Chicago, Illinois August 9th

Reminders for Chicago August 9th–Richard Armitage’s Fans Gathering & Film Viewing for OpeRAtion Into the Storm 2014,  August 8, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #17)


Hi RA Fans joining us in Chicago on August 9th for our gathering together for a fun day–capping it off with seeing our favorite exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage’s new film, Into the Storm,


We are looking forward to seeing you in Chicago, dashing around town, and enjoying Richard Armitage’s new film, Into the Storm!


Please print out our  final event itinerary graphic below (click on the image to enlarge it and save it to your phone or computer first). Our itinerary summary will help you find us at any given time on Saturday if you are delayed in joining us–or if we split up for some of us shopping and some of us site seeing in the afternoon.



For links for the venues mentioned in the graphic above, please refer to this earlier post:  “Stormy Sunday:  Chicago Itinerary Checklist …” (on August 3rd).   But note that we are no longer eating lunch at the Walnut room because they are catering a wedding.


By 12noon (CST) today/Friday, I will also email additional information to individuals who have completed this website’s Contact Form by 11:00am stating that they will be joining us.  If you already completed the Contact Form once to indicate you are joining us, you don’t have to do it again. But if you don’t receive my email by 1pm, then please comment below, I will try to resend it to you.


The last official count for those joining us in Chicago is eight–down one due to Obscura developing an illness that prevents her from traveling far afield.  She is bummed, but Obscura will be with us in spirit.  And I’m sure that we all send her our very best get well wishes.  Hugs!


And if you decide at the last minute that you can join us, but you haven’t had a chance  to complete this website’s Contact Form to let us know?  By all means, please join us!   But realize that there will be important information in the email that I send out at 12noon today/Friday. So please try to complete the Contact Form by 11am today/Friday–to give me/Grati time to prep the email.


Please pose any additional questions you have in a comment to this post below–and I/Grati will respond to them in a comment–not via email (which is wonky when I’m on the road).  However, I will be on a train heading toward Chicago as of 7:30am Saturday.  So please pose your comment questions on the website as soon as possible Friday to insure that I can respond to you and everyone–since others might have a similar question to yours and it makes it easier on me to respond once.  But while I’m riding the Amtrak train to Chicago on Saturday–and when I have reception–I will also respond to you.


Finally, however you are getting to Chicago–car, train, bus, plane, or stepping out your door and walking or bicycling–please have a safe journey to us.


The planning of this event was organized by three core individuals–Grati, Sahraobsessed, and Obscura.  But all of you had a say in how our event planning evolved through your participation in surveys and your helpful suggestions and other contributions. Thanks!


So one final time–to build your excitement for seeing Richard Armitage in his new film, Into the Storm, its opening weekend–enjoy the video!


“Into the Storm – Official Main Trailer [HD]” by Warner Bros. Pictures


See you Saturday!  We are going to have a blast!  And remember, what happens in Chicago, stays in Chicago. Ha!

P.S. Don’t forget that Marie Astra is coordinating the August 9th New York City RA Fans gathering to view Into the Storm. So please email her if you wish to attend and/or have questions at



Stormy Sunday:  Below is a Detailed Itinerary for our Chicago August 9th OpeRAtion Into the Storm 2014 RA Fans Meet up (everybody pays their own expenses) and Film Viewing, Aug 03, 2014 Grati (Post #14):


If you are joining us for our planned Chicago or New York City RA Fans seeing the exquisitely talented IntotheStorm--RichardArmitageasGary_MovieNewsPlus3-25Jul14_Aug0214ranetBritish actor Richard Armitage’s (image of his in character as Gary, right) new film Into the Storm on Saturday August 9th, hopefully you have already started your travel planning.  We are seven days away from our RA Fans meet ups in Chicago and in New York City on August 9th.

Please be sure to complete the Contact Form by Thursday Aug. 7th on this web site (see tab on home page above) to let us know that you will be joining us.  I/Grati need accurate counts for lunch and dinner reservations (everyone pays their own way).

And with all of the rave reviews coming from people who saw the film in previews, Into the Storm is sure to be an exciting film.  In this interview hyperlinked here, Into the Storm Director Steven Quale.talks about the special effects challenges of the film.


