The States

Water, Air & Art

Since we didn’t hit all the attractions we planned to on the weekend, Charlotte and I went back to Chicago a few days later. (If you ever plan to take Metra to Chicago, note that it is more expensive on weekdays, and you’re better off buying a weekend pass that is valid for both Saturday and Sunday, currently $10 for both days compared to $16 for one weekday.) The Shedd Aquarium was on our list first, so we rented Divvy Bikes again and rode from the train station to the Shedd, a much shorter ride than the other day! Unfortunately, a few schools were on field trips there that day, so it was a bit crowded in some areas.

So many types of aquatic animals roamed the tanks. From fish to reptiles to penguins and sharks. I always liked the starfish and seahorses! The Shedd has aquatic shows at certain times throughout the day, so after grabbing some lunch at the cafe downstairs, we went to one. A sea lion did some tricks, but of course, the dolphins took to the water and stole the show. Here’s an interesting fact we learned during the show: The U.S. uses 500 million straws every day. The disposal of these straws harms marine life, and because of this, the U.K. plans to ban all straws and single-use plastics sometimes next year. The U.S. is not quite there yet, but if you’d like to take part yourself, you can ban straws from your own life.

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After spending a few hours there, we hit the Adler Planetarium. Sections about each planet filled one level including a few interactive exhibits on another level. We fiddled with the control panels to see if we could safely land a rocket. No luck, though. We’d be goners. Then, we watched a show in the dome theater called Planet Nine about another planet that could take Pluto’s place and why Pluto was not a planet anymore at one point. It made me a bit dizzy watching the planets spin around my head, but it was cool to have a closer look into space and learn about what else is out there. Regardless of what the show is, I recommend not passing it up if you go here. They last about 30 minutes.

The Art Institute of Chicago was last on the list, and man was there a lot of art. Paintings, sculptures, mixed media; you name it! They have the areas divided up by the type of art or era it was created in. I liked the modern art the best, but I did see some paintings I learned about in my college humanities classes, and of course, some Picasso. We wandered around there for a bit, and then, we relaxed in Millennium Park by the Bean before taking the train home. We had one more day in Chicago, so keep watch for that post!

∴ Michelle

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