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My Kind of Town, Chicago Is....

jmalone
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Sears TowerI've actually had a couple of days off and decided to spend the time here in Chicago.  So, I grabbed my camera and set out on a self-guided walking tour. A few weeks ago, the weather here was amazing with not a cloud in the sky!  One of the first things that I did, was visit the Sears Tower.  This is an amazing building.  Next, I was off to stroll down Michigan Avenue.  I got some great pictures as you can see.  Millennium Park is one of my favorite places in Chicago.  It has the cool Crown FountainPritzker Pavilion, theCrown FountainPritzker Pavillion (where the Chicago Symphony does free concerts during lunchtime), and also  the best duck and fish tacos at the Park Plaza Grill.  Millennium Park also has the "Cloud Gate",The Bean but the locals call it the Bean.  It is a great sculpture that gives you a dazzling reflection of the city. The next day, my friend Bob and I decided to walk down the lake front of Lake Michigan.  We walked by the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and Shedd's Aquarium Adler PlanetariumThe Field MuseumShedd Aquarium.  I am planning to visit these places on another stretch of days off, but really just wanted to walk around and enjoy the wonderful weather. We then took a stroll along the harbor and down to Navy PierNavy Pier.  This is a great place to take the family and enjoy some great food; take a Chicago Architectural Boat Tour or an even faster speed boat tour!  By this time in the day, we were hot and tired.  So we decided to go to my favorite movie theater to see a movie.  It is the AMC River East 21.  It is right across the street from what I consider to be the best gourmet grocery store in the city, Fox and ObelFox and Obel They have a great cheese and wine selection as well as an awesome deli case and restaurant.  I still have a lot of things to see and do, but really enjoyed my days off!  If you get a chance to get to this great city, check out some of the things I mentioned, or suggest some of things that you have done and seen, and I'll add those to my "to-do" list.
80 Comments
blusk
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James, The "Bean" looks like it is part of the "spacecraft" that was set down in the middle of Soldier Field. Blog Boy
drew
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Ahem... WRIGLEY FIELD. 'Nuff said. 🙂
Nourisha
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i love chicago. it's a great place to spend the summer. not sure how they survive those winters though. i loved your pictures. it's always great to see cool pics from someone else's vacation. everyone has such a different experience even if they are in a popular city like chicago.
Francisco_Delga1
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JAMES, Nice pictures... I promised myself i would never go back to Chicago.. I lot of bad memories.......... MY BOOT CAMP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WINTER, MARCHING IN THE BLIZZARDS, HAVING THE FLU IN BOOT CAMP.. After i graduated bootcamp my parents came up and we took a tour of Chicago. There is this pizza place right across from the sears tower... i am not sure what the place was called but it had the best pizza.. so besides boot camp and not being able to see the outside world for two months i am sure chicago is a nice place... USS BLOG BOY
Mike6
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Help with Blackberry pearl..unable to connect to mobile.southwest.com with my BB pearl. Any suggestions would be a great help...really don't want to fly delta.... m.
Greg4
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question I ask SWA fans that I don't understand about SWA!. My question is southwest will be at washington dulles 1 year in fall so I ask swa fans this question what was southwest's purpose of going to dulles? was it to take united airlines down in a price war or what because why have we not seen any new destinations for washington dulles? I am begining to wonder I hate to say was it a mistake for southwest going into washington dulles airport?. Is united airlines to big for southwest to compete at washington dulles?
