Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicago!

   So here's the update on what we did in down town Chicago. First, we stayed with Megan's cousin Kelly and her wonderful family (thanks for letting us crash with you guys), which was a short train trip away from downtown in Hinsdale, Illisnois.  We started out just having a lazy Sunday with them, and went to mass that morning with them.  Actually, as a non-Catholic, it was my (Peter's) first time at a mass.

     The next day we spent a lot of time walking around.  A mile to the train station (so we don't pay for parking), a couple miles to the Shedd Aquarium, all around the aquarium, then next door to the Field Museum and all around that, then to Lou Malnotti's that night for deep dish, then back to the train station and then back home.  Whew!  Probably about 8 - 9 milles of walking that whole day!

Animatronix dinos at the Field Museum.  This raptor gave Megan quite a fright (it roars and she screamed).


     Funny story at the aquarium: we hit it just right on a "free" day, but it turns out that the free ticket only covers about 60% of the exhibits-fishes, frogs, small animals.  All the big animals (read cool: sharks, otters, belugas, penguins, sea lions and dolphins) were on a separate level you had to pay for.  Turns out they gave wristbands for access to that level, and us being resourceful (poor) tourists, we scrounged around till we found some discarded bands and got in for free! : )  Saved about fifty bucks.

   We also saw a sea life show at the aquarium, claiming to be a dolphin/beluga/sea lion show.  It was really a lame stab at fantasy (Fantasea was the name) with lots of people dressed up in strange outfits.  They had the animals do some tricks, but it was all really far off and underwhelming.  The dolphins only did one flip, and the belugas just kinda twirled in the water.  Don't get me wrong, it's cool to see the animals, but...really?

The Field Museum is cool, LOTS of history.  Saw several sweet exhibits, Sue the largest, most complete T-Rex skeleton discovered, etc.  Saw a short 3-D film about Sue.  Sue, below.  


The next day we went back to downtown to the Museum of Science and Industry for its free day.  It had lots of hands on science exhibits as well as a huge U-boat from WWII.  Pretty cool, and kinda terrifying to think about living on in for any length of time.  
U-505, captured during WWII
Below is us at the space exhibits.  Cheers, space!


     Later we walked around and saw Millenium Park and the Bean.  We could see Navy Pier from a distance, but decided we didn't want to spend the time necessary just to walk around some more.  By the way, the Sears Tower is no longer the Sears Tower...it's called the Willis Tower!  Lame.

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The Bean, reflecting the Chicago skyline.
    We also had some crazy good popcorn from a shop called Garrett's.  Apparently it's a Chicago tradition, but whatever the case, it was the BEST popcorn I've ever tasted.  We got the cheddar and caramel mix, and it was sooo good.  A very different sort of cheese flavoring, some sort of secret recipe.  YUM.

After Chicago we headed east and visited some Amish towns in northern Indiana.  Currently, we're in Pennslyvania at a town near Penn State.  Will update soon on Indiana.  Pennslyvania is currently very rainy, so we've been stuck in the house alot, not that we're complaining.  It's very nice to chill after all this travel, and makes us think of home. 
We have been so blessed to have so many friends and family to host us along this journey! The fellowship has been great, the food fantastic, and the fact that we're saving money on lodging is pretty much fantastic! If only we had family in the Maine, Vermont, New England area!

RAWR!

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