Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Chicago Adventure

For pictures of our adventure in Chicago, click HERE.

We got to our hotel by 4pm and did some laundry. Then we took the shuttle to the airport hoping to find food but all the food was behind security so we went back to the hotel and had beer, chips and cookies for dinner.

We had a blast today in Chicago. We got on the shuttle at 8:09am and got to the airport around 8:50. Then we took the Blue Line into downtown and got off at the Lake station where we switched to the red line to Quincy. We went to the Skydeck and I walked on the ledge! Then we walked to Ginos East (2 miles + 1 mile where I got us lost and went in the wrong direction). After that we walked to the Navy Pier and bought Garretts popcorn there. By then we had walked almost 10 miles (according to my fitbit) so we headed back to our hotel where we finished the popcorn for dinner.

We had another great day in Chicago. We got on the shuttle at 7:30 and headed to the Field Museum. We got off at the Jackson station and switched to the red line. We got off at Roosevelt and had to get on a bus. We got on bus #146 but found out we were going the wrong way so we got off and went to the right bus station to get it going the other way. Meanwhile, it poured down rain on us. Thank goodness we had rain gear. We spent all day at the Field Museum and even at lunch there (Beef barley soup). We left there around 3:30 (it was no longer raining) and took the train to Chinatown. We ordered dinner and then realized they closed at 5pm so we left at 4:55. We got back to our hotel about 6:30. We had a fun day even if it rained.

We left the hotel at 7am and there was a ton of people heading to downtown for the Blackhawks rally because they won the Stanley Cup. We got off the train around 8:15 and went into Target to do some shopping. While we were there it started to rain so we went to the little cafĂ© to sit and have something to drink. When we were ready to leave it had stopped raining. We headed to Millenium Park so I could take pictures of The Bean. Then we asked police how to get to the Art Institute because we wanted to be there before the big parade started. We got in line at the Art Institute around 9:15 and it didn’t open until 10:30. I couldn’t believe how many people were packed for the parade. It reminded me of Times Square on New Years Eve. We walked around the museum and found the perfect window in a stairwell/escalator place where we could look out the full glass windows to see the parade. It was like having a front row seat! Then we spent the rest of the day at the Art Institute. For dinner we went to Chinatown again and then returned to the hotel.

We headed to the Museum of Science and Industry today. I was a little anxious about getting there since it involved trains and buses but we got there without any problems (Red line to Green line: Garfield Sta. Then cross the street and took the #55 bus right to the door of the museum). The museum was an interactive museum a lot like Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC. The building was actually the Fine Arts Building for the World Exposition of 1893! We also had a tour of an actual U-boat captured during WWII and the only one in existence. There was also a 727 airplane, a train (the Zephyr), stagecoaches, and a huge model train layout. There was a great exhibit on the human body that was had real life parts of a body (dead body given to science). We ate lunch there and left about 3:30. We had dinner in Chinatown again.

We had an awesome day in Lincoln Park and the Lincoln Park Zoo. We even went to a Farmer’s Market before the zoo. Had lunch at Gino’s East again. The deep-dish pizza was $24 when during the week you can get a lunch special for $6.25. Then we went to Union Station and then remembered that Route 66 started in Chicago. So, we hunted for the beginning of Route 66. Finally came back to the hotel to do some laundry.

We went to the Shedd Aquarium and I’m so glad we got there early. It got crowded as the day went on and when we left at 1:30, the line to enter was down the steps going towards the street. We went to the live show for $2 extra and we also went to the 4D Sea Monsters show. My favorite exhibit was the Wild Reef. After we left there we went to Max’s on Adams St. for a Chicago dog (the special was a Chicago dog, fries, and a drink for $5.79) and it was so good! Then we walked around Millenium Park before heading back to the hotel and packing up our car.

I think Chicago is a wonderful place to visit and the CityPass is definitely well worth the value. Also, getting the 7 day CTA pass was well worth the money also. The smartest thing we did was find a hotel near the airport that gives free shuttles to and from the airport and the CTA runs from the airport to downtown and all the museums. The free Lincoln Park Zoo is a must-see also. Glad we found the small treasure of the beginning of Route 66 too.

Things I’ve Learned:
  • Go to the Skydeck and look at Chicago when it is a sunny clear day.
  • The CityPass is well worth the money.
  • The 7 day CTA pass is worth the money for unlimited train and bus rides.
  • Weather can change in an hour in Chicago.
  • Bring a rain poncho, just in case.
  • There have been 6 mass extinctions in the past 4 billion years since life began.
  • People should be more respectful to law enforcement.
  • There are a LOT of Blackhawk fans!
  • Target was very people friendly.
  • Buses aren’t that hard to ride once you figure out the system.
  • Chinatown is a great place to eat because you get a lot of food at reasonable prices.
  • Route 66 began in Chicago.
  • The Lincoln Park Zoo was awesome and it was free so it was extremely worth visiting. It ranks right up there with the National Zoo.
  • A couple of museum buildings had a lot of history attached to them such as the Shedd Aquarium (Worlds Fair 1933) and the Museum of Science and Industry (World Exposition 1893).

Original Photo by Pat Hensley

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