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11. Posted by valmo (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y

i've found, for chicago, the o'hare garden hotel...i saw on google earth taht is near to blue line "El" so i think that should be a good (and cheap) choice.

My trip idea is to stay in Chicago 5 days, then take the train to buffalo, rent a car and go to niagara's falls.
Then stay around in new york state for about 5/6 days, 'till i came back to NY and stay there for 4/5 days.

In new york i've found another (seems) fine hotel in brooklyn, at about 500/800 meters to brooklyn bridge (and near the metro line). The name is Princess hotel, you know it? I've to say that for 80$/night seems cheaper than manhattan hotels, and looking the photo on its website seems to be clean and exentials (sincerely i don't mind about cable TV or free w-lan;))

12. Posted by lschofield (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

Quoting valmo

i've found, for chicago, the o'hare garden hotel...i saw on google earth taht is near to blue line "El" so i think that should be a good (and cheap) choice.

My trip idea is to stay in Chicago 5 days, then take the train to buffalo, rent a car and go to niagara's falls.
Then stay around in new york state for about 5/6 days, 'till i came back to NY and stay there for 4/5 days.

In new york i've found another (seems) fine hotel in brooklyn, at about 500/800 meters to brooklyn bridge (and near the metro line). The name is Princess hotel, you know it? I've to say that for 80$/night seems cheaper than manhattan hotels, and looking the photo on its website seems to be clean and exentials (sincerely i don't mind about cable TV or free w-lan;))

If you're talking about the one in Rosemont, IL, and you don't want to spend upwards of $100 (all in Chicago city centre will run AT LEAST that), this would be a good choice. Its still about as far out as the Motel6 in Schiller Park, but it is closer to the blue line. It would be a short bus ride, a nice walk or an affordable taxi fare to get to the blue line (Rosemont station I believe is your nearest). Again, Rosemont doesn't have anything going on - but if you don't mind an hour's train ride (maybe you could use it to read your guide books or a copy of 'The Reader') you'll be fine!

Let me know if you have any other questions - I live in Chicago and my son goes to school in the Loop so we know a little bit...

13. Posted by valmo (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y

Yeah! exactly the one in Rosemont.
I've found it on booking for about 280$ (+ tax) for all 5 days. For about 1 hour riding, i have no problem. The only thing i hope is if there's a kind of metra pass that includes both trains and busses.
But, are enough 5 days to see Chicago? I don't know how much there're to see or do...the only thing I know is the "loolapalooza" festival

Thank you for your help!!!!

14. Posted by lschofield (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

Quoting valmo

Yeah! exactly the one in Rosemont.
I've found it on booking for about 280$ (+ tax) for all 5 days. For about 1 hour riding, i have no problem. The only thing i hope is if there's a kind of metra pass that includes both trains and busses.
But, are enough 5 days to see Chicago? I don't know how much there're to see or do...the only thing I know is the "loolapalooza" festival

Thank you for your help!!!!

That is a VERY GOOD price for a Chicago area hotel in the summer! To plan out your itinerary with festivals, music, museum events, food, clubs, etc... I always recommend the Chicago 'Reader'. Find them online at http://www.chicagoreader.com/ and when you're here you'll find them in newspaper machines around the city for free.

One thing to remember is that the Metra is separate from the El and the Chicago (CTA) buses.

Metra's website is here - http://www.metrarail.com/
and here is their FAQ page for new riders - http://metrarail.com/riders.html

Here is the link for the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority - they run the buses and the 'El') - http://www.transitchicago.com/

You can also use the RTA (Regional Transportation Authority) Trip Planner - http://tripsweb.rtachicago.com/
RTA's website has both the Metra and the 'El' as well as bus routes listed. Your hotel will be located near O'Hare airport and in the NorthWest section of the maps.

It looks like for your hotel in Rosemont, the nearest Metra Train would be the North Central Line (to Antioch - meaning the service runs between Chicago and a final destination of the village of Antioch) Here is a schedule page for that line http://metrarail.com/Sched/ncs/ncs.shtml. You won't be heading north of Rosemont at all - nothing up there. Antioch is nearly in Wisconsin! The 'Chicago' stop for this line is Union Station, which is very central. I haven't been on the Metra trains very often, but they have an upper and lower level and are more comfortable trains than the 'El'.

You can buy a 5-day visitor pass for the RTA, but it will not include Metra fares. Again - this will not be a problem for you - El and bus should be fine. The 5-day pass is $18, which will definitely save you money on transport.

Here is a link.
http://www3.yourcta.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTA&category%5Fname=&product%5Fid=vp

I would suggest just buying your pass when you're in town. You can get them at O'Hare Airport apparently, just ask someone where to buy one

VISITOR PASSES Offer unlimited rides when activated with first
use. Buy at Visitor Centers, airports, Navy Pier, at
transitchicago.com, or call 836-7000 from any local area code
for more locations. Valid on CTA and Pace (except Pace Route 835).
Passes cannot be shared or recharged.