11:45am meet at Macy’s 111 N. State Street Chicago at their Walnut Room (I’m making us a reservation for 10TheWalnutRoom-description-by-OpenTable_Jul2614crop2 people so far) for 12noon lunch (Macy’s was formerly known as Marshall Fields);  arrive early at 11:30am and go to Macy’s lower level Visitor Center to buy a $35 Shopping Package (see right), the gift card may be used toward Macy’s purchases, including lunch at the Walnut Room; and you also get a neat Macy’s shopping bag and the traditional chocolate Frango mints, etc.  Note that for the 10% off visitors pass part of the shopping package, Macy’s said that that promotion  is only for people who live 200 or more miles away.
1:30 – 4pm site seeing and shopping (we can split up if people’s interests vary); here are some choices:
* shopping a bit at Macy’s after lunch (note that Macy’s shopping package deal mentioned above (and detailed in the graphic below)

* walking from Macys to the Art Institute, we could just take a leisurely window shopping stroll along State Street and Michigan Avenue

* please note that the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) has purse size limit guidelines and handy $1/item bag checking for Art-Institute-of-Chicago-Exhibitions_Aug0214AICitems not allowed into the museum.  And here is the Art Institute’s admission fees page  (the range seems to be $14 – $23);  Current AIC exhibitions (sample below) are eclectically divine for those of us who like the French impressionists (tons of Monet haystack paintings), modern masters, blown glass paperweights, art and artifacts from antiquity, etc. The AIC is a feast of cultures and histories from around the world and also from our own backyard.  You will find me making a beeline for  the  blue hued splendor of the Chagall windows when we arrive. And as a finale to your visit, the AIC has the most fabulous Museum Gift Store!
Millennium Park–an outdoor garden, playground, cultural venue that has, among other things, the much touted bean (that silvery mirrored thingy, ha!)

*  shopping at Navy Pier; someone indicated that there is a free trolley or bus for transportation within Navy Pier’s shops and such
Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower)–the tallest building in the world for a really long time
*  etc.

Millennium-Park-logo_Aug0214cityofchicago-crop-url  Willis_Tower_Chicago_Aug0214WillisTower


Art Institute of Chicago maps of exhibits:

Art-Institute-of-Chicago-Floor1Map_Aug0214AIC  Art-Institute-of-Chicago-Floor2Map_Aug0214AIC

4:30pm arrive for 5:00pm viewing of Into the Storm at AMC River East 21 Movie  Theatre at 322 E. Illinois Street, Chicago;  Please be sure to buy your movie tickets online days ahead of time at Fandango to avoid the problem of the movie being sold out;  My ticket says auditorium 10, in case they are showing the film  in two theatre auditoriums at the same time

7:00pm we head to dinner after the movie to decompress,  unwind, and review the film (the restaurant is tba, the AMC River East 21 Movie Theatre has MacGuffin’s Bar & Lounge, orother restaurant at nearby Navy Pier  that we decide upon) ;  than after?

Please note that transportation between venues that are not within easy walking distance of each other will be by hailing a taxi at each individual’s expense.

P.S. My room at the hotel reservations I booked for Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago that is centrally located at 160 E. Huron (formerly the Crowne Plaza) in Chicago, near Michigan Avenue. Their phone is (312) 585-9333 should you also wish to book a room–we do not have a block of rooms, but you might still be able to get a reservation.  These are nicely sized suites that are the most economical I found–everything else for only a single room was 2 or 3 times this.  And the Hilton hotel reservation folks cut me a deal as a government employee (for just under $200).  Snap! So if anyone needs a place to stay Saturday night and wants to split this hotel cost with me, please contact me via this blog’s contact form.   Thanks!

July 27, 2014 (update)–Please register to join us for the August 9th Chicago OpeRAtion Into the Storm Viewing and Meet up of Richard Armitage’s Fans

Please register to let us know that you will attend by completing this web site’s contact form.

12noon lunch–then site seeing/shopping (see poll)

5:00pm See Into the Storm at AMC River East 21

7:00pm Dinner after to relax and discuss the film with each other

P.S.  Grati (as her real self, ha) is staying at the newly named Homewood Suites at 163 E. Huron Street in Chicago.  With her govt employee rate, her small room was cheaper by half than other hotels.  Here is their reservation phone number:‎  (888) 370-0983

See this post for more info:


July 20th, 2014–Chicago ITS Viewing Update:

When I called the AMC River East Theatre earlier in the week to check again on daytime showings of Into the Storm for Saturday, August 9th, they said they would have them–despite the Fandango online ticket purchase site showing only evening times.

But with my co-Admin for Chicago Saraobsessed also doing some investigating and finding only evening times in Chicago–though the burbs seem to do afternoons, ha!–our viewing time might change to 5pm for Saturday Aug. 9th, with dinner after.

Moving to a 5pm Saturday viewing would make me change my train tickets to give me an overnight in Chicago on Saturday–rather than coming home late Saturday on the 7pm train. So, I/we could have day time site seeing on Saturday, with an early dinner ( and possibly and early brunch, depending upon when you arrive,i’m in town at 10:30am).

