In the first tweetup, the one in Austin, I found myself flight-delayed for the Friday night events AND also quite sick. While I greatly enjoyed the Saturday outings, I felt I had not gotten all that I had expected out of that tweetup. So the Windy City Tweetup was redemption for fate…
The journey to Chicago started, as many journeys lately for me, with Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport. Having just flown in to Atlanta the night before, I was less than excited to be doing the routine in reverse within 24 hours of landing in Atlanta… But, and it is a big but, this was for much more fun than a work trip. It was time for the long-awaited Windy City Tweetup.
Delta nicely was able to complimentarily upgrade me (both ways!) days ahead of the flights so I would avoid wondering at the gate “Will I make it?”. Thanks!
Three of us flying in were planning to meet upon arrival at ORD so I was hoping we would all be on time. Being the one to land first (by schedule, anyway), I was to make my way to the last person’s baggage claim area (of course, we ALL were flying different airlines to make it more complicated…) and also call up the car we had booked for a nice ride into town. Miraculously – the Tweetup gods must have been smiling upon us – we all landed within minutes of each other.
Our destination, the Sofitel Water Tower Hotel in Chicago we had booked a few months in advance. Sofitels are clearly nice hotels and it had been a while since I had stayed in one so I was thrilled to experience their service after a few years of experiencing others’ service.
Home Base in Chicago’s Water Tower District: My High Place
Even before the tweetup, the Sofitel Water Tower engaged with us via Twitter (@SofitelChicago). Two things: one, if you are a business and you will have a Twitter presence, it can’t be a one-way push of information. That is so 1999 web. You HAVE to engage. The Sofitel clearly knew this. That was a good sign for us that we had made a great choice.
I found out I had been placed at the 30th floor which gave me a nice view of the Hancock Tower straight ahead and Lake Michigan behind it. The room was very comfortable and inviting. A very nice spot in a high place in Chicago indeed!
Also, a nice treat awaited in the room: macarons! Check out the story about macaron envy…
We also had made plans to gather at the hotel’s bar “Le Bar“, where the hotel, once again, offered us a sampling of their appetizers of which the mini-burgers and the artichoke croquettes were my favorite. I also got to be the first customer to try their new signature drink named “Wrigleyville” which had peanut butter fluff & vodka and was served with a side dish of Cracker Jacks. I was not sure about a peanut butter flavored drink but it was actually outstanding. Kudos to the bar for the clever design!
After meeting up at the Sofitel with one of our local tweeps, we headed for The Pump Room at the Public Hotel Chicago. Though ground-level cleary a high place in terms of history, ambience and scene. A famous locale throughout the decades, I admit to only having discovered it as the tweetup was being planned. We enjoyed drinks and dinner there enjoyed the well-designed space. The bar areas were hopping with a great crowd – clearly a place to come and meet with friends in the Windy City.
So ended our first few hours in the Windy City Tweetup. It was a great start to the weekend and many thanks to the Sofitel Water Tower and The Pump Room for setting the right tone!