We had a lovely time in Chicago last week. It was only 2 days but it was enough to satisfy the itch. The Kiddos really had a good time too…this was my son-in-law’s first visit.
On the first day we visited the Museum of Science and Industry. A dear reader (merci, Simone) recommended that we see the “Oriental Institute”. This was totally on the “to do” list for Sunday….spend a few hours at “Science…” and then flit over to “Oriental…”. Yes, yes, in a perfect world this would have been the perfect plan. However, the Chicago Transit Authority is not part of a perfect world. We had quite the time getting the bus #6 to go to the museum. And let me tell you, I usually respect the public transportation workers in any given city, but in our experience that day, 2 out of 3 CTA workers are down right mean and/or rude. Without going in to all the negatives, I will give you the following tips:
1. There is an Upper Wacker and a Lower Wacker. Do not wait for Bus 6 on the Lower Wacker…it will never happen no matter how hard you wish for it to come.
2. Do not assume another bus driver will know anything about any route other than the one she is assigned.
3. Do not call the CTA on a cell phone while on Lower Wacker, under the bridge. You can’t hear them and they can’t hear you.
4. Always have single dollar bills and exact change for the bus fare. Always.
5. And God forbid, do not try to work a dog-eared dollar bill through the bill feeder when paying your fare. This is greatly frowned upon by bus drivers and you will get yelled at.
6. Evidently, the CTA is a branch of some government secret service. They will not smile or make eye contact with you. But they do bark.
OK, that is out-of-the-way. We lost a lot of time getting to the museum so I had to resign myself to save “The Oriental Institute” for another time. It is really too bad too because we all wanted to see it. We still managed to have a good time at “Science…”. Some of the coolness we saw:
The weirdest thing happened while we were there. Master Bliss was in line for food in the cafeteria when he heard a familiar voice right in front of him ordering. Master Bliss said, “Gary?” Oh my goodness! It was Gary. A friend of ours who used to live in Michigan but now lives in California. He was taking his son and nephew on the Route 66 trip from Cali to MI to visit family and to have the Route 66 experience. Our families used to go camping together every year for years. We got to eat lunch together and catch up on everything. Sadly, they were leaving for Michigan after the Museum otherwise we would’ve hung together on the town later.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites Lakeshore so it was very important to get back to the hotel sometime between 5:30 and 7:30 PM for our “free”drinks and snacks. We made it…but it wasn’t quite a good as I remembered the Manager’s Reception being when staying at Embassy before. We could not believe how busy the Reception was….tons of peeps vying for free liquor. After dinner we ate at “Buca di Beppo’s” where they had to hold me back from jumping into the vat of tiramisu they served our table. So good. Good for breakfast too.
Monday morning we had a slamming breakfast at the hotel. Again, it was super crowded but they did a great full breakfast. I watched the omelette guy in pure amazement. He was fast and sweating to death. After breakfast we sauntered (as in walked, no more buses for us) on to my favorite museum outside of Paris…”The Art Institute of Chicago”. I. LOVE. THIS. PLACE. Master Bliss and I took the time to explore galleries/exhibits we hadn’t seen before. Right now they are featuring Roy Lichtenstein. Sound familiar but can’t place? This will help:
This one is a little calmer:
Interesting dude. I love the bold colors of his pieces and the nostalgia they provoke but otherwise I wouldn’t say he really moves me as an artist. But I did discover a photographer I plan to learn more about, Louis Faurer. I was entranced by every photo they had of his. He would often use the night lighting of marquees and street lights on the streets of New York which gave the photos such a unique look. You will have to look him up on your own. I did take a couple of pictures of his photos but got in trouble for it (some things you can photograph at the museum, some things you can’t–it can get kind of dicey). I am afraid that if I post them the Cyber Police will find out and shut me down.
Thanks to exploring more we found this staircase. It is its own work of art.
We saved the Impressionists and Contemporary Art galleries for last. Don’t ask me why but Master Bliss loves this guy (the artist, not necessarily Dorian Gray).
He has to visit this painting and another one of a door every time we go to the museum. Should I be concerned? They are a little too dark and goth for me but the detail is stunning. You can get lost in the details. It took the artist 10 years to paint the door one. Yeah. No kidding. He also did this one:
I find her very sad, depressing. But at the same time I want to applaud her efforts at still caring about how she looks. This will be me one day…especially the droopy boobs.
Some other things to be in awe of:
I didn’t want to leave the museum but we had to. I was determined to check out H&M with the hopes of replenishing some tank tops. This did not work out so well. I couldn’t find what I needed and felt overwhelmed by the craziness of the store. I think online shopping has finished me. I was never big on store/mall shopping in the first place but now that I can do it at home and simply “search” for what I need in any store I visit, it is shopping nirvana while going to the big, crowded stores is shopping hell.
We caught our train for home in late evening and did not arrive back home until well after mid-night. An exhausting two days but so worth it.