16 September 2014
Tuesday got us off to a slow start getting off the boat to go on our next set of adventures. We walked a few blocks to Eggy’s. It was a great breakfast and for being in the middle of Chicago it was very reasonably priced.
We then walked 4 blocks to the “El” and took a train 50 blocks south. Our destination was the “Museum of Science and Industry”. We got a little lost walking, and ended up walking through the campus of the “University of Chicago”. It’s a very pretty campus and I loved the medieval styled buildings.
We got to the Museum of Science and Industry and found that it is huge. You could easily spend two or three days here looking at everything. So we focused on things we really wanted to see and their special exhibits.
First was the Disney “D23” collection. They have the history of Disney from his very early days of cartooning (age 16), through his first cartoons, the Mickey years and then all of the amazing pictures and TV shows. They have a mock up of the “multi-plane camera” that they designed to allow them to zoom into the cartoon and make it look realistic. We also saw how they did some of the special effects for movies like Mary Poppins (spoiler alert, they used green screens and she moved around on wires that they edited out)
There is a giant model train outside the Disney area. It shows the area in and around Chicago, but also as an area that is Seattle Washington to show the long freight trains in action. It was very fun to watch, there were over a dozen trains moving a one time.
From there it was off to the technology section with a giant Tesla coil that put out 300,000 volts. It was mounted up inside the ceiling, so only the main electrode an the 40′ grounding ring was outside. It threw off amazing bolts of “lightning” and made a huge crackeling sound.
We looked at some exhibits and then it was time to head over to the Imax movie about the Monarch Butterfly Migration. It was the story of the lepidopterist that spent most of his life around the Monarch and their migration patterns. Since it was Imax, the video was about following them both on the ground and in the air. It was really well done.
(If you don’t know the story, all the Monarchs in North America spend the winter in a 10 square mile area in Mexico. In the spring they hop north laying eggs in Milkweed plants. There are 3 generations of Monarchs across the summer. The third generation is special, it has the ability to fly back from as far as Canada back to the spot in Mexico. And of course we are killing them off in the US by reducing the amount of milkweed plants. At least Mexico has it’s act together, they have protected the winter area from any cutting, building, etc.
From the Musuem it was off to the Chicago river for our “River Architecture Tour”. The Quo is too tall to make it under one of the bridges in Chicago, so we opted to get a tour. Susan booked us on a longer 90 minute tour. Our guide was great, he talked about almost every building we went past. He described the architecture, who designed it, when it was built, etc. Just a great job.
We were lucky to score seats along the bow on the upper level so we were able to get millions of pictures. There are some amazing buildings and there were some great stories. Some of the buildings don’t have windows so the employees can’t look out and be distracted by all the activity on the water. The Mayor of Chicago asked Donald Trump to take the giant TRUMP off the building and “The Donald” told him no. A set of 50 condos on the waterfront sold in 4 weekends in a set of lotteries. If you are in Chicago, you should really do the boat tour!
From the tour dock we got a taxi to the pharmacy. We needed a reload on Belle’s meds and the vets in town don’t stock it. Susan via the magic of Google was able to find a compounding pharmecy that had Belle’s meds in stock.
Since we are urban tourists, we grabbed the next bus going to the city. Transfering to the train 10 blocks later we were soon at our food destination, “The Purple Pig”. We had about a 55 minute wait, but they served beer and wine on the deck so waiting worked out. “The Purple Pig” is a small plates place with most Mediterranean style dishes.
We had fried olives, calamari salad, gryos, deep fried deviled egg, meat balls, and chicken thighs bbq on a skewer. It was all very good. It came a few dishes at a time which was very fun.
By the time we finished and it was dark out. While only an 8 block back to the boat, we opted to get a taxi home to the boat.