Get your kicks on Route 66

Trip Start Jun 24, 2012
Trip End Sep 21, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We woke up this morning at 10am, after a much needed 13 hour sleep and dressed quickly to get out and make the most of our day in Chicago. We headed out through Grant Park - named after Ulysses S Grant - and toward the Field Museum, which I in particular was really looking forward to. The Field Museum of Natural History has a world famous collection of dinosaurs, including the most complete and best preserved T-Rex, which is called Sue! I was very excited to be going to see her :) The museum also has a brachiosaur skeleton outside of it, which is awesome. The foyer of the museum is where Sue is, so she's the first thing that you see as you go in, along with a couple of elephants. It's a nice foyer, but I do feel that I'm always comparing Natural History museums to the one in London, which is far and away the most spectacular in my opinion.

One of the coolest exhibits is a sequence of taxidermy dioramas which were completed between 1900 and 1930 ish - the specimens are still in good condition and it even includes the infamous Tsavo lions which is awesome…they are two maneless male lions which killed around 135 people working on the Ugandan-Kenya railway in 1898.

Some other exhibits we enjoyed were the Inside Ancient Egypt, Evolving planet and the laboratories that you can look into and watch the scientists at work (I'm such a child!). However, far and away the best thing about the whole museum was when I discovered the amazing 'MOLD-A-RAMA' in the basement; an ancient looking plastic factory which - for only $2 - injects hot plastic into the mould of your choice and spits you out the coolest little dinosaur toy ever! My biggest regret in life is not getting one of each design :(

After spending most of the day in the museum, we headed back out into the sunshine and walked along the shoreline of Lake Michigan to visit the Navy Pier. The walk along the lake was lovely - we got some soda and just wandered for about an hour, passing flocks of Canadian geese (not just 'geese' now that we're not in Canada anymore haha) and sculptures in the park to our left. Lake Michigan is massive; it doesn't even feel like a lake as it has waves and you can't see any sort of shoreline on the other side. It might actually have been a sea with no beach, and I'd have been none the wiser. As we neared the Pier we saw more and more little day boats; sailing must be a popular pastime for the rich folk of Chicago. Some were moored way out in the lake though, and we couldn't figure out how the owners would even get to them…taking another boat to their boat just seems daft! We also saw one called 'We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!' - lol :)

We got to the Navy Pier at around 7pm and headed straight past the bars and restaurants to the funfair part - again, such children! - and bought a ticket to ride the Ferris Wheel and the Wave Swinger. As we got into the Ferris Wheel the sun was starting to set a little and it was getting cooler, but the views were spectacular, so it was worth being a little chilly! The Wave Swinger was retro and amazing, although I think I enjoyed it more than Laura….she came off looking a little green haha.

After playing on the pier for a while, we decided that we'd have a leisurely walk back to the hostel as it was getting dark; first, however, we wanted to see if we could try and find the Route 66 sign that Billy Connelly had visited - Chicago marks the start of the historic route and Laura is a fan, so off we went. We found our way back onto Michigan Avenue (the magnificent mile street) and after a short while, we found it! On our way back to the hostel, we passed a Walgreens and popped in to buy some fruit. It was extortionately expensive, but after a week in Memphis with nothing to eat that didn't once breathe, we were really craving something fresh! Grapes have never tasted so good haha!

Once back at the hostel we heated up the leftover pizza from last night and started to plan what we're going to do tomorrow - Chicago Skydeck, and possibly going further north into the city to explore Boystown….funtimes!

Deej x
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