Every time I go back to Chicago I like it better.

On my most recent occasion it was all business as I was there for the Internet Retailer conference, a gathering of about 10,000 who want to learn more and be more effective in their ecommerce efforts.

Trying to book a room late, not a really sound plan for an experienced travel agent, I found I was not only unable to take advantage of the rates of the conference hotels, I was not even able to book into their already sold out properties.

So on the search I was able to find a room at the Holiday Express on North Wabash. It’s now become a boutique hotel of sorts after converting and upgrading the somewhat famous Cass Hotel.

It proved to be a great find with an excellent free breakfast, small but well appointed rooms, and really in the heart of some great restaurants.

The only thing wrong with the hotel was that the TV could not access the channels where their own Chicago Blackhawks were on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.

I am sure the sports bars I visited to watch the game appreciated the few extra dollars in beer sales they got from this visiting Canuck.

Notwithstanding the noise of the rapid transit rail that surely is the loudest in North America there is a decided inescapable energy to the city.

It is still the Pizza capital and the every restaurant I visited from Thai to Mexican provided excellent service and great food…all of them in a short walk from the hotel.

As I was by myself I never took in any of the entertainment but the last time we went to a play, Navy Pier, Second City and the best of steak houses.

I look forward to going back and staying awhile, more as a tourist then as strictly a business guest.

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