But I’m not so concerned about my travel plans as I am of those of you planning to come to the Chicago. I have yet to hear about your specific travel plans.

So will Chicago changing to a mostly Saturday event, with a 5pm movie showing cause anyone big headaches? Could you still make a 5pm showing on Saturday August 9th.

Please comment reply to this thread. Thanks and Cheers! Grati


July 5, 2014–Summary

Aug. 8th–possible RA Fans meet up for those coming in the day before:  afternoon site seeing, dinner, etc.

Aug. 9th–lunch together, see Into the Storm, drinks/treats after to debrief; possibly dinner, too.

Note Bene:  Chicago is hot in August, but well air conditioned in buildings.  So dress in layers for comfort.


See more detail below



Welcome to the Chicago, Illinois Planning page for our August 8 – 9th, 2014  OpeRAtion “Into the Storm” 2014 RA Fans Viewing Event!


Grati, saraobsessed, and Obscura and others are in on the Chicago Event planning–the more the merrier.

This page will contain basic information about our Chicago (right) event based upon your stated preferences and feasibility.  So when we ask for your input, please give it.

Note: Though the Chicago event is slated for two days for people traveling in to Chicago early, the actual gathering for the viewing is Saturday.  So if you only plan to attend Saturday, that is okay.  We will ask you in mid July to confirm which day or days you plan to join us.

Until then, listed below are some basic event itinerary ideas for you to consider.



Chicago page info section 6/15/14 Grati

Chicago, Illinois (August 8-9, 2014) RA Fans OpeRAtion “Into the Storm” 2014 film viewing gathering possible itinerary (yet to be finalized per the preferences of RA Fans planning to attend):

1) The Chicago planners and attendee respondents (thus far) have narrowed down their gathering dates (August 8 – 9th, 2014).  So here are some  suggested approximate times yet to be finalized, but estimated below:

Aug. 8th , 2014 (Friday, optional)
8 – 12noon– travel day and event attendees check-in at hotel

12noon lunch at hotel or other spot–such as the Walnut Room at Macy’s (formerly Marshall Fields) ;

1:30 – 3pm Shopping at Macy’s and nearby; and/or we could taxi to Crate & Barrel’s home store, etc.;

3 – 4:30pm Chicago site seeing (The Art Institute is a few blocks away, taxi to the Sears/Willis Tower, etc.)

4:30 – 7:00pm more site seeing or shopping, or rest, etc.

7 – 9:00pm dinner together, night life, etc. (restaurant yet to be determined, or we might take  our chances and make a reservation earlier that day after we chat with everyone over  lunch)RichardArmitage-asGaryMorris-inIntotheStorm-23Aug2012_Jun1514ranet-sized

[This day is optional for ladies coming from further away, or even not so far away, who want more time to see some of Chicago and have plenty of time chat with other RA Fangirls, and to gush about you know who (Richard Armitage in character as Gary Morris in “Into the Storm”, right).]


Aug. 9th, 2014 (Saturday)

8:00am Breakfast (together or separately, it depends how late the night went, Ha!), then shopping;

9-11:00am other event attendees check-in for film viewing event at hotel?

11 – 1:00pm RA’s Fans have lunch nearby or at the theatre–such as MacGuffins restaurant bar ( with an age minimum of 21 years and up that is located at the AMC River East Theater site, as suggested by  saraobsessed (Thanks!); and we could always split/share meals to save money since restaurant portions are usually quite large.

1:15 – 2:45pm (approx) View “Into the Storm” at the AMC River East Theatre — This is a very nice multi-storied theatre, multistoried with escalators or elevators to take you to your individual theatre. Judiang and I saw “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” at AMC River East in 3D HFR in December  2012. And the MacGuffin’s restaurant looked fun and nice, though we ended up eating dinner elsewhere. Thanks again to saraobsessed for correcting my memory about the theatre name.
Note:  Please buy your tickets ahead of time online or by phone.

2:45 – 4pm Back to MacGuffins restaurant bar?–or some other location–for debriefing about the film, our initial thoughts, farewells, etc.

