Chicago Day 3

Trip Start Jul 24, 2007
Trip End Aug 24, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Day 3 in Chicago we left the house early and went downtown to the Adler Planetarium. Also may I note that this was the one of the hottest days that we have had to deal with so far not just in Chicago, but across the whole country. I guess us Californians just can't deal with the humidity of the east. So it was a good thing that we were going to the nice cool planetarium for most of the morning.

When we got to the planetarium we were met by Larry Chupik, an astronomer and bible student friend of ours. He got us all our tickets and gave us a private tour of his favorite things and highlights of the museum before dropping us off at the planetarium theater to watch two shows about the skies above us. The first movie we watched was about black holes and their influence on our galaxy. The second was about how the Egyptians interpreted the night sky in their age and how they used it to tell time, the seasons and other things. Then we ate lunch at the cafeteria, in probably one of the nicest museum cafeterias with the best food I have ever seen in my life. After lunch Larry took us around to see a few more things in the planetarium like the Mars rover model, ancient sundials and a very small planetarium within the planetarium that was actually the first planetarium ever made. It sat about eight people total and took you in your seat from the outside up a ramp into the sphere (see the pictures if you need help visualizing this).

After the planetarium we drove to Navy Pier, which is like Pier 39 in San Francisco, but about 3 times as large and I thought way better. The whole pier contained a mall, boat docks, a ballroom and a carnival area with a ferris wheel, carousel, and mini golf range. Mom and I went on the carousel, which was really cute and fun. I got to sit on a giraffe, while Mom got a horse (of course). But before we did all that and explored the pier we got tickets to the hour long river cruise on the Chicago River that winds its way downtown. The cruise took us on the water way into the city as our guide told us about the architecture of the buildings we were passing by. I loved the tour, the guide knew tons of information and I learned a lot. Plus all the buildings are awesome, however, I would have preferred if it was less hot. For a while I thought I was going to die from the heat, but the river cruise helped by providing a breeze, thank goodness, and I was saved.

When the cruise ended we went back to the pier to explore, take pictures, eat dinner and wait for the fireworks show that was going to start at 9:30pm. We got to see the sun go down behind the skyline and take pictures of the sunset. It made me see Chicago as a sort of romantic city. I can just imagine someone getting proposed to on the pier with the sunset behind them, it would be gorgeous.

After the sun went down, we split up with the Bushlus' to find seating by the railing to watch the fireworks. Mom and I stood for a while, but then joined Dad on a bench once he found some seats. When we walked over he was talking to this couple next to him, when we sat down we joined in too. They were interested in hearing about our travels so far and being born and bred Chicagoans they told us a little about the city and its weather. However, when we were talking to them something amazing happened. The husband all of a sudden said the they had a friend who teaches at a college in California, in Turlock. I go to school in Turlock, their friend is the organic chemistry teacher at my tiny-middle-of-no-where college! Small world! What are the odds that we would happen to sit by two people who know someone who lives where I live? It has to be a million to one or something, but I thought it was pretty cool =)

And almost as cool as that coincidence, were the fireworks, they were pretty spectacular. One of the best shows I have seen, and it was so pretty over the water. It was such a nice way to end the day. Every day should end with fireworks like that.
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