Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Road Trip: Chicago, Part Two

After leaving Madison, we arrived back in Chicago, this time staying with a different aunt and uncle. (Matt's got a lot of aunts and uncles. His family is huge.)

The first afternoon, we just got settled in and visited the family, and this is when I ended up buying my new shoes. We also went to a July 4th parade, his aunt made a delicious taco dinner, and we played Bananagrams and drank wine until pretty late at night.

The next morning, Matt's aunt had to do some work, so along with his uncle, we decided to use our City Pass a little more to visit the Field Museum. (The City Pass is valid for nine days, so thankfully by the time we got back to Chicago, we could still use it to hit up the remaining places we hadn't gone yet.) Since the City Pass got three of us admission and tickets to see a few of the special exhibits, we planned to swap around the tickets so all five of us could see specific exhibits we'd been looking forward to.

Outside the parking garage, a water wall tribute to the military.

We saw "Sue," the world's most complete T-Rex.

My favorite exhibits:
• There was one on glow-in-the-dark creatures and fish that live really far down in the ocean. The whole exhibit was really dark, and had all these glowing things everywhere, like mushrooms and my favorite, the vampire squid.
• There was a fashion exhibit where an artist showcased her pieces next to the historical artifacts they were inspired by. I thought some of the outfits were really cool.

And there was also a whole wall of shoes outside the exhibit with the history behind each kind. Some of them were current and modern, and others were from all over the world and all eras of history, like men's snow boots from the 1700s, and tiny women's shoes from China.

The Chicago Blackhawks had just won the Stanley Cup, and some of the various museums had things like this to celebrate. The Art Institute had these giant lions out front, each with its own giant hockey helmet!

Matt loved the exhibit on dinosaurs, and I also thought it was pretty interesting. In addition to seeing all the dinosaur bones, you also get to read about the massive extinctions that have happened throughout the last several million years, and all the species these extinctions have wiped out.

We also saw a short video that was supposed to explain why the dinosaurs died out. And the answer would be ... it got either too cold or too hot in the atmosphere. It could have been a meteorite, or it could have been a volcano, but either way the ash or dust either blocked out the sun and it got too cold, or caused a greenhouse effect and it got too hot.

Basically, we still don't know why the dinosaurs died.

Here's a mammoth.

I was not crazy about the mummy exhibit, but mummies have always freaked me out. And it didn't help that it kind of felt like you were trapped underground in the exhibit.

After we wore ourselves out at the Field Museum, we went back to the house and ordered in Lou Malnati's pizza for dinner. One of the pies we ordered was spinach pizza, and it was REALLY delicious. Mmmm. We spent the evening playing this hilarious and confusing card game that Matt and his family used to play with his grandma when he was little. I'll share that in another post, because it's quite entertaining. :)

Finally, we had reached the last day of our trip. With a few hours to kill before we were to head to the airport, we decided to use the last thing in our City Pass, and visit the Shedd Aquarium. (Matt and I were flying home, because my MIL and FIL wanted to continue the road trip another week, but we had to get back to work.)

Let me tell you, if you're going to the aquarium, do it EARLY. We got there around 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and there was already a HUGE line. (But we got to skip it, because again, City Pass. Do it!)

We didn't stay too long, and I'm not really much of an aquarium person, but we got to watch some cute beluga whales and some creepy eels and some other cool fish.

And with that, we bid Chicago farewell, and boarded the plane back to Texas.

Do you like aquariums?


  1. One of my best friends and her husband volunteer at Shedd, so I've seen the behind the scenes (which is super fun!), although I don't normally like aquariums.