5:00 pm and after? People depart for home on planes, trains, and automobiles

2) Additional considerations for planning a smooth trip for OpeRAtion pIntotheStorm2014ChicagoViewingPosterJun0714GratianaLovelace_400x686--sizedlarger“Into the Storm” 2014 (right) (that I will also share in the general event tab link above):

a) Give yourself at least 30 minutes to get from point A to point B (train station to hotel, etc.) in Chicago; Chicago is a big town and even taking taxis can be convoluted because of traffic jams, one way streets, and construction, etc.;

b) Make sure that you have sufficient funds with you for your use in two methods–credit cards and cash are most often accepted, but you will want to check on that ahead of time so that you are not caught unawares;

c) Site seeing venues like the Art Institute have specific rules about the size of bags/purses that you may carry with you to the galleries– if your bag is too big (and their maximum size is quite small), you can check your bag/purse at the door; but you might not like leaving it behind at the bag check. So think small with regard bags/purses; So shopping after site seeing might be a better plan.

d) Chicago in August is hot, but most buildings are air conditioned. So you might want to layer  your daytime site seeing and shopping and film viewing clothing so you can add or take off as  needed. Also, wear sensible shoes for comfort in walking. Finally, some places we go might have an unstated, but understood minimum dress code–so flip flops are probably out. Your  feet with thank you. Ha! And though we are not going to choose a super fancy dinner venue  requiring cocktail dresses and breaking our bank accounts, nicely groomed attire usually works. For example, I have a favorite 17 year old dressy dress in a classic style that is made of some indestructible rayon type fabric (requires dry cleaning, of course, Ha!) and the dress looks as fresh as the day I bought it.

e) If you are staying overnight at a hotel on Friday night, you will likely have your suitcase/travel bag with you at the theatre on Saturday–because hotel checkout times are usually around 12noon. Though we will see if the hotel we use (yet to be determined for cost and to see if we can get a group rate) can store luggage for folks who won’t be leaving town until after 5:00pm on Saturday. So you might want to pack light, just in case.

f) Health challenges–if you have a food or mobility restriction or other challenge, you are probably used to working around it, as I am; but if we are aware of several of us with issues, then maybe we can combine forces for sharing taxis, etc. (unwiches for gluten free people, etc; bring your walkers or electric chairs for mobility challenged ladies); I’m due for knee replacement surgery sometime soon, so my trick knees and bad hip makes me slower, I am not able to stand for long periods, nor walk very  far. I just have to rest for a few moments every so often. Though I’m trying to increase my stamina with playing golf this Summer, it is hard to predict how my bones will feel 7 weeks from now. Ha!  And that might be the same for you. So I feel your pain. And if we have a fast walking group and a slow walking group as we move between and within venues, that is fine.  If you normally have a registered care giver or a service animal to help you meet your day to day needs, you will want to bring them with you–you are responsible for their costs–and you will want to check ahead of time with hotels and venues about  their policies (with regard to the service animals). If you have another health issue that I haven’t thought of, please let us know how we can try to help you have a lovely time.   We may not be able to surmount every obstacle, but planning  ahead and checking with venues ahead of time about people’s issues is key to adapting to situations as best we can.

g) 21 or older likely suggested for attendees?–since the convenient lunch or dinner venues we choose might have a 21 years age minimum because of alcohol being served (saraobsessed indicated that MacGuffin’s bar restaurant has such a rule), children would not be able to join us. And we have no capacity for setting up childcare arrangements.

h) Door prizes?
i)   Once I have an estimated count from the various North American venues for OpeRAtion “Into the Storm” 2014 RAs Fans opening weekend film viewing events about expected attendance numbers, I will ask Warner Bros. Pictures and/or New Line Cinema if they have any “Into the Storm” promotional items for give aways. Then if we are able to get anything, that will be distributed amongst the groups.
ii) Also, I have offered to refund the cost of an “Into the Storm” movie ticket, popcorn and drink (up to a $20 value) to the RA Fan who attends the Chicago event form furthest away–though other city/region even planners might also attend other city’s events, they are not eligible for this prize. Similarly, if we are able to obtain limited numbers of “Into the Storm” promotional items–such that we do not have enough for everyone and they are randomly drawn door prizes, than I as a planner am ineligible to receive that;
iii) And/or, we can collect $1-2 dollars from RA’s Fans attendees when they arrive to fund another long distance RA Fan traveler’s movie theatre costs reimbursement.

And did I mention? HAVE FUN!

We’re hoping to have a fun event to not only see and support Richard Armitage’s new film “Into the Storm”, but also have time to share with our sister RA Fans.  So please share your ideas and suggestions via a comment or the Contact Form for this website. Thanks!


4 thoughts on “Chicago, Illinois August 9th

    judiang said:
    June 30, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve been so out of the loop, but happy to see you ladies have organized this brilliantly. I absolutely want to participate in the festivities barring any more problems. (Keeping my fingers crossed).

    Deejay Driscoll said:
    July 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I’m not available to party on Friday, but will definitely meet up with y’all on Saturday! \o/

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