Friday, August 15, 2008

Monday in Chicago

On Monday morning, Megan, Katherine and I got up early and went to the John G Shedd Aquarium. Katherine discovered that with a Chicago Public Library card, you can get a museum pass to nearly every museum in the city... The Field, The Adler Planetarium, The Art Institute, The Museum of Contemporary Art. These passes are good for one week and more than one person at a time, but they usually do not apply to special exhibits. If you live in Chicago - take advantage of these passes when friends come to visit. It was great! This is Megan in front of the gardens outside the Shedd and the two of us on the front steps.

We went to exhibits on the Amazon - with anacondas and phirranas!, dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, and the special Lizard and Komodo Dragon exhibit. Out of everything we saw - the 9 foot long Komodo Dragon is what Megan looked at and said "That's Cool! I want to get one of those. Daddy would love it!" After the aquarium, we took a break in the shade to share an ice cream cone. It was bigger than Megan's head! We giggled as it covered all three of us in sticky melted cream.
Then we took a water taxi to Navy Pier. It was fun to look back at the city from the water. Katherine has a painting in her apartment by "Charlie Hustle" of Chicago's Skyline. It really is a great representation. Our first night in Chicago, we ate dinner on the roof of Kate and Paul's building and watched the fireworks that the city shoots off every weekend. From the roof, you can see the Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier all lit up at night - and Megan was hooked.
SO - even though Megan was getting tired and grumpy, we had to ride the Ferris Wheel before catching a bus to the Water Tower District for lunch. We ate at Foodlife - and this place embodied what I love about the city. It's hip, fun, and about 5 years ahead of anyplace around here. Megan loved that she got her own food credit card to "charge" her meal to. I loved the hand washing stations in every corner, complete with environmentally friendly hand soap and non bleached paper towels!

Katherine and I were both sure we would head straight home after lunch - since Megan was clearly hitting a wall before we ate. But as she finished her bowl of pasta, she looked at her aunt and said "Sorry Kate, sometimes when I am hungry I can get a little bratty! Can we go shopping now!?" What else could we do, but hit Mangificent Mile?

Our first stop was H&M where Megan got two new outfits. One of which - she had to wear out of the store!

After H&M, we shopped a bit more and then went to the top of the Hancock Observatory - 97 stories up.

After a quick look out the windows, Megan was officially tired. We caught a taxi home and decided to take a short rest before meeting up with Paul at Millenium Park in the late afternoon.

My little tourist slept 3 hours! We woke her up at 7PM so that we could make it to the park before sunset! We met Paul in front of "The Bean" and took turns laying under it. Then we made our way over to the Crown Fountain.
Designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa and inspired by the people of Chicago, The Crown Fountain consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool. You can take off your shoes and splash around in the middle between the two towers.

The towers light up all different colors, and also project faces of Chicago citizens on LED screens. The collection of faces, is a tribute to Chicagoans, taken from a cross-section of 1,000 of the city's residents. Every so often a water outlet in the screen opens to give the illusion of water spouting from the people's mouths.
Needless to say this was a huge hit with Megan! And a great way to cool off before dinner.

We walked to Pizanos for pizza and beer and stuffed ourselves silly while watching the Cubs - Brewers game. Back home, we ended the night watching "So You Think You Can Dance" and Megan and Katherine engaged in their own dance off in the living room. I think Kate may have thrown her back out momentarily!

Can you believe we did ALL THAT in just one day! My little girl was a trooper! More pics and stories Monday about our last day in the Windy City....including Violet, Oz Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Pride and Predjudice and our fiasco of a trip home!


LauraC said...

Jon and I are taking the boys to Chicago in October so expect to see a lot of similar pics on my blog! And of course the difference will be the boys get to go to my office and Jon's office!

Jennifer said...

What a great trip!! It looks like you definitely created lifetime memories! Please, please, please give your mom my best and know that we're praying for her daily! XOXO

Anderson said...

OMG!! Who knew Chicago was so much fun and so cutting edge?? It's now on my "must visit soon" list!!

Aubs said...

What a great day!!! I didn't know there was so much to do in Chicago either...will definatly have to keep that in mind!!

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