I spent 4 days last week in Chicago. I happened to arrive just in time for one of the awesome super cold snaps. With the wind chill, the HIGHEST temperature while I was there was about -10F. I did get to experience lots of things, despite the cold.
I met Sue, the T-Rex skeleton at the Field Museum. As part of my brilliant plan before I left Hawaii, I became a member of the Bishop Museum. I’ve never been to the Bishop Museum, but I’ll go now that I’m a member. It cost me $50 for the year to be a member. BUT, the Bishop Museum is a part of a reciprocal program with lots of other museums in the US. So while I was in Chicago, I went to the Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium for free.
Sue was pretty awesome. I was told by a coworker that I need to watch the documentary about Sue and all of the controversy surrounding herending up at the Field Museum. I’ve added it to my Amazon queue. The museum also has a whole bunch of mummies. The creepiest was the child mummy that was unwrapped. Is the spirit (or whatever) of that child really all that happy that it’s mummified remains are locked behind a glass case for people to stare at all day?
The planetarium was alright. I got there late, and not much was going on. The best part was the view of the partially frozen lake out the windows.
In between the Field Museum and the Planetarium, I visited the Shedd Aquarium. The beluga whales were pretty, and the giant Caribbean tank was interesting. It was crowded, since school had been canceled due to the cold weather, so it was hard to see things.
Here’s my biggest complaint about places like these: they do not have enough food options in their little cafes. I was ready for lunch at the aquarium, and only one small cafe was open. I am not supposed to eat gluten, so that whittled my choices down to 2 drab looking salads. Everything else was either asandwich or a baked good. Can’t they spruce up the options a little bit?
The next day was even colder, and it snowed. I tried to go to the top of the Willis Tower, but because of the snow there was no visibility. I ended up wandering around Water Tower Place, near my hotel. I found Dr. Seuss. There’s an art gallery in there selling originals from Dr. Seuss, along with various statues and figurines, including some works not suitable for children. I was intrigued by those. I had no idea Dr. Seuss had that side to him!
The following day I made it up to the top of the John Hancock Observatory (now called 360 Chicago). I had fun looking around at the city for about an hour before I decided that I’d gotten my $19 worth.
That evening, my friend took me to a beercade. Best invention ever. I played lots of free pinball, and had a drink. We ended up being adopted into a Meetup birthday party. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time. I miss Midwest people.
I want to live in Chicago. I could easily make it my home base. I loved it, even in the middle of winter.