I arrived in Chicago today and on the plane I began thinking about my very first trip to The Windy City. It occurred in 1981.
I was attending Texas Wesleyan University and was a member of Phi Beta Lambda. The annual national conference was held in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. College students from all over the US were converging on the city. The thing I remember most about the hotel is it’s huge atrium with a bar that project out over the registration area and main lobby.
The hotel has been renovated and the bar has been redone and it is being redone again. If memory serves me correctly, it was redone after the catastrophic events at the Hyatt Regency Kansas City.
I can’t remember what I competed in at the conference but I do remember having a fun time and making some new friends and strengthening friendships.
Things I remember from the trip:
- Going to the observation deck of the Sears Tower now known as Willis Tower
- Going to the observation deck of the Hancock Tower
- Shopping at Water Tower Place
- Going to the beach (Who knew that Chicago had a beach?)
- Walking along the Magnificent Mile
- Having my first champagne brunch
- Having my first experience of being told I was too young to drink. (At the time, the drinking age varied by state. In Texas, it was 18 and in Illinois it was 21.)
Since 1981, there have been many trips to Chicago; mostly for work and sometimes just for fun. It’s a town that I always enjoy visiting and town that has left me with many good memories.