The post-Chicago report…

Well, I must say… the trip to Chicago was definitely worth it. :-) I had a great time, and it was good to see Justin, Aaron, and all of the Midway folks again.

I arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare airport at somewhere around 6:45 PM. The flight wasn’t too bad, and it was a good chance to test movie playing on my cell phone. I watched the entire Mortal Kombat movie, and to my surprise it only used about 12% of the battery to do so. Once I arrived at O’Hare, I got my suitcase from baggage claim, and then waited for about 45 minutes or so for Justin to arrive. (Aaron had been in town for a while.) We got on the L from there, and made our way to a stop a few blocks from our hotel (with an abortive train switchover due to a line connection tunnel being closed). We ended up walking to our hotel, checking in, and waiting for Aaron (who had stepped out for a few minutes). Once Aaron arrived (while we were watching some weirdass Superman/Matrix crossover Justin picked up… don’t ask), we made our way downstairs and headed out to a pizza place called Giordano’s for dinner. I swear, they had the best stuffed pizza I’ve ever had. :-) Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel and spent quite a bit of time poring over the questions for Fight Night and trying to get the best one selected. We then headed to bed relatively late.

The next morning, I got up early enough to get some breakfast in the hotel lobby, and also did some work for work. Once Justin and Aaron woke up, we decided to tour around the city a little. Our first stop happened to be the Hancock Tower, where we went up to the lounge on the 96th floor. (Those of you who know me well know how much I HATE elevators, so you can imagine my needing to recover after that express elevator ride.) We should have gotten a couple of drinks, but either way, it was worth it just for the view…

The view from the 96th floor of Chicago's Hancock Tower...

I’ll likely have more pictures available later on my online gallery.

Anyway, from there we made our way to the ground level of the Hancock Tower, and ate at the Cheesecake Factory there. From there, we made our way south down Michigan Avenue, where we wandered into the huge Apple Store, into Water Tower Place, through another mall area looking for a Fannie May (which didn’t have the maple fudge Mom wanted), and into the Millennium Plaza. It was getting lateish for us by that point, so we made our way back to the hotel with a stop in the Virgin Megastore.

Once at the hotel, we got our gear together and grabbed a taxi for the trip to Midway. Once there, we waited for a bit in the waiting room, but then we soon got to go back and meet all of the guys, get set up… and then wait for about an hour and a half because we got set up in record time. :-/ Once the event itself started, though, everything went great… well, aside from MKBot crashing, but it’s like I said there: it wouldn’t be Fight Night without an MKBot crash. :-) Afterwards, we said our goodbyes to everyone, and then caught a taxi back to the hotel. Once back, we checked reactions to the event, and then decided to go out for some drinks. We ended up at a bar, where Justin managed to get involved in a philosophical debate between the bartender and a couple of the regulars. :-) Once we were done there we were going to hit another place… but after ten minutes there we decided just to go back to the hotel. Once there, Aaron and I munched on leftover pizza while Justin continued to watch site members’ reactions to Fight Night. I finally got tired and headed on off to bed.

The next morning, I once again got up early enough to have breakfast; interestingly enough Justin was already down there. I went back upstairs and packed, and then Justin and I checked out and made our way back to the airport, after having said our goodbyes to Aaron (who was still sleeping and didn’t need to leave until much later). My flight left an hour before Justin’s, so we sat and talked politics and the like at my gate while we waited for my flight to board. As for the flight itself, I ended up dozing off for the first part of it, and then playing some Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance on my GBA later on.

So, all in all, it was a great trip. Chicago is a lovely city; I may have been born there but I don’t have many memories of it. Still, in the two times I’ve been there in the past year and a half, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to go back. The Midway guys were also very hospitable and generous, and it was a pleasure seeing them again. Now I just have to wait for the next Fight Night before my next Chicago trip, I guess… :-)