know before you go: Chicago (MDW)


I don’t know how many times I’ve been in this airport, I’ve lost count.  Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the world and it was hop, skip, jump away from Kansas City, so there’s a lot of flying through MDW.  Some of us on this blog are from Chicago or have family/significant others there, so we’ve all seen it dozens of times.

MDW is the little (although older) brother to O’Hare and from a convenience standpoint, it is much preferred.  A, it’s quick (although security can be a nightmare).  B, it has direct access to the Orange Line which I take for ~ 8 miles to the Loop downtown.  C. it’s not O’Hare.  I’ll save it for a blog post one day, but O’Hare has given me PTSD more than once.

It’s a manageable airport, 43 gates split amongst three concourses A, B, and C.  Southwest airlines controls 34 of these gates out of A and B concourses.  Delta, Volaris and something called Porter airlines operates out of A.  C is for charter planes.

There’s a decent food court, with greek, pizza, a Potbelly.  There’s also a McDonalds and Let Them Eat Cake, which sticks in my mind every time I walk by.  You will smell honey roasted awesomeness from Nuts on Clark.

Remember: ✈️ = Bears at their worst to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = Cubs winning the WS in 2016

Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (take the Orange line directly to the airport)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️ (it’s not very big, there’s moving escalators)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️ (sometimes it can take a very long time to get through this line, it’s very busy)

Dining: ✈️✈️ .5 (not bad for its size, but minus a point for closing SuperDawg)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️ (free wifi NOT available)

Amenities: ✈️✈️ (airport shops are typical, there’s a yoga room, no lounges)

24 hours in Hoi An, Vietnam


Hoi An was easily my favorite stop in Vietnam.  It was a colonial trading post, and has a completely distinct feel from any other city in Vietnam.  One, the Old Town architecture preserves the history of this port city and adds to its charm.  Two, foreign influences laid the foundation of international sophistication since Hoi An was a stronghold for the Cham people in the spice trade centuries ago.

I only spent a very short day here while traveling through Vietnam, but that was more than enough time to enchant me and make me want to plan my trip back to this coastal town.

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know before you go: Salt Lake City (SLC)


Salt Lake City International (SLC) is a large hub for Delta from the west coast, and it’s an airport that actually carries flights from all the top American airlines, so it’s quite busy for being not that big. I’ve always felt the hours are odd for their restaurants and shops, and they are sparse in each concourse.  I had Pinkberry for dinner there last month, which is not that bad if you consider the options.  And they do have local chain, Cafe Rio, in the Terminal 2 food court, and their food is bomb.  The airport is undertaking new construction to be complete in 2020, so cross your fingers that they’ll expand on eating and shopping availability.

Beyond those gripes, the airport has a gorgeous backdrop of snowy capped mountains, and you get an aerial view of the Great Salt Lake coming and going.  You’ll drive pass this body of water driving to and from the airport also, as it is located a ways away from downtown.

There’s two terminals and an international terminal (don’t know why they don’t number it) for about 70 total gates.  Terminal 1 has concourse A and B.  Terminal 2 has concourse C and the international has concourse D and E.  Delta, KLM and Skywest are all Terminal 2.  Everything else domestic (Alaska, American, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, United) is Terminal 1, and you can walk pretty easily from terminal to terminal (it’s a long walk).

Remember: ✈️ = needs more salt ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = don’t stay salty

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️ (it’s a long walk)

Convenience of security lines: very fast for TSA pre-check ✈️✈️✈️✈️

Dining: ✈️✈️ (Even though there seems like there’s a lot of fast food choices: McDonald’s, Cafe Rio, Jamba, Starbucks, Pei Wei, Smashburger, they’re split up amongst the terminals/5 concourses, so each one doesn’t have much i.e. hope you like Seattle’s Best because there’s no Starbucks in Terminal 1 and vice versa for Terminal 2)

Bathrooms:✈️✈️ (needs a facelift, but are clean)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi available)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️ (Delta lounge is the only one available, some Xpress Spas, banal airport stores)