Arrived in Chicago last night after a reasonably stress-free journey. The system in Dublin is that you get grilled and fingerprinted in “US Pre-clearance”. We thought this just meant the first stage of the process, but actually when we go here, we found that we had already cleared customs and immigration, and that it was actually treated as a domestic flight. It makes sense I suppose — better than flying people across the Atlantic if you’re not going to let them in. It was a bit odd to see Obama’s pic up on the wall in Dublin airport though.
So we got out of the airport quite quickly, and found the place where the shuttle minibuses to take you to hotels were. We spotted the one for Comfort Inns and jumped in and a friendly driver with an incomprehensible accent whisked us to a hotel. The only problem was that it was the wrong hotel — we ought to have been at the Comfort Suites. It seems that like domain names, names for hotels are in short supply. Nobody wants to be Heartbreak Hotel, Irritation Inn or even Mild Annoyance Motel (though I have stayed in some of those places, believe me).
Mike came to rescue us anyway and we were soon correctly installed. Nature encountered so far includes poison ivy (seen but not touched!) and fireflies on suburban lawns, which are a delight.