Chicago 2010

Sandra, Christina, Audrey and I took the train out of East Lansing to Chicago. We love taking the train to Chicago, it's very relaxing and somewhat scenic. Certainly much better than driving on the big freeways. How can you beat being able to buy food and even take a nap along the way?

Downtown Chicago and the Magnificent Mile

It's nice to stay near Michigan Avenue and experience the big city feeling. Walking along the river in the morning is wonderful, and the Architectural River Tour is great. I wonder if it would be legal to take a mountain bike out for a ride along the river? When I went out early in the morning on a previous trip, it was almost empty. This isn't like a regular riverbank, though, there isn't any grass or dirt, it's all encased in concrete. Apparently they even reversed the flow of this river years ago. I didn't know that was even possible!

Millenium Park

The water area here is a great place to cool off and play. It's only an inch or two deep and so people just take off their shoes and walk in. Be careful of the drains if you're sliding around, though, Audrey stubbed her toe badly and it turned purple! The giant chrome bean is a unique sight - I've never seen anything like it.

Navy Pier

Sticking out into Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is an interesting combination of amusement park and shopping mall. We saw a group of what looked like Amish people, riding the rides. We had seen the same people at the Shedd Aquarium as well. There was an interesting contrast between them and the rest of the crowd. People in all demographics were having a good time.

Shedd Aquarium

Fish, fish, fish ... I'm not really into aquariums, but I have to admit that this is a good one. The girls really enjoyed it. The highlight for me was the clear glass under the shark tank, and we happened to get there at feeding time, so there was a lot of action going on. Check out the movie (#4).

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute was free after 5 pm, so we lined up with hundreds of other people to get in. The line went pretty quickly and then we started exploring. It's a really big place and we found a lot of cool things to look at. Christina and Audrey liked arranging the objects in the box on the wall. The miniature rooms were amazing, and I always enjoy looking at the glass paperweights. They aren't like my own collection, but it's interesting to see them. The Georges Seurat painting is surprisingly huge, as you can see from the picture here (bottom left). I was happy to get to the Western art section this time, I've missed it the last few times we visited.