Leah4
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I LUV Chicago, too! I think it's a neat city. I also know someone who lives there, as well as someone who's from there. 🙂
FriendofBlogBoy
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James, What a great post! It sounds like you enjoyed some well-deserved "down time" in the Windy City. I've really never spent a lot of time there myself, but I have some scattered memories of a few memorable trips. My Dad used to travel there for conventions and so I had some opportunities when I was pretty young to travel along and do some family sightseeing. I can remember going to the Field Museum a few times as a small kid before I was ten years old, and then making a return visit in my early thirties with my own kids. Some of the same exhibits were still there, as I recall! But, my most vivid memory is the one of my "big trip". Our Dad had this tradition that when his children turned seven, they got to go on a "big trip" with just him, anywhere we wanted to go. For reasons I don't really remember, I chose to go to Chicago. (due to the timing of one of my Dad's business meetings, he probably slyly 'suggested' that I'd like to go there...) So, on the day I turned seven, he came and plucked me out of my first grade classroom with great birthday pageantry, back in a day when youngsters were NOT routinely taken out of school by their parents unless it was a significant event. We headed down to the Dallas train station, and boarded a late morning train for Chicago. I remember riding in the train and watching all of the scenery until it got dark. Following a fancy evening meal in the dining car, we retired to our cabin, where the porter had pulled down our beds. I can remember waking up during the night when the train stopped, and asking if we were in Chicago. But, it was only a nighttime stop in St. Louis. I went back to sleep and woke the next morning as we pulled into Chicago. After a few days of sightseeing and hotel room service (this was the "big trip" after all), it was time for me to return to Big D. However, my Dad needed to stay behind for business (probably so he could write off the entire trip! LOL), so my next big adventure was to go to the airport and board a giant AAirplane (sorry, SWA wasn't around in 1963) for my first airplane flight, which also gave me my first opportunity to be an unaccompanied minor, another pretty rare thing back in those days. Sitting in the window seat and watching my Dad leave the plane after getting me settled, I saw him descend the stairs and stand alongside the wing (also pre-jetway days) waving goodbye. So, my memories of Chicago go back a long way, but I know there is still a LOT that I haven't seen. Wait a second, I just thought of something. I never got credited for those AAdvantage miles!! Oh no!! I guess it doesn't matter, they won't honor 'em past eighteen months anymore, so some forty-four year old ones would've expired by now anyway. Kim The Veteran Traveler 🙂
Cygnus
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Greg, I have already answered your question about IAD numerous times elsewhere in this blog. And besides, United doesn't need SWA's help to implode: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2007-06-18-ual-service-usat_N.htm
joe-mdw-plane-d
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I'll be going to MDW next wednesday. The people department needs my fingerprint. Everyone of the bloggers is going to be at my interview. Ding! boy Joe
Maggie1
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As a Chicago resident (who is hoping to join your team in Dallas soon!) I have to say, the Architectural Boat Tour along the River is an absolute must! It's the best "sightseeing" part of Chicago and you get a complete history of the buildings and the city. I think it ends in October sometime (only runs summer time) so be sure to check it out. It runs from Navy Pier. If you want a nice summer glass of wine on a grassy roof terrace check out the bar at the Park Hyatt. It's called Nomi. The restaurant itself is a bit pompeous but the roofterrace bar is incredible a la fresco. Enjoy!
Phil_Willman2
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Thanks for the great post James! Isn't walking along the lakefront just awesome?! I took a stroll during a blustery day in March from the Shedd Aquarium to Navy Pier, then hopped a bus for a few blocks and walked through Greektown. Had some wonderful gyros, then hit a bakery to stock up on baklava and other assorted goodies....YUM! I can't wait to go back with the family alongside!
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Phil, Greektown is in Detroit ;-P You must have had a long bus ride to get there. Align bottom of peel and stick airbill here. Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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It'd be neat if we could all fly to Chicago for a vacation & have James take us on a tour! We could charter a SW plane. Gosh, it'll be 15 years ago this July since I've vacationed there; the other times I'm in the city, I'm changing planes.
