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Beasts, UFOs, and terrible terrible sunburn

Shell - @4:17 pm

Day two in Chicago, and with no actual plan to speak of we headed out for our customary aimless wander that we seem to do on all holidays. Turns out Chicago at rush hour is terrifying, all angry honking horns and drivers yelling at each other with the occasional policeman directing traffic and yelling at people too. We headed for the lake, it looked quieter over there.

The first hour was full of milestones. First, I spotted my first yellow school bus and got all overexcited. Then, nerd alert, we broke out Ingress and I made my first ever linked area thing. Yeah, I know, it’s all about me.

Anyway, we’d formulated a plan to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, mostly because it’s free. So we followed a path that mostly wound its way between an intimidatingly loud and busy road on one side, and an endless construction site on the other. Sounds horrible and it kind of was, except there were exciting things to spot along the way like random modern art heads and this amazing bench facing into a tree for no reason. #treebench.

It's an ok tree to look at, I suppose.
It’s an ok tree to look at, I suppose.

The zoo was pretty awesome, especially for something completely free. We saw various large cats including a lion who stared into the very depths of our souls, lots of monkeys and apes, the middle part of a sea lion and a pissing zebra. Dave even experienced what it would be like to be a termite.

Literally just the middle part of a sea lion
Literally just the middle part of a sea lion
It's a zebra. Pissing.
It’s a zebra. Pissing.
It was all very graceful.
It was all very graceful.

After the zoo we headed downtown to find sustenance, which came in the form of a nommy cheese and leek pastie type thing for me that called itself a croissant (it was definitely not a croissant) and a chicken and avocado wrap for Dave that he subsequently described as “the best wrap of my life”.

Again we had no actual plan for the afternoon, and again we seemed to be surrounded by angry honking drivers and endless construction diversions, so again we headed lakewards and into Millennium Park. My God, what we discovered there BLEW OUR MINDS. You’ve seen Flight of the Navigator, right? It was just like that.

It's so SHINY!
This is Cloud Gate. It’s so SHINY!

Most public art is a bit crap. We all know it. But this, this is amazing. It’s so amazing that when Dave attempted to write the blog post for today, he kept just staring at the photo of it and losing track of his thoughts. It’s just a sculpture in a sort of cross between a donut shape and a bean shape, that does weird things with reflections. We hadn’t really seen many tourists so far, and it turns out it’s because everyone was here taking photos and generally staring open-mouthed at the awesomeness. The reflections were so clear, they almost looked more real than real life. Oh man, if you’re ever here, go see it.

A bit more uneventful wandering around, a return to the Cloud Gate for a sit and stare, and we headed back to the hotel. It was at this point that we realised I was quite horribly sunburnt, but that’s the weather man’s fault because he insisted it was going to rain.

This was an excellent day, but ended on a sad note as we discovered what must be the worst pizza in all of Chicago and endured the worst service. Seriously, waitresses here can be chatty, we get it, but this one was at our table literally every 2 or 3 minutes trying to upsell stuff and talking about how pizzas are pies. She was also giving the underage guy at the next booth tips on how to “prove” he was 21. Sigh.

Food aside, successful day out. And we managed to stay awake past 9pm so that’s good progress too!

 

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