On Monday morning the plan was to head into Chicago by 9am to see the sights and meet up with Brian's cousin, Emily. So around 10am we finally left.
Brian and Emily in her new apartment
We found a parking garage right next to the Chicago Police Department and parked in front of a security camera just to be on the safe side. The garage was near Emily's apartment and Wrigley Field which Brian and I had never seen before.
"Mr. Cub" and Wrigley Field
We took the train downtown to meet Emily for lunch since we were a little later getting into the city than we thought we'd be. She gave us a tour of her office which has a great view since it's on the 25th floor. She also introduced us to almost everyone in the building. I honestly don't think we passed a person she didn't know by name. Even in the lobby of the 30ish(?) floor building. It was pretty impressive.
We had lunch at Portillo's Hot Dogs. Brian and I got Chicago-style hot dogs and they were pretty delicious. For dessert we got cake shakes which Emily recommended. So good.
After that, Emily headed back to work while Brian and I walked down Michigan Avenue toward Millenium Park. Brian finally saw the bean for the first time and of course we snapped a photo. (Which I'll post as soon as I figure out how to get it off my camera since I forgot my SD card again. Brian wanted me to add the "again" because I already forgot mine at home.) Then we walked down to the Chicago Museum of Art. Brian was desperate for air conditioning at that point. But ultimately we decided that we'd rather pay $12 for the science museum than for the art museum, so we moved on. (Sorry, art lovers.)
Our reflection in the bean Brian at the Pavilion in Millenium Park
We went a little further south on Michigan Ave so we could get a picture of the Congress Hotel. My Great (Great?) Aunt used to be head of housekeeping at the Congress Hotel. Her legacy is a diamond ring that my Aunt Ellen inherited. Now women in the family wear it for special occasions -- landmark birthdays, graduations -- that sort of thing. Anyway, of course we had to stop by.
Us in front of the Congress Hotel
After taking a peek inside the Congress, we caught a taxi to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry which we didn't regret. Especially when it started pouring rain as we got close. We asked at the ticket counter for a military discount. Turns out there isn't one, but the cashier was feeling generous and waived our General Admission fees ($15 each!) and charged us only $8 each for a special coal mine exhibit. Score.
So this museum is awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone, even if you don't get in for free. The coal mine is really cool, although we had a rather annoying tour guide. You take an elevator down to the "mine" and get to see all the coal mining machinery in action and take a ride on these caged carts. It's fun.
When we got out of there we detoured to check out the U-505 submarine that they've got. So we went through the exhibit reading about WWII and it was pretty interesting. Brian made sure to point out all the instruments in the exhibit that are still used on Coast Guard ships.
But then we turned the corner and oh. my. god. The U-505, the real one, was IN the museum. We found out later they actually put it there and then constructed the building around it. It was massive and SO COOL. There were tours to go inside, too, but they were sold out for the day and that made us sad. The exhibit was put together well and did I mention there was an enormous submarine inside the building?? I highly recommend checking it out. I would post pictures here, but clearly I was a little too distracted to take any.
|Us in a combine in the museum's farming section, courtesy of an 8 year old who wanted to get in after us. (also the only picture of us in the museum) . This thing had GPS and a lots of buttons and switches.|
After we were done in the sub exhibit we went to check out the space exhibit, but it was closing. We checked out the Apollo 8 spacecraft and then headed out to catch a cab back downtown to meet Emily and her boyfriend Andy for dinner and drinks.
We ended up at Gino's East for deep dish. It was delicious but I could barely make it through one slice. After dinner we headed back to Emily's for the night. A few youtube videos later, we passed out. It was a good day.