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Chicago, how I love thee

So I went to Chicago, and it was pretty swell.
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Chicago at night. From the 96th floor of the John Hancock building

More of that skyline. Funny thing, my mother is terrified of heights, but she still went to the top of the building (96 floors) with us, however she was plastered to the inside walls, trying to look all nonchalant when she really wanted to puke. What a trooper.

Chicago river and buildings.

The Shedd Aquarium was pretty fabulous. The sea dragons were by far the coolest I've seen. Plus they had some baluga whales which were pretty cute, not to mention a new species of fish they discovered a year ago (that orange one in the middle with the fin like legs).

Sue! The T-rex! She was pretty amazing. Also, hilarious if you have read The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Polka will never die popped into my head when I got to see her (this all makes sense if you read Dead Beat.

Dinosaur Love!

RIP Myfanwy (The "pet" pteradactly in Torchwood). Ma l= nerd.

Cloud Gate. A super shiny sculpture in the middle of a park.


Directly underneath Cloud Gate.

An Anatomically Correct moose.

Balls.

American Gothic. Super intimidating up close.

Clouds coming down over the John Hancock building.

Cityscapes

A view of Michigan Lake and the Planetarium.




Then on the drive back to Minnesota we went to the Amana Colonies in Iowa where there are Amish Villages.

They were pretty pleasant for the most part. Got me some cinnamon and apple cheese and some Dandelion Wine. Also ate some Saurbraten for dinner, which was amazingly good.

Also, went antique hunting/browsing in old Amish attics, which became uber creepy when I discovered clown dolls hanging from the ceiling. Clowns should NEVER hang from ceilings or be in Anyone's attics.

And even creepier when old child's toys came into play.


So in Chicago we went to:

The Museum of Science and Industry-I went there 5 years ago and it was really cool, but what they had on display this time around was rather disappointing. However, they had the Harry Potter Exhibit which was AMAZING. Alas, could take no photos, but I did splurge and got myself a copy of the Marauder's Map

To reiterate, Mal=Nerd.
The Shedd Aquarium-Fish are pretty cool, as are the sharks and sting rays, and the Sea Dragons were simply awesome. Highly recommend going here.
The Planetarium- A bust. I love astronomy, but this was really boring. I fell asleep during a 3D galaxy symphony film. I felt bad about this, but this was the most boring film ever (square images of galaxies plus a symphony, and I thought films about math equations were boring...However, even the exhibits on display were rather dull. i.e, small plastic models of space shuttles.
The Field Museum -Awesome. Dinosaurs and lots of taxidermy animals and people. There were giant robotic bugs that popped out and made me scream in the DIRT exhibit. And Egyptian stuff and other things.
The John Hancock Observatory -Went to the top of the 96th floor and looked over Chicago. It was amazing and beautiful.
FOOD -There was an Italian bakery near out hotel-fine deserts and lots of gelato, plus good breakfast foods. Went to the Weber Grill restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory (where Mal inadvertently got plastered) and The Elephant and Castle (not just a tube stop in London!-a fine British restaurant. ate bangers and mash and kabobs).
 
More photos on Facebook. LJ is not all that picture friendly.
And now am back in Minnesota to the monotony of life. Today I am getting 4 new tires for my car. Bring it on Winter.