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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amtrak Roundtrip from Grand Rapids (GRR), Michigan to Chicago (CHI)

December 2014, Friday - Saturday

We have ridden the Amtrak along this route several times. Two previous reviews can be found at the following links: January 2014 and January 2012.

Friday morning departure from Grand Rapids, Michigan on Pere Marquette #371

Our departure from Grand Rapids was uneventful other than the trouble we had getting to the train station. Fortunately, we had left for the train station early. I did not research the GRR train station before our trip since we have been to it several times. The station address was not printed on our boarding passes, and there was no information on the website during the reservation process that said that the train station had moved to 440 Century Avenue SW. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chicago, Illinois / Palmer House a Hilton Hotel

December 2014, Weekend, 1-night, King suite 13-250


We have stayed at the Palmer House several times, and this has been our favorite Chicago hotel. The building is beautiful, and I always felt like a valued Hilton Honors member in the past. Here are links to two of my previous stay reviews from January 2014 and January 2013. We stayed at McCormick Place in January 2012, and I neglected to write reviews for our other Palmer House stays. All our experiences before this stay have always been similar.  

Status perks and check-in

This is the first time I have stayed in this hotel with points instead of paying for a room, and it is the first time I did not receive an upgrade to the executive floor, other than when it was being remodeled January 2014.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Austin, Texas--AUS / Hilton Austin Airport

October 2014, Weekday, 1-night, King guestroom #340

Status perks and check-in
I stayed at the Hilton Austin Airport with a small group, and did not pay for my room; therefore, I could not receive all of the usual Gold perks. My Hilton Honors number had been added to the reservation because I called beforehand to ask about receiving my guestroom preferences (king bed, non-smoking, etc.). Because of this, the agent recognized my status at check-in and I received two bottles of water. I also received late checkout when I called to request this the next day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Muskegon, Michigan / Muskegon State Park Channel Campground

October 2014, Weekend, 2-nights, Lot 109


There was not anyone working at the entrance shack when we arrived Friday afternoon. We had made an advance reservation, so we confirmed our lot and name information on the board for arriving campers and then proceeded to our site. Park rangers drove through the park after our arrival to check on campers and sites. Someone had setup on lot 110 across from us, and they stopped to collect payment. The campers were not on the lot at the time, so they left a payment envelope. The rangers did not provide any information for the campers though, because they asked us what the cost is per night when they returned. 

Lot 109, second loop

view from tar pad
Lot 109 has a tar pad, 20/30/50 amp service, and it is listed as able to accommodate an RV up to 45'. The information for this site says, "low limbs overhanging site." We did not encounter any low limbs on the site, although it did take a bit of finesse to back the RV in, as the limbs on the road in front of the site are low hanging, and this lot is located on a curve in the road. Our 5th wheel is 30', and it is taller than some RVs. I am not sure I would want to maneuver a 45' RV into this site.