Leah4
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It'll be 15 years ago in July that I actually visited Chicago. The last few times I was there it was to change planes. I think we should charter a SW plane, have Lou Freeman & Captain (Ray) Stark be our Pilot & Captain, & Carole A. & James as two of our FAs (I could be the third one); we can take a trip there. James can be our tour guide! 🙂
Leah4
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I'm sorry for the DPs on this one, too! *Hands candy corn to Brian. * :) I forgot to add this to my posts above. For those who make reservations by phone (sometimes I call, sometimes I do them online), you can ask for Ding! Boy (Joe, don't you work in Res?) & Paco, too! :) SWA LUVer Girl
joe-mdw-plane-d
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No, not me. I have an interview on Wednesday though. Not for reservations. I before e except after c Ding! boy Joe
Janie
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Awesome blog....I live in Chicago and it's taken me a years to see what you did in just a few days!!
James5
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I definately had a great time and look forward to seeing the many other things that this great city has to offer. BTW, Cubs sweep the SOX during this weekends cross-town rivalry!! Go Cubs!! James MDW FA
Leah4
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Sweet pickles, Joe! What position is it for? SWA LUVer Girl 🙂
Rebecca14
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I did a couple of months in Chicago. It was over the winter, and I had to be there for some trainings. The BEST part of being there was the food. My fav is Bubba Gumps shrimp bucket thingy. I went there at least once a week. Sadly, Howl at the Moon, a dueling-piano bar, is no longer doing pianos. Thanks for the reminder of Chi-town.
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Leah, Aircraft appearance technician. What a disaster. My interview ran late, I got back to mdw with 20 mins to board, Plane was 10 mins late. I got on the plane, we pushed back and waited on the taxiway. Then we pulled into another gate, backed out later, pulled back in deboarded, reboarded and left 8 hours late. Groundstop in dtw then mdw then all eastbounds, flow control issues, dispatcher reworks. Bleh! Very delayed, but not imitated Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Oh, wow, Joe! I'm sorry about the delays! 😞 I hope your interview went well; I bet it did. Please keep me updated!
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Leah, I don't have any fingerprints left as they took them all! Do not use for reordering purposes. Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Oh, no Joe! 🙂 I had mine taken when I had my second FA interview, but for some reason, when I had my second CSA & RSA interviews, they didn't take them.
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Maybe you are already in the FBI database? There were quite a few f/a applicants there and they all knew each other. I guess it was their 2nd interview as 2 different people talked to each of them. Only 3 others for what I applied for. Important information- see reverse side. Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Hmmm, Joe, that could be it! I wouldn't be surprised! *Scratches head & asks, "Now why didn't I think of that?"* 🙂
Cat_Yarrow
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Hello SWA, On June 23rd in Alameda CA, I had a group FA interview and was asked for a second interview the same day. I got a call today from another applicant at the same interview. She also, was asked for a second interview that day and also was finger printed and asked to answer questions on the computer. Do I still have an opportunity to become an FA for Southwest if I was not asked to be finger printed and to input information into the computer? What I was told was to look for an email from People & Leadership Development Dept. I have yet to be contacted. Thanks a million! Catherine "Cat" Yarrow
Lisa_Marovich
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Hi All, and to Leah too! I think you were the one I had some chit chat with a while back. 😃 I"m on this blog because it's MDW where I want to be an FA, so here's my question: I submitted my resume in March. My sister's friend who is in her 40's and used to be a stay at home Mom, starts training in September. I've yet to even get a call for an interview. I'm getting more and more sad everyday. I've got years and years of sales and customer service experience and just can't figure out what it's going to take to just get an interivew. If I could just get in front of someone, I know they would see that I'm so incredibly passionate about this. Any help would be great! Hey Leah... did you ever get the FA job? I seem to recall you have lots of contacts at SWA but also was having difficulty getting in. It seems like everyone BUT SWA is calling me for an interview. I'm flying into Dallas in a couple weeks for an interview with American. Maybe I'll sneak into SWA while I'm there and dazzle 'em! =D
Leah4