- taken from http://www.transitchicago.com/maps/farechart.pdf

After you arrive at the airport, it will be very easy to get to your hotel. They probably offer free shuttle service because of their proximity to O'Hare. Ring them and ask! Otherwise, the blue line goes straight to Terminal 2 (I used to work at O'Hare and took this route every day for a few years). Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are connected and Terminal 5 (mainly international flights) is connected to the main airport via a free airline transport service. The blue line will also take you VERY close to your hotel (Rosemont is very small). From there I would suggest a taxi - short trip but a bit much of a walk if you've just gotten off a long flight!

Another point that has confused my in-laws when they were visiting is how to use the telephones once here. No one will add a '1' in front of the area code for a telephone number, but you always have to dial it. For example, someone might say "call 773-555-5555' and it should really be 1-773-555-5555. We just never say it because its something you always do to make a call here. That has caused confusion before, so I thought I'd bring it up. Definitely get some sort of pass - the buses and trains only take exact change and it could be confusing and annoying to deal with the US coins all the time.

Taxis are very cheap, around $5 for a quick trip, and you don't need to get a local one for a good rate. City-wide services will be priced about the same as local cabs. We don't often order taxis in advance here, so the taxi firms don't really have a good plan for this. If you order a taxi for a specific time and expect it to show up, you may be waiting for a long time if it ever shows up. Just call when you need one.

My in-laws are from Ireland, so I know alot of little things that might confuse European visitors. I've tried to point some of them out for you here.

Let me know if you have any other questions - I'm more than happy to answer. Chicagoans are very friendly, feel free to ask anyone here if you ever get lost. My parents ride public transport when they visit and often get help from strangers when they are confused - even splitting taxis with people they meet at bus stops (if they're going in the same direction and a taxi is nearby).

15. Posted by valmo (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y

Thank you so much for the preciuos info!!! you had to do visitors guide for job!!!
Yes, the hotel do the free shuttle, and if i can i will call them..(the spoken language, specially for the first time, could be a bit hard...I will have to set up my ears quickly!.....i don't know if it's the right figurative language like in italian "ci devo fare l'orecchio").
For the city pass...is veeeeeery cheap!!! here with 18 dollars (about 11 euro) you can buy at maximum a mcdonald menĂ¹!
I will look to chicago reader next days, but for a first look at it seems useful.
For my trip i will leave chicago just from union station, you know if there're some luggage lockers? I will have to free the hotel room on 11 am....and my train leave on 10 pm.
And...i seen now your train....AMAZING!!!!!!.....i don't know if i'll return to italy....

Thank you again for your help....maybe we will meet for a drink or something..

16. Posted by lschofield (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

Quoting valmo

Thank you so much for the preciuos info!!! you had to do visitors guide for job!!!
Yes, the hotel do the free shuttle, and if i can i will call them..(the spoken language, specially for the first time, could be a bit hard...I will have to set up my ears quickly!.....i don't know if it's the right figurative language like in italian "ci devo fare l'orecchio").
For the city pass...is veeeeeery cheap!!! here with 18 dollars (about 11 euro) you can buy at maximum a mcdonald menĂ¹!
I will look to chicago reader next days, but for a first look at it seems useful.
For my trip i will leave chicago just from union station, you know if there're some luggage lockers? I will have to free the hotel room on 11 am....and my train leave on 10 pm.
And...i seen now your train....AMAZING!!!!!!.....i don't know if i'll return to italy....

Thank you again for your help....maybe we will meet for a drink or something..

Valmo,

Apologies for the delay in my reply. You shouldn't have too much of a problem with language barriers in Chicago. It is a very international city. Also, most everyone speaks Spanish - which is NOT Italian, but close enough. Myself, I speak Spanish and French.

Things are very cheap here when you're converting to dollars from euros. Be sure to bring an empty suitcase or two to take things home. I found the following advice regarding luggage lockers at Union Station on yahoo answers

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070418152033AA2PWTd

I would see if you can check your luggage directly on the train early - they may let you do that.

You would definitely want to return to Italy around November - Chicago gets VERY cold!!!! Summer is nice though and we've been having very good weather.

As for a drink, send me a private message and I'll give you my mobile number. It will depend very much on when you'll be here (I'm expecting a baby in late July to early August), but would definitely be up for that if I'm not in hospital (or soon after that!). I love meeting up with people from different places and would be glad to atleast get together for a coffee!

Let me know when you'll be here and we can plan further. Good luck to you!

Regards,
Laura

17. Posted by valmo (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y

There's no problem for the late!!
About take 1 or 2 suitcase to fill with various items is an advice that many people gave me...and i think that i follow it!!!;)
For returning in Italy....i don't mind about the cold...i was in Stocholm for christmas....i've problem with hot weather (and humidity).
Thank you again for the informations!!!

Cheers
Fabrizio

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