A Day in Chicago

Trip Start Sep 23, 2012
Trip End Sep 30, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Saturday, September 29, 2012

We got up at 7:00 and went down to check out breakfast.  We either could get a cold buffet for $8 or a really good, have your food cooked to order and buffet for $14.  We decided on neither.  We didn't want that much food.  So we got in the car and headed to the parking lot for the Rosemont Station for the L Train.  We got our parking ticket for $5 and then went to buy out all day pass.  Well, even though it said day paases were sold at Rosemont they weren't.  So we just got a card with enough money on it for our trip to The Field Museum of Natural History.  We stopped at Dunkin Donuts just inside the station.  I got an OJ and a pumpkin muffin.  I shared the muffin with Larry because it was huge.  Derek got OJ and a Vanilla Stick pastry.  We ate them on the train and found out later that we weren't supposed to eat on the L.  It took us about 45 minutes to get to our transfer point from the blue line to the red line.  We had to walk under the street to get our connection to the red line.  It was only a couple of blocks to where we got off to get our bus connection to the Field Museum.  We waited quite a while for the bus and then decided to just walk which turned out to be a good idea.  We made it to the museum before our bus came. 

We entered by the North Entrance and paid our fee.  Then we started The Nature Walk by looking at the World of Birds on the main floor.  There were so many birds from here and from all over the world.  It was overwhelming.  They had stuffed specimens which are very old.  You couldn't even tell the true colors on a lot of them  It was disappointing.  From the World of Birds we went to the World of Mammals, Messages From the Wilderness, then Africa.  We didn't make it to the 1/3 of that half of the main floor.  We went down to the Ground Level to see the Inside Ancient Egypt Exhibit.  I was disappointed that the Rockology Shop was closed.  We went back up stairs to the main level and went through the Egyptian Tomb.  Then we went thorugh The Ancient Americas, Northwest Coast and Arctic Peoples, and North American Indians.  I was surprised to see a great section on the Hopewell Culture in Ohio.  We had lunch at the Corner Bakery in the Museum.  I got a chicken salad with walnuts, currants, sliced apples, blue cheese and croutons with balsamic vinagrette.  Larry and Derek got ham sandwiches on a pretzel roll and chips.  After lunch we went to the Upper Floor to see the Evolving Planet Exhibit and the Dinosaur Hall.  We only got to see about 1/3 of that half of the upper floor

When we left the museum by the south entrance we went to find the Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. to sign up for their Signature Tour.  When we got to the booth for tickets it said the last stop for today was at 2:00 due to the Chicago Classic Football Game at Soldier Field just down the street.  It was 1:57, so we hurried to the buses and were able to purchase a ticket and get on the last bus.  This is a narrated tour of 14 points of interest taking 2 hours if you don't hop on or off, which you are allowed to do.  The stop after the Field Museum was the Sheraton Hotel.  We got to go on Lower Wacker Drive which is underneath the street level part of Wacker Drive.  It goes in a one way rectangle and was designed to reduce traffic congestion in the downtown.  Service vehicles, delivery trucks and garbage trucks are not allow on upper Wacker Drive.  Well, we didn't get off at the Sheraton.  We wanted to get off at the Navy Pier where there are all kinds of shops, restaurants, museums, and rides, but there was a fire somewhere nearby and it snarled the traffic something fierce.  There were so many people out as it was a beautiful day.  So we took pictures from the bus and road to the next stop at the bottom of the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue.  We decided to walk up the Magnificent Mile.  It was so crowded with people, it was hard to move.  Lots of people were not watching the crossing signs and lots of horns were honking and honking.  One thing we saw on the way was The Water Tower built to  help equalize the pressure in the water pipes.  It was the only building standing after the Great Fire.  We stopped at the next stop, just off Michigan Avenue on Delaware to catch the bus.  But we waited a long while and decided to walk to the next stop which was only a few blocks further north.  When we were waiting we were beside the Hancock Buidling which had an observatory at the top.  When we got to step 11 it wasn't very long until the bus came and dropped us next at Hard Rock Chicago.  Larry go a guitar pin and then we caught the next trolley.  The tour guides were all informative and humorous but this guide not only drove the trolley but she entertained us by singing like Aretha Franklin.

She dropped us off at the Sky Deck at the Willis Tower aka Sears Tower.  We went to get in line to go to the top and were told the wait was 1 1/2 hours.  We didn't wait.  When we got back on the next bus we were told that this was the last round of the tour.  We got caught up in traffic again because they were filming a movie under the L train in the Loop.  We had to detour because of it.  We didn't get off at the Chicago Theatre but got off at Millenium Park where we saw The Cloud Gate, nicknamed the bean because of its shape.  It is a large sculpture with a very reflective surface.  We saw no less than 3 different wedding parties having pictures taken there.  We took some pictures and then started heading for the L back to Rosemont.  We stopped at the Park Store for a free t-shirt, because we paid big bucks for our tickets.  As we headed toward the Blue Line we saw the Garrett Popcorn Shop where we could get free Caramel Popcorn.  When we got there the line was out the door.  We passed.  Next we noticed that the Picasso Sculpture on the Richard J. Daly Plaza where part of the Blues Brothers was filmed.  So we went over the plaza to take a picture of the sculpture.  Then we headed down to the blue line.  We added money to our card and waited just a short time for the train. 

We got back to Rosemont Station after 6 and the sun was setting.  We got the car and headed west of the airport to Lou Malnatis Pizza.  When we go there, there were a lot of people in line and they told us it would take about 25 minutes to get a table but in the meantime we could have garlic bread with marinara sauce and a small piece of their thin crust pizza. It was only about 5 minutes until we were seated. Larry and Derek got a pitcher of Goose Island 312. Larry and Derek split a 12' Malnati Classic Pizza. I ordered the Lour's individual size.  They were cheesier but very tasty. Mine had spinach, mushrooms, sliced roma tomatoes. We got back to hotel after 8:00, blogged, looked at email, watched the Wisconsin/Nebraska game, and went to bed.
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