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Monday, October 13, 2014

Chicago, IL: Sliders, 360 view, and deep dish pizza – Day 1

I always like to keep my skills up to par. I am a graphic designer by trade and found a great annual conference to attend. I grew up using Quark, but the Adobe products are now the tools of the trade from basic and complex print layouts to websites to mobile apps. PePCon is a great way to learn about new techniques and innovations in the Adobe graphics world as we know it. I attended last year’s event in Austin, TX and definitely wanted to catch it again this year in Chicago, IL.

One thing I love about traveling now is utilizing the airline clubs in the different airports. I have been a member of the United Club for a few years now and it has been totally worth the money. In the mornings, they have continental breakfast items like donut holes, bagels, cereals, yogurt, coffee (some clubs even have a cappuccino/espresso machine) and a variety of fruit. Around lunch time, they swap out to snacks like snack mixes, baby carrots and ranch dressing, shortbread cookies, Tillamook cheeses and Pepperidge Farms crackers. The seats are comfortable to relax in and wait for your flight. Other amenities include workstations with electrical outlets to charge your laptops, phones, tablets, etc., small conference rooms to knock out some meetings if you’re travelling with fellow co-workers, and my favorite, concierge service to help with rebooking cancelled flights. The staff at the United Club has helped me numerous times. They are always professional and caring. The United App is also a great tool to keep all of your flight information at your fingertips with up-to-date flight information, locations of United Clubs worldwide, and your boarding passes.

After a day of flying, we finally made it to Chi-Town. It was almost midnight and we were starving. Luckily, we stayed at the Homewood Suites Downtown Chicago. They have a small on-site convenience store next to the front desk where we picked up some frozen meals to warm up in the room. The suites are cozy with a small living room area complete with a sofa bed and large LCD TV. The kitchenette had a full size refrigerator, countertop range, microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker, large sink, and was stocked with pots, pans, cooking utensils, plates, silverware, and glasses. The bedroom had a king size bed (which was surprisingly comfortable) and LCD TV. The bathroom was roomy and was recently remodeled with granite tile floor and countertop, and new water fixtures. The long day had caught up to us – we quickly ate, hit the hay, and dreamed of what Chicago had in store for us.

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