For Chris's second conference day, I decided to go back into the city solo and do some exploring. I thought it would be a shame to be so close to Chicago and not go in at least one more time. Luckily, the day was blue skies and windy. The first part was a nice surprise and the second part was neither nice nor a surprise :). I started at the Sears tower. Did you know that the Sears Tower (AKA now the Willis Tower) the tallest building in the US and the 5th tallest in the world? They have a couple of all glass cubes you can walk out onto and stand over 1,350 feet above Walker street. I did it! One of the workers there talked me through. I had to look at her and walk out backwards not looking down. Crazy. Just plain crazy. They took a nice picture, but I'm still deciding if it's $25 nice. It was a nice moment though :).
Then I went to the Shedd aquarium. My ticket also included a live show and a 4D movie. The live show included tricks from a seal, Beluga whales, penguins, and dolphins. Then my camera battery died. Dang it! Luckily I had my phone with me, so that should explain the quality of my pics: low batteries and camera phones aren't the best formula for fantastic pics. The 4D movie was a condensed version of Happy Feet with 3D glasses and they would vibrate our chairs when he danced or sprayed us with water when the boat passed or blew bubbles when he was swimming. Best of all was wandering around and checking out the animals. I found a flirty penguin (it would follow me and let me take his picture), a turtle that looked mean and only moves to breath (he has actual algae growing on his shell!), a seahorse that looks like seaweed, a brainy fish (I don't know what kind he is but I think he must be very smart), and the Bahama fish. When I came in, they took a picture in front of a green screen and offered for it sale. Luckily, they also offer it as a link to facebook so you can see the cool Bahama fish. Personally, I think it's a bit of a toss up which is better: the facebook green screen pic or my self-portraits :).
I finished up the day at Navy Pier. I liked it so much after the first day I went back and checked out the shops inside the buildings this time. I found a hot dog stand and bought a Chicago dog with tomatoes, a sweet pickle, and mustard no ketchup. And, yes, it was as good as it sounds :). I also went for a ride on the ferris wheel. It was windy, but the buckets were mostly glassed so I was protected, but I could still takes some pictures of the sun setting on the city. Kind of poetic, don't you think? The sun sets on the city and on my trip to Chicago as well. I can't help humming Sinatra, "Chicago - it's my kind of town."
We're back! Yesterday as we were flying back, I thought how sad it is for for vacation to be over and wonderful to be headed home. It was a funny feeling to miss the beautiful skyscapers but love seeing the mountains and farms again. Today was my first day back to work and I'm glad that tomorrow we'll be my last day before the weekend! Wowsers! I sure have a lot to catch up on at work not to mention the grocery shopping (I feel like Old Mother Hubbard), the laundry, etc that I have waiting for me. Still, it was so worth it!