Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

October 2007 Archives

The best and worst airports

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Hate the bathrooms at JFK?

Wish O'Hare had better Wi-Fi coverage?

Love the food options at Heathrow?

Here's your chance to vote on what you love and hate about airports around the world., a discount travel web site, is hosting its First Annual International Travelers Choice Awards, Airport Edition.

You can do more than just watch the balloons fill the sky during the nine-day festival in October, although being a spectator is pretty cool in and of itself. And it's cheap, too, costing only $6 for those 13 and older, free for kids.

Rainbow Ryders is the fiesta's sole balloon vendor authorized to take off from the park. You'll want to call in advance to book a flight, which cost $325 per person this year. But even if you don't book ahead, there's a good chance you can sign up for a ride at the Rainbow Ryders tent. Call 1-800-725-2477 or visit

If you want to be a part of the action but don't want to do it from the sky, consider volunteering for a spot on a chase crew. The chase crew basically helps inflate and deflate the balloon, among other things. A spot on the crew is open to adults 18 and older. Call the Balloon Fiesta to register at 888-422-7277 or register at the Chase Crew Tower on the field around 5 a.m.

Pinot in Portland

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Can't make it to wine country? The Hotel Vintage Plaza just launched a new package that lets oenophiles have an Oregon wine experience in downtown Portland.

At check in, you'll get a bottle of the hotel's private label Oregon pinot noir and two Riedel crystal glasses. You get to taste in the comfort of your hotel suite, jotting notes down in the wine journal provided with the package.

You'll get an Italian/Oregon pinot noir comparison flight at Pazzo Ristorante next to the hotel, and if you like, schedule a private session with the restaurant's wine director.

The best part is the hands-on blending class for two at Urban Wineworks. You even get to take home a carafe of your special wine blend.

How much does it cost?

Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth says Chicago isn't among the top two choices on the list of favorites for the coveted 2016 Summer Olympics.

He says Madrid, Spain; Tokyo; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil have us beat so far.

I'm thinking Rio's well publicized crime problems might count against that fun-loving, thong-wearing party town.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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November 2007 is the next archive.

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