“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” Ferris was right! We hit Chicago right after a freezing rain that left everything covered in a thin coat of glossy ice and parked our bus for a couple of days right on Lake Michigan at the Great Lakes Naval Station. What a view but boy, was it cold!
The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the western hemisphere and one that I remember visiting as a kid. Lots of hands on experiments and great visuals, including a 3 story steam tornado and the only German U-boat on display in North America. After seeing our own heartbeats projected on the wall, out-relaxing each other at Mindball, and dogfighting in their flight simulator, we closed the museum down, as usual. It’s a great museum, and well worth the visit, but Science North is still our favorite!
Further north on Lakeshore Drive, right near the heart of the city, is the Art Institute of Chicago, a combination school and art museum with an extensive collection. We saw everything from the Old Masters to Jackson Pollock, including Wood’s American Gothic, six (!) of Monet’s haystacks, Chagall’s America Windows, and of course, Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. It’s a fun and diverse collection that includes known treasures and some decidedly odd modern art. A big plywood box deserves its own room? Seriously? Still, we loved the creativity on display: paintings, sculptures, furniture, photographs, videos and more!
We were excited to add the Sears Tower to our list of Really High Places We’ve Been Around the World. Alas, it was not to be, not because it’s closed or gone or anything, but just because they’ve changed the name! The Willis Tower just doesn’t have the same ring to it so we just kept calling it by its old name. It was awesome! We arrived just as the sun was setting and all of Chicago was lighting up. We leaned out over the city Ferris Bueller style and did handstands with a view straight to the street over a hundred floors down.
We had deep dish Chicago pizza and walked along Lake Michigan one last time. We wanted to stay but had to go. Moving on down the road – places to go, people to see!