A little bit of France…in Chicago

As I sit and write my first “official” post, it is appropriate that it is in the small coffee shop,Le Petit Margeaux in the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago. It encompasses so many things I love. The ease and elegance of the French atmosphere. The sweet and savory taste of the freshly baked croissants accompanied by a rich and creamy cappuccino. The perfect setting for people watching. Artists, designers, business men and women. The old , the young, the up and comers and those enjoying retirement.

This is always my first stop in the morning when I am in Chicago. The peace before entering the hustle and bustle of this great city.

What I love about this hotel are the people that work here. Women and men that share that passion of hospitality that I have. That adrenaline rush that you get from meeting new people, making a difference in someone’s day, and making an impact. Serving others as a way to show love to someone, to make them feel important, to let them know they matter.

I must confess…I came here last night for dinner. The plan was to “stop in” for a drink and then head out to one of the many fine restaurants in the Gold Coast area of Chicago. But once I am in this fabulous hotel, I struggle to leave. We met the fabulous Sommelier for Margeaux Brasserie. She shared her great knowledge of wine to help us better understand the Bordeaux wines and the explain the variety of blends from the right and left bank in the Bordeaux region. Paired with a petite filet and butter lettuce salad, it made for a perfect evening out.

There is always so much to do in Chicago. It’s hard to pack it all in a long weekend. I will be heading to the Chicago Insitute of Arts to visit the Andy Warhol exhibit so watch for more updates.

If you find yourself in Chicago, put The Waldorf Astoria on your list of places to either start or end your day. Or both. Bon Voyage!

This is me

I have always believed that travel; experiencing new places, different cultures, and exploring the “non touristy” places in a city is the best education one can get. I fell in love with this kind of life very early on. Growing up in a home, where my mother worked in the travel industry, gave me the opportunity to do things that were not typical of a daughter of a single parent. Caribbean Cruises, long weekend trips to Bed & Breakfasts across the country, and international trips to Canada, Mexico, and France.

My plan when I was in high school was to be a travel writer. Back in the late 80’s though, people really didn’t care what an 18 year old had to say about a weekend in Toronto or Chicago. There were no travel blogs…there was no internet access yet for the average person. So instead I went to travel school, became a travel agent and took advantage of the benefits that came with it. Putting my dream on the back burner.

Life changes came. Marriage, children, divorce. Travel remained a passion but funds were limited. I moved through the travel industry working for a large travel agency in Detroit, than later Norwegian Cruise Line and then Costa Cruise Line. In 2002, I found what would be come my career path…hospitality. It was in my DNA. Hosting people, taking care or anticipating their needs, good food and drink..all right up my alley. I was hooked. I now work for one of the largest hotel management companies in the US and can honestly say I love my job.

Which now brings me to today. I have the time now that my kids are grown and living on their own. I have the resources and benefits of being in the industry to indulge a bit more. And I have my desire to write again.

This blog will be to share my travel experiences to help fuel your passion to travel. To highlight great destinations for singles, for couples, for women , and for families. I hope that you all fall in love with the destinations I have on my list for the next 12 months.

My blog will not be perfect. Technology is not always my friend (which makes me sound so old). My name is Jennifer and I am a writer.