Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Out to the Shedd

I’ve taken a couple days off of work. Mostly it’s to just rest as I haven’t had a day off in… I can’t remember. Through my sister, I found out that the Shedd Aquarium had a discount day going this week and I took advantage of it yesterday.

I’ve learned in DC that I can spend all day in a museum. That and considering that it was a discount day and many schools are out for the summer, I thought that it might be a good idea to get there as early as possible. I may have over anticipated as I ended up being the 10th or so person in line.

The aquarium is a nice place but I didn’t appreciate its pricing structure. General admission doesn’t allow a person much access. Much of the place is segmented into various exhibits that require an additional charge. I think that they are counting on people’s aversion to this kind of bullshit to entice them to buy an all access pass.

This lungfish is older than my grandmother!

The aquatic show was pretty nice although I think I would have liked to have seen more than just two types of animals on display: beluga whales and a great horned owl. Cut out the owl and you could rename it the Beluga Show. Otherwise, I give them high-fives as I appreciated a more educational approach to the show rather than a performance that only showcased tricks. I mean if you want that, Sea World would probably be a better choice.

There’s a 4-D theater that has multiple shows. 4-D being that they show the film with 3-D glasses but augment the experience with physical movements and objects. For example shooting wind, blowing bubbles, shaking the seats, etc. I opted for Planet Earth over Dora the Explorer. I liked the series and, well, it’s not a cartoon. Yeeeaaah, I should have chosen Dora. Planet Earth turned out to be the same film used in the series but compressed down to less than 15 minutes and re-narrated. Oh yeah and with bubbles. *Rolls Eyes* If you’re going, do the Dora movie and let me know what I missed.

The best exhibit—and I may be biased here—was the Wild Reef exhibit which was modeled after one in the Philippines. No really, it was superbly presented just like exhibit above it, Amazon Rising. I really enjoyed the large tanks of coral reef critters. While I was there, there was a lady giving a presentation which gets me to my only real helpful hint: to make this place worth your money, be sure to catch the special presentations. They are listed on the brochure that you receive when you enter.

And here is a human-enemy to all creatures at the aquarium. If you've seen it, chances are a human has tried to eat it.

Oh… and don’t eat there. $11 for a sandwich is outrageous.

This was the line to get in when I left. Good thing I came early!

I was completely done with the aquarium by 2PM. With a couple hours until the next train for South Bend was due to depart, I continued north into Grant Park and Millennium Park.

Buckingham Fountain

On the BP Bridge

Cloud Gate. (Or, the Bean)

The Pritzker Pavilion had a live blues band playing so I sat back and enjoyed listening to it for a while while soaking up some sun. A group caught my eye though. They were coming down the BP Bridge in single file and came into the Pavilion. It was like a somber game of follow the leader. They just walked. It had to be the lamest piece of performance art I have ever seen. Fortunately they did stop walking. Unfortunately, the band quit playing at the same time.

Of course, I had to make a video recording of it.

Part of the Crown Fountain. I really dig how interactive this fountain is. Kids are all over it.

Chicago. One of the most beautiful cities in the world.

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