Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Hyatt Regency Santiago

A long week.

Santiago is an amazing city. I've only spent time at the Hyatt, with a little time at a local restaurant for dinner last night. But its appearance is a cross between Vancouver and Los Angeles. Vancouver for the modern buildings, green parks, and huge mountains literally adjacent to the city. Los Angeles for the smog, traffic and weather. Difference: the mountains are 20,000 feet tall and population is smaller than Los Angeles.

They have a drink here called Pisco Sour which is kind of like a liquor lemonade, very very good and not too sweet or tart. Very yummy. Last night at dinner I had a red wine known as "Carmenere" which apparently was brought from France to Chile, but was destroyed by a virus about 10 years ago. It now only exists in Chile and is a cross between a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Delicious. For lunch I had the "Pastel de choclo" - a corn pie, which is a Chilean specialty. It is basically red meat, chicken, mushroom, onion and olives topped with corn bread and cooked in a crock. Delicious but quite heavy. Food and drinks: very good here!

The Hyatt Regency is a spectacular circular glass building with a floor to ceiling atrium that is 20 stories tall; there is also a rather vast garden and pool area behind it that makes it look like a resort, it is beautifully manicured. Neat hotel - the planned renovation will be spectacular, I saw the new rooms and they will be sleek, modern and simple. Love it.

I am fading fast. The weather is supposed to be good the rest of the days, and I get tomorrow afternoon and all day Friday to myself before I return to Chicago. I definitely want to come back here on vacation!

Monday, June 28, 2004


Longest flight in history. Check this out:

Sat 14.00 hrs - arrive O'Hare Airport
Sat 14.10 hrs - check in and get to gate G23
Sat 15.00 hrs - gate change across airport to gate H18
Sat 16.00 hrs - flight delayed 1 1/2 hrs from 16.30 departure to 17.45 due to "weather"
Sat 18.00 hrs - flight departs for Dallas
Sat 20.15 hrs - flight arrives; flight to Santiago delayed until 22.10 departure
Sat 21.30 hrs - board plane
Sat 22.30 hrs - plane has malfunctioning fuel gauge
Sat 23.45 hrs - plane departs 1 1/2 hrs late
Sun 09.00 hrs - arrive in Santiago area, but smog; told we would circle for 45 mins
Sun 10.15 hrs - running out of gas, diverted to Mendoza, Argentina
Sun 11.30 hrs - land in Mendoza; refueling and checking weather in Santiago
Sun 11.45 hrs - told weather would not clear for 1 1/2 hrs; required to wait on plane
Sun 13.00 hrs - weather worsened; must stay in Argentina; airline talking to immigration
Sun 13.15 hrs - called Park Hyatt Mendoza, made reservation
Sun 14.00 hrs - still waiting for bus to terminal
Sun 14.30 hrs - in terminal, waiting to clear immigration; must return at 06.30 next day
Sun 15.00 hrs - arrive at Park Hyatt Mendoza
Mon 05.30 hrs - wake up
Mon 06.35 hrs - arrive at Mendoza Airport
Mon 07.35 hrs - flight crew arrives (!)
Mon 08.40 hrs - board plane
Mon 09.45 hrs - departure delayed due to unknown immigration problem on board
Mon 10.00 hrs - depart Mendoza
Mon 11.15 hrs - arrive Santiago
Mon 11.55 hrs - arrive Hyatt Regency Santiago

You count the hours. Long ass travel.

Good news: Mendoza as beautiful and wonderful as ever. Park Hyatt very accommodating. Santiago is warm, clear weather, city is very modern - similar to Vancouver but with 20,000 foot mountains. Long day of work today, work all week. Delayed return until Friday night so that I can see the city on Friday. More on it on Wednesday once I have energy!

Friday, June 04, 2004


A very cloudy morning. I don't think I'll get a chance to get much if any sun. I'll be the whitest person ever to leave Acapulco!

Schedule for today:

08.00 wake up!
08.30 go to health club
09.30 have breakfast
10.00 work on remaining outstanding items
11.00 go downstairs and check on things
12.00 begin packing for departure, post card for my niece, work
14.00 depart

hopefully there will be opportunity for some sun in between all of this!

Thursday, June 03, 2004


Been in Acapulco for three days now. I've been working incredibly hard, it has not gone so well, but it is nearly over. Vacation starts tomorrow in California!

Weather has been sunny in the morning, rain late morning to early afternoon, then sun afternoon into the evening. Tomorrow I plan on going to the gym, then sitting in some sun and doing some final work before I leave for the airport around 1pm. The airport here is PINK. Very strange.

Ran into Julie Coker, the General Manager at the Hyatt Lodge in Oakbrook, yesterday at the pool. It was funny to see a familiar face so far away from home!

Humid night.... back to work.