IL Travel Guide
As you sit dreaming of cruising right out of winter weather, a voyage to Chicago probably hasn’t entered your mind. But starting in July, Great Lakes Cruise Company will begin offering itineraries from Montreal to Chicago with the inaugural trip leaving Montreal on July 5 and porting in Chicago on July 14.
With only 105 state rooms, the ship, the M.S. Saint Laurent, is teeny tiny compared to typical cruise vessels due to Great Lakes size limitations. But this vacation won’t come at a teeny tiny price. The company says the price for the trip will range from $4,199 to $7,999 per person. Ouch.
Anyone living in the snow-covered northern states knows that, among the many annoyances of winter, are the potholes that seem to pop up everywhere as snowplows wreck havoc on frozen streets.
But, for one Chicago street artist, what most people see as a nuisance, he's turned into the perfect canvas.
Jim Bachor began to fill Chicago’s potholes with original works of art in 2013. His mosaics, which feature flowers, flags, and other reminders that spring is right around the corner, are a bright spot in the often long and dreary winters.
To help people find his pothole pieces, Jim has created a map of the installations around Chicago. A good reminder that, if you want to see his street art, you shouldn't wait too long. As Chicago Now recently pointed out, Bachor’s pothole mosaics will likely, eventually, be covered over as the streets get patched up by the city.
The United Terminal at Chicago O’Hare International Airport just got a little artsier.
“City Windows,” a permanent art installation has been unveiled near gate B19, It was created by Chinese artist Qiao Xiaoguang and it’s pretty awesome. So awesome, it might not make us so pissed off to fly United anymore.
The ancient art of Chinese paper cutting was used to create a panorama of iconic images from Chicago and Beijing. The images highlight landmarks like Navy Pier and the Willis Tower in Chicago, and Tiananmen Square and the Olympic Stadium in Beijing. The display symbolizes the deep friendship and cultural and business connections between Chicago and China, and can also be viewed from outside the airport when approaching the terminal.
Wish We Were There / Wish You Were Here / American Airlines Flagship. First Class Travel / ORD / → All Tags
Normally, our recurring travel snapshot series is called "Wish You Were Here" where we show off amazing travel destinations that we think you should go to. But today, we're reversing the roles and saying, "Wish We Were There".
That's because while flying out of Chicago O'Hare the other day, we noticed an exclusive zone amidst all the other lowly check-in desks-- The American Airlines Flagship Check-In . This writer had never seen an AA Flagship Check-in the wild but thanks to Jaunted's inside look at the AA Flagship lounge at JFK, I now know exactly all the luxury traveler shenanigans that are happening behind this walled-off entrance, such as: checking-in, changing seat assignments, and checking luggage. However, fancy pants Flagship travelers still have to go through TSA. Hah, suckers.
Think you can access the Flagship private check-in and the lounge once you're past security, check yourself. Do you meet the following requirements?
Virgin Hotels officially opened their doors to guests in Chicago yesterday and our sister site, HotelChatter, has the first look inside a Virgin guest room, excuse us, chamber for those visiting Chi-town. But if you were expecting to find a replica of a Virgin America airplane, complete with purple mood lighting and singing and dancing employees, you might be disappointed.
The historic building on Wabash has been done over into a very Virgin property, with lots of bright red touches everywhere, from the red tiles in the shower to the red SMEG mini fridge in the chambers, and the bright red coats worn by the lovely lady greeters at the entrance.
And even though the hotel is an American company, there are quite a few tributes to its British heritage--like the London Bridge depicted on the chamber rugs, the Birds and Blokes signs for the bathroom, the bright red telephone booth that serves as the hostess station at the not-yet-opened Miss Ricky's All-American Diner and the Union Jack on the dog bed at check-in. And for some reason, the chamber bed reminds us of Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic.
There's even a wall devoted to Sir Richard Branson in the 203 Coffee Bar (opening in a few weeks) and the history of his Virgin multimedia company, featuring photographs of Branson and his various companies, including Virgin Cola. (RIP.)
While the staff is incredibly happy and relaxed, no one has busted out a robot rap...yet. So if we're talking airlines here, Virgin Hotels feel more Virgin Atlantic than Virgin America but at the end of the day, Virgin Chicago actually wants to be a hub for locals.
Holiday Travel / Christmas Travel / Airports / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / ORD / Chicago Travel / Airport News / → All Tags
If your electronics and mobile doodads aren’t behaving this holiday season there’s a new way to get things repaired and fix while on the go. Best Buy is sending their Geek Squad unit into the airport, as the brave women and men will be stationed at Chicago-O’Hare for the next few weeks.
When your phone just isn’t keeping up its end of the bargain make your way over to Terminal 3 near the Concourse H food court. There you’ll find the Geek Squad, and that’s where they will be providing tech support for free through December 23.
Henry Cavill is proving he can do it all while filming Batman v Superman in Chicago.
On Friday, Henry filmed a scene in which he was suspended from a wire high above the streets of Chicago just hours after carrying his co-star Amy Adams, aka Lois Lane, to safety. And, he did it all while squeezed into that iconic Superman suit.
Travel News / Airlines / Virgin America / Virgin Atlantic / Virgin Australia / Virgin / Virgin Hotels / Hotels / Chicago Travel / Frequent Flyer Miles / Airline Loyalty Programs / eleVAte / → All Tags
It feels like forever ago that the future existence of Virgin Hotels was teased. In reality it was only 2010, and finally there's a solid opening date. The first Virgin Hotel will open in Chicago in January 2015, and roomsexcuse us, "Chambers"just went on sale from $209 per night.
For everything we know about Virgin Hotels to this minute, you'll want to check out the HotelChatter story, because right now we're pretty distracted by the tasty news that hotel stays will work with flights towards your frequent flying totals. The NY Times tucked this tidbit into the very end of their story:
Airport News / Airports / ORD / Chicago Travel / Green Travel / → All Tags
Some furry friends are now back doing their thing over at Chicago-O’Hare, as they do their best to keep the airport grounds in tip-top shape.
We’ve mentioned unique airport groundskeeping crews before, but the herd that tends to the land in and around O’Hare might just be one of the best. They’re back at work this year, as goats, sheep, llamas, and donkeys are all doing their thing. They’re hungry and there’s apparently plenty to eat, as they work to eliminate all kinds of vegetation—even poison ivy.
United / United Airlines / Airline News / Airlines / ORD / Checked Baggage / Luggage / Baggage / → All Tags
Practice your sticker skills before heading off to the airport, as one of the country’s largest carriers is going the DIY route when it comes to baggage tagging.
United Airlines just started offering self-service bag tagging over at Chicago-O’Hare in an effort to speed up the check-in process at the airport. The airline’s angle is that it provides more options for customers looking to do things for themselves, and it will free up agents to help out those flyers that have questions or need a little more assistance.
Live Music Travel / How To Get Tickets To / Riot Fest / Music Festivals / Chicago Travel / Events / → All Tags
Lollapalooza is now just a memory and summer is winding down, but that doesn't mean the Chicago music festival scene is over for 2014.
On Sept. 12-14 Riot Fest returns to Humboldt Park with a lineup that includes The Cure, Jane's Addiction, The National, Rise Against, Weezer, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Samhain, Tegan and Sara, and dozens more.
Confirmation that the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be built in Chicago has some wondering if Mayor Rahm Emanuel performed a Jedi Mind Trick on George Lucas.
Since the museum was announced it was largely assumed it would be built in San Francisco, near the LucasFilm headquarters. So, many were surprised this week when Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for Emanuel, announced Lucas' decision to build the facility in Chicago, over San Fran.