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Hello, Lisa! Don't give up! No, unfortunately, I didn't get picked for FA training; I didn't get picked for CSA or RSA training, either. 😞 I tried to find out what I could do to improve my chances of being invited for it, but never got responses. 😞 I won't lie & say I wasn't sad; I shed some tears, too, I admit. However, I'm not giving up! It'll be awhile before I try again, but I'm going to! I've wanted this for a very long time, & I'm a very determined person! Please keep us updated, Lisa! SWA LUV! 🙂
Lisa_Marovich
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Hi Leah! I know what you mean. I'm the type of person who is always happy to hear good news for others. But when my sister told me that her friend got the FA job with Southwest, I did also shed some tears. =( She didn't even try.... she said she just submitted her resume on a whim. It's not of course that I wasn't happy for her, but sad that there seems to be a secret formula that they are looking for on a resume to even grant an interview, and I wish I knew what it was. This will sound silly too, but everytime I've gotten calls for interviews or invited to training with other airlines, it makes me sad that it's not the one I really want to work for. I've passed up United, Continental, Skywest and Northwest. This is the last airline that I'm interviewing with next week. I pray that somehow someway, someone from Southwest at least gives me a call for an interview. I sure don't mean to sound ungrateful for having been chosen to attend training with those other airlines. I know how hard it is to get in. But I didn't realize that I just don't want to be an FA, I want to be an FA for Southwest. Hey Leah-- I'd love to be able to communicate off the blog. I don't want anyone to think I'm just on here trying to put my credentials on display. I was just hoping if I acted like an employee in my heart, that eventually the good energy will carry over to those who pick the lucky few who get to interview. When you get a chance, send me an email at lisamarovich@gmail.com. I won't be around for a few days, but I'll talk to you soon. I'm a singer (not full time!), and my boyfriend is a musician and his band is performing at 10,000 Lakes Fest in Minnesota this weekend. It should be so much fun! We're taking the band's tour bus, and the guys are all great so it makes what will be a ten hour drive, an absolute blast. The coolest thing to me is, all the band members are college grads. The bass player used to be an attorney for the Chicago DA's office! They're actually all geeky smart. It seems I'm rambling, but point being, it all makes for some stimulating and intelligent conversation with people who are too "together" to get into the whole "scene" that can come with being a musician. Don't think we're not tossin' back a few Guiness though! heheheheh ;>) Anyhow.... shoot me an email and I'll talk to you in a few days, and we can keep each others spirits up til our dream comes true! Luv and Hugs, LisaM
Leah4
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Oh, I know Lisa! I really feel I have the qualities it takes to work for SWA, & I can't figure out why I wasn't picked for training. I know I'm overqualified, so that could be it, or at least part of the reason. I, too, am happy to hear good news about others. Who knows, maybe we'll work together someday as FAs! I'll be out of state, too; I'm going to MCO (Orlando) this Friday for a United Methodist Congress of the Deaf (UMCD) Conference. I'm flying SWA, of course! By the way, I LUV music, too! 🙂 I always have. Thanks for your email address! I'll send you a message so you'll have mine. We can swap trip stories. LUV & hugs! Leah
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Update for you Leah, I am having my background checked and took the drug test. They say I'll know some thing in a few weeks. No status required Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Yea, Joe! That's great! Please keep us updated! I'm now back home from MCO, unfortunately. I never want to come home from trips! Anyway, I told several of the FAs that that's what I want to become. One of them on my flight from TUL to STL took my name & address (I gave him my email, too), & he'll pass it along! After I got off & while I was waiting to get a picture of me with the crew, he asked an employee-it might have been an Ops agent, I forgot-if they had any openings in STL. I thought it was very nice of him to do that! So, if Scott from SWA Flight 537 from TUL-STL on July 20 reads this, thanks again! 🙂 For those of you who watched Airline (I watched & recorded several episodes), I saw one of the Captains who was on the show once when I arrived at MCO! I can't remember his last name now, but he was on the episode where a mother from PDX brought her son to PHX to have surgery to stop his seizures; the Captain & his wife (he's based in PHX), has a son who had the same problem. Anyway, I heard his name & recognized it, so I asked if he'd been on the show. When he said yes, I told him which episode I saw him on. Another pilot seemed impressed I remembered! :) More later!
