Monday, July 14, 2008

More about Chicago...

By my last post, you would think that the only reason we went to Chicago was the Cubs' game. Truth is, we both love that city, and can always find something else to do there. (But every trip MUST center around a trip to the Friendly Confines... I can't imagine being in Chicago during the season without catching a game.) I just love the museum campus and its setting on the lakeshore. Since I hadn't been to Shedd Aquarium since my 6th grade class trip and Cory had never been, we decided to make it our secondary destination.

We visited the Oceanarium first, kind of a version of Indy Zoo's dolphin pavilion with more ambience. Within the pools of the Oceanarium were the dolphins, sea otters (so cute!), Beluga whales (including two babies... one of which we actually saw nursing on its mother while swimming about) and an amazing tide pool where you could peer right in and see live starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and many other bizarre creatures. The dolphin show wasn't as spectacular as Indy's, but entertaining nonetheless.

We spent several hours wandering through the exhibits. My favorite was probably Wild Reef, a special exhibit underground with sharks and rays and innumerable species of fish swimming all around and overhead. It was amazing. We also enjoyed the seahorses, seeing a Komodo dragon, and the Caribbean Reef where a human diver in the tank was actually feeding the fish.

Oh, and we also saw lots of children on leashes. Yes, I said CHILDREN on LEASHES. It seems this trend is making a comeback. Nothing says "I can't control my kid" like a tethered child. Wow.

We exited the aquarium at about 2:30 pm to find threatening skies. Not wanting to waste a minute in the Windy City, we risked the weather and boarded a water taxi to Navy Pier where we ate lunch as the rain poured. I was hoping the rain would let up so I could ride the flying swings ride, but it never did. Reluctantly, we headed back to our car and hit the highway for home, and back to reality. What fun!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finding Cory's Brick

We just returned from Chicago where Cory and I caught our first night game at Wrigley. The most important part of the trip, however, was our "search for the brick"...

Mom and Dad bought Cory a commemorative brick for Christmas and we just had to find it for ourselves. The bricks were just placed this season in the plaza underneath the famous Wrigley Field sign on Clark Street. Once I found out that Cory could have a little piece of real estate (so to speak) at his favorite place on Earth - I eagerly suggested the idea to Mom and Dad. Of course, I blew the surprise when the letter arrived at our house the one day in December that I didn't check the mail myself. (A letter addressed to me with the return address "Wrigley Field Commemorative Brick Program" kind of tipped him off). We received another letter a few months ago telling us where to look for it. Considering the many thousands of these bricks that people must have purchased this year, we felt we might be up against a daunting task.

We walked up Clark St early in the afternoon once we got checked into our hotel in Lincoln Park. The journey was a little over a mile, and the wares for sale in the shop windows provided much entertainment - if you're in the market for a hooka or a shirt that says "I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is...", then you're in the right place. Once we got to Wrigleyville, we settled into a booth at an open-air bar called Red Ivy, ate some lunch, and watched the world go by.

After lunch, we crossed the street and started looking. It only took us a few minutes, but we found it! He was so happy..... what a great gift. Whenever we go back, it'll still be there holding down the fort.

Oh yeah, the Cubs beat the Reds 5-1. We had a GREAT time...

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