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This post is for Grandma, who won’t ever see it because it’s on the computer

March 13, 2012

Wanting to spend a night in Chicago after registering Pea’s adoption with the Thai consulate, I considered our lodging options.  Since we were having dinner in the suburbs that night with friends, the smart option would have been to pick a sensible hotel on the outskirts of town.  But for some reason, I decided I instead wanted to test out a name-your-own-price site to see what kind of deal we could get on a 4-star hotel inside the loop.  Just for kicks.

I entered the ridiculously low rate I was willing to pay for the fanciest of hotels and fully expected to be told to take a long walk off a short pier.  Instead, we were given a reservation at the historic Palmer House hotel, considered the largest hotel in the world at the time after renovations in 1925.

This would not be an interesting story, expect that when I told my family where we’d be staying, I discovered that my maternal grandparents stayed at this hotel on their honeymoon in 1946.  They arrived at the hotel to check in, and, due to some sporting event, there were no available rooms.  My grandparents were told that they could be put up in a dormitory for the night.  My grandfather apparently said, “No thank you, we’ll find another hotel”, when they double-checked the reservation.  It had been made under the corporate account of the telephone company, for which my great-grandfather worked, and so the room was indeed free.  They were able to stay there after all.

We joked that the television must have been the same as the one my grandmother would have watched nearly 70 years ago, but the lobby was breathtaking.  And it was special to be able to stay someplace with some family history I’d never known until we had the reservation.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2012 8:20 am

    Wow, that lobby is gorgeous! I’ll have to check out the hotel the next time we’re in Chicago.

  2. Amanda Booth permalink
    March 13, 2012 9:49 am

    Oh, too bad I didn’t know you were in town! I work at the big hostel just literally 4 blocks south of the Palmer House. Let me know next time you come into the city!!

    • March 13, 2012 9:57 am

      Amanda, I thought of you – especially as we drove past a hostel (not sure if it was the same one), but it was such a quick trip. We had loads of fun, though, and want to do it again. We’ll definitely get in touch before our next trip!

  3. Bridget permalink
    March 15, 2012 12:07 pm


    You already got your invitation to register Pea? We were in Thailand at the same time. When did you get your letter?

    We are still waiting on ours.


    • March 15, 2012 12:17 pm

      Bridget, Are you using the consulate in Chicago or a different one? We got our letter from the consulate directly so I think each office works separately. And I believe they were waiting from word from DSDW that they’d gotten some paperwork they needed. I’ve heard of it taking a few years before families get their invitation, so I wouldn’t worry yet.

      The letter we got was dated January 12 and we were required to send copies of our passports, a copy of Pea’s passport, and a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement to their office ahead of time. They then needed the originals once we were there. That was it. Very easy.

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