Leah4
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I forgot to say that FA Scott is based in PHX. SWA is So Wonderfully Awesome! 🙂
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Hey Leah, they are hiring ramp agents in St louis! I thought you were from Tulsa? After you write your message, push the post button. ;-) Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Yes, I'm from TUL! I saw on the Careers page last night (on the website) that TUL is hiring for Ramp Agents.
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Still nothing yet. Leah. Someone else who I didn't meet but went to Mdw the same day I did got hired as a CSA. Maybe my phone will ring soon? Or do they send out letters if you don't get hired? I got a stack of those. hoping for the phone to Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Thanks for the update, Ding! boy. I'm thinking that since you've not heard yet about the results of your BG check & drug test, it must be good. If it's good, you get a call; if not, you get the letter. I looked to see when you posted about your BG check & drug test & saw it was July 20. You're surely going to get the position! 🙂
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Leah, Got my phone call today fianlly. I passed the background and drug tests. Now I am in a pool waiting for a job to open up. I'm not quite sure how that works. Maybe they are waiting to see how many people take the buyout? Or I need to bribe Brian with some candycorn. Getting ever closer to employment at southwest Ding! boy Joe
blusk
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Congratulations Ding! boy, you are getting closer to being an Internal Blogger! I know it's nerve-wracking waiting to climb out of the pool. I can remember when I was waiting for the final call to start in Reservations. Blog Boy
Leah4
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Congratulations, Joe! *Throws a party & passes out cake, drinks, candy corn, peanuts, plane crackers, & pretzels; there are also balloons hanging; throws confetti.* Can you tell me what you did to help you get on, so that when I go for it again I can try what helped you? 🙂 Well, I sent Brian some candy corn last week, for real! Maybe that can count as bribery from you & me. 🙂
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Thanks Brian! I hope the invite is still open when I make it down to Dallas to train. Only $19.95 after $5,000,000.00 mail in rebate! Ding! boy Joe
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Leah, I thought of really sending candycorn, but all of the places I looked at online were quite pricey. Maybe I should just grocery store it and mail it? I thought it would melt. I didn't do anything special, I just did what Lisa's sisters friend did and did it on a whim! I get the feeling that the job I applied for isn't as external customer related as the ones you applied for so maybe I didn't need to be as outgoing? I don't think the plane will be laughing at my jokes as I clean it. Unless it is ticklish! Now play online Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Hey, Joe! Yes, I bought mine at the store, put it in a small box with some tissue paper, & mailed it. I didn't think about how it might melt! 😞 Grrrrrrr! Well, Brian, if you got your candy corn & it melted, I'm sorry! I'll have to figure out something else! Joe, please keep us updated! When I become an FA, I'll have to ask if you cleaned my aircraft! 🙂 Oh, where will you live? Do you have to move? Future SWA RSA, CSA, & FA!
Leah4
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P.S. Joe, maybe I should also try to become a Provisioning Agent; then, I can stock the plane with candy corn! 🙂
Leah4
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Ding! boy Joe, I answered my own question, I believe. You'll be moving to Chicago, right?
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Leah, No, I wont be moving. My sister lives an hour from Mdw. I'll have to see what arrangements I need to make. The shift is at night 10p to 630a. So in theory I could fly back and forth everyday but that may not be practical. I'll figure it out after I get the job. Did you see the backlog for F/as? No more apps until the fall. Write out loud Ding! boy Joe
Leah4
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Well, Joe, that's good you won't be moving. 🙂 Yes, I did see the backlog for FAs! Wow. I plan to wait a year or two before trying again for RSA, CSA, & FA, even though I can really go again for them this year; I'm not giving up, though! 🙂
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Leah, Has Brian received his candycorn yet? If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire the Ding! boy Joe 🙂