23.58.57 - Mark

Chicago has been good. For whatever reason I've neglected blogging about it, time, other interesting links stuff like that. I guess I've developed blogging habits and its a little hard to break them. Anyways a run down of what I've done.

On the 20th was the Museum of Science and Industry. Always a treat. Unfortunately the U-505 (first captured German U-Boat) wasn't open for display, and I didn't get to see everything I would have liked to, but with the larger institutes thats always going to be the case - it gives your a reason to go back. So that was a really good deal for my birthday. The family insisted I choose where to eat and me (suffering from a headache and irritated at one inpatient tween brother) choose a generic chain restaurant (TGI Fridays). I managed to enjoy it, but I would have preferred something a little more uniquely Chicago like Pizzeria Uno (originator of the deep dish pizza).

21st we hit the Institute of Art (free admission on Tuesdays) Matt and I enjoyed it a lot, the tween didn't but we expected that. The art institute requires some maturity he still lacks. Matt and I basically wandered though it, limiting ourselves to 20-30 minutes per section. Saw a lot of it but I would have liked to see more and see some of it better (slower pace) The thing that surprised me was how much Matt and I were agreeing on pieces. Usually our tastes in art clash dramatically. Anyways we got out mid afternoon and went to the Berghoff a famous Chicago loop restaurant. Real nice place that can serve both local suits and out of town tourists. Germanic food, which is some of my favorite, nice and rich, plus a couple steins of root beer (their own brand - typical of good german restaurants, not some generic bulk crap). So filling in fact that pretty much everyone in the family passed on supper, partly because our timing was perfect. We sat down almost as soon as we got in, at the end of the lunch crowd but before the evening rush. When we walked out there was a line extending out the door a good 30 feet, in addition to the 30 feet from the door to the seating area. Like I said, its famous (and for a perfectly good reason). After that we drove around downtown, unfortunately I couldn't get them to stop at the Michigan Avenue Apple Store (one of the larger 2 story ones)

Today was more relaxed, no museums or anything. We got a late start so we went down to Navy Pier and later one of the Malls. Pretty cold, but nothing I didn't remember from Iowa. The problem I had was the Pier and malls want money, and I didn't have a lot of it. Still we wandered around for a couple hours at the pier (Arcade style mall and numerous exhibits) I would have liked to experience some of the seasonal things like Ferris' giant wheel (the original) or one of the many cruises based at the peir, but its all shut down. Like on Thursday we took in a late lunch, this time at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Yes its based on the movie, and yes I got some