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You know how we feel here at NPS when it comes to generic hotels. The good news is that this trip (off season and not on a game weekend) the Grant Street Inn had our favorite room available. Needless to say, this place beats the heck out of the Hyatt Place.

So here we are in room 31. Sadly the fireplace has been disconnected and no longer functions. In fact, there are a few things that could use sprucing up…like better furnishings, no ancient radio, no phone that plugs into the wall, and some outlets built into the bedside table. You can do it guys!!

The first trip of 2020 started out great with a last minute upgrade from United who seems to have changed their upgrade policy to make things more nail biting for Global Services members. Not sure how we feel about that.

And then there was the hilarious stretch limo that the car service used to get us from Indy to Bloomington.

While in Bloomington, visit the Irish Lion for a stiff drink. And have some food at Anyetsang’s Little Tibet Restaurant.

The Grant Street remains our favorite location to stay in Bloomington. Four showerheads.

Four cities in two days will do that to you.

Upgraded on one hop to Pittsburgh on United!!

Then a tiny ancient United puddle hopper to NYC (Mesa needs more new planes).

New York was gorgeous

Train to Connecticut from Penn Station bright and early

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Now leaving NY

Now leaving NY

Then it was on to the worst Hertz rental car of all time. Dirty, over milage, driven hard, shimmy. Just crap. You can really suck Hertz!

This Hertz car sucks

This Hertz car sucks

Chicago Palomar Tops Itself

October 10, 2013

There are many reasons this trip is going well. First, United somehow accidentally upgraded me in advance on both legs (time warp to pre-merger), barman John Stanton is on duty at the Sable bar while I am in town, and the fabulous Chicago Palomar is engaged in the battle of the Palomars. Optimal trip! Too bad it’s only one day.

Room 1716 is the best one yet at the Chicago Palomar. Plenty of room, that’s for sure.

Living room.

Living room.

Sleeping room.

Sleeping room.

And the shower is not plastic in the least.

Cleaning room.

Cleaning room.

View from the glass cube.

View from the glass cube.

Sparkling water and a cheese plate that includes honeycomb. Plus a handwritten note. Wow! The bonus plate of homemade jerky is a quirky delicious twist.

Yum!

Yum!

All that aside, my favorite part of the Chicago Palomar is the excellence at the Sable bar. John Stanton is a knowledgeable barman who is happy to chat about his craft. The night’s experimental beverage looks like this. We’ll call it the Chicago Skyline
2 oz Old Granddad 114
.5 Zucca amaro
.5 Dolin blanc
2 dashes Reagans orange bitters
Stir down, express orange peel and discard.

John also shared a recipe somewhat similar to a Boris Karloff that I want to try when I get home:
2 oz Old Heaven Hill
.75 lemon juice
.75 honey pepper syrup (I am going to try green peppercorn)
egg white
cracked pepper garnish

Because it was a gorgeous clear evening, we decided to have dinner at Nomi on the garden terrace. They can’t mix a drink to save their lives, but the food is good and the atmosphere is terrific.

For breakfast, go one block to Glazed and Infused for gourmet doughnuts and espresso. Vanilla bean glazed? Creme brulee? Dangerous.

Five stars for the Chicago Palomar (as always) and a fervent wish to have a longer stay in the future.

I know it’s hard to believe, but United just did something good for a change. I was just upgraded on my flight back from London in a couple of weeks. Ahead of time. Without a waiting list. Just like the pre-merger days.

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Being upgraded on the way out is WAY more important than upgrading on the way back (of course), so I work that upgrade at time of purchase. I’m too old to fly economy overnight to Europe anymore. But the way back is also an 8.5 hour flight which is a long time to be stuck in economy.

Back in the old days we used to save our “global certs” for just this possibility. It’s nice to see them working again.