, they’re always the most fun! And make your friends snap shots too!
After setting my alarm for 7PM
instead of 7AM needless to say our morning was slightly rushed (whoops, and I was seriously annoyed at myself for doing that), we found some Einstein Bagels, grabbed our teas & coffees and set out for the city rolling our small suitcase ready to be filled with books!
FINALLY we arrived: MADE IT! And what a sight it was! I’m sad I didn’t take more pics but I was so very excited getting bookish totes, speaking with reps from all the publishers: Little Brown, Harper, Penguin, Random House, Disney Hyperion, Harlequin, etc. It was great to speak with contacts, not only to establish a report but find out what to look out for in 2015! Everyone was super awesome and what a delight to make up for the WORST AND ABSOLUTE DISASTER BOOKCON WAS! Also, best part was meeting up with fellow bloggers (finally, damn the distance and virtuality, we can now see each other in person!) 🙂 I met so many new faces and faces I’ve been talking to for a while now. BEST PART!! Talking books, real life, and all geeky things really can make a girl happy ❤
The power of social media is always fun (see pizza IG above) and showing some author love and my tweets show up on a big screen using the #alamw15 hashtag, last column on the right, second tweet woohoo!)
Next up was getting in some sight-seeing, LOTS of picture taking, and one of the BEST, BEST dinners I’ve ever had!! And lastly the fun bar meet-up with all the YA bloggers in town 🙂 Sadly I was very foolish and was gabbing away and not taking pictures with all my new friends. Please enjoy the photos while your party continues to scroll
when the weather is forecasted as bad, most definitely make sure you prepare for the worst
After we got back to the hotel before sight-seeing, we re-booked our flights to leave earlier because the snow was supposed to be bad. And for once, the weather was as advertised because after Nicole and I had changed our flights, we were already bumped up an hour and forty-five mins later than scheduled. Sadly our time was cut short but we did walk away with enough books that we were 4-7 lbs. away from going over the weight limit for our luggage 😉
After boarding and waiting we were up in the clouds and back on our way to the east coast, ready for some football
fun on Super Bowl Sunday. While we had one of the shortest trips ever, I want to get back to Chicago real soon! So much more I’d love to explore, the city seemed so fun and also better weather would help a lot. Snow and bitter cold kinda blows to make a seriously enjoyable weekend. BookCon was a disaster, I don’t think I can afford BEA plus it sounds very intense and I like the mellowness of ALA. I’m so very excited for Boston in 2016! (YES I’M ALREADY COUNTING DOWN UNTIL NEXT ALAMW!)
Until next time! Linz xx aka The Kid