After a less than restful night at the hostel (I swear the room I was in had the creakiest door, and of course girls were going in and out until after midnight and the one sleeping in the bunk above me woke me up a couple times with her snoring….) I got an early start on my second (and final) day in Chicago.
I started by exploring a bit more of Lincoln Park while eating breakfast on the go. There’s just something very relaxing about walking in the sand and feeling the (cold!) water on your toes. Afterwards I headed to Millenium Park to chill with some Starbucks before going down to the Museum area just south of Grant Park. I originally wasn’t planning on going into the Field Museum or Shedd aquarium, but then I realized that I actually really wanted to….and since I had no idea when/if I’d be back in Chicago, I’d probably regret it if I didn’t. But before I did that, I had a couple other stops to make.
I don’t have any pictures from the first, because I thought I might get mugged if I took out my camera….. See, I was in the south side of Chicago, which is notoriously ghetto. Now before you get all riled up and yell at me, EK, let me explain. I want to get my MBA from the University of Chicago, so I figured I should check their campus out. The campus just happens to be in south Chicago. I had two options for getting there: 1) take the subway and walk through Washington Park; or 2) Take the train and arrive on the other side of campus. Since I had the unlimited card for the subway, I chose option 1. Apparently that’s the more ghetto route….. But I survived the walk there and back, and that’s the most important thing, right? lol The campus itself was gorgeous and I still want to go there, but it’s certainly useful to have first hand experience with the area surrounding it.
After escaping the ghetto, I wound up in Chicago’s Chinatown. It was….well, just like most other Chinatown’s I’ve been too, if a bit smaller. I tried my first green tea bubble tea there and it was pretty bleh. I mean, it wasn’t bad per se, but it’s not something I would seek out again. Maybe I just need to try a different flavor, because the green tea part of the green tea freeze was practically non-existent. I might as well have been drinking crushed ice.
After lunch in Chinatown it was on to the Field Museum. It’s a natural history museum, just like the ANHM in NY, but it’s even larger and the layout is much more creative. Not that there’s anything wrong with the ANHM, but the Field Museum’s exhibits just flowed together better and the displays were amazing. It was definitely worth the $22 entry fee — especially since this was the first and probably only time I’ll ever go.
Next up was the Shedd Aquarium. It was alright, but nothing too spectacular. As was the case with the Art Institute, I’ve simply been to too many zoos and aquariums for them to have anything I haven’t seen before. I did catch a glimpse of a dolphin and beluga whale show, so there were some interesting points, but it was smaller than I imagined and was just barely worth the $29 ticket — and only because it was another of my first and only visits.
By the time I finished walking around the Shedd Aquarium, I was pretty much all Chicago-d out. I’d seen everything I wanted to see and was sore and tired from walking the better part of 12 + hours two days in a row on minimal sleep both nights. But I still had some time to kill, so I went to see Wrigley Field, which is where the Chicago Cubs play. It was….quaint, to put it nicely 😉
After that it was time to head to the airport to grab some dinner before my flight, which was scheduled to leave at 9pm. It got delayed until 10 (figures this would be the delayed flight, not the one I was 5 minutes away from missing on the way up….) but the 6:50pm flight had been delayed until 8:55 and I managed to get on that one, so it was like nothing changed for me. I was talking to EK for so long that I didn’t hear them call my name for standby (I’m still not convinced he did, because I was loitering around the gate the entire time I was on the phone) and I almost missed that flight too, but luckily everything worked out in the end and I got home just in time to go to bed and wake up early for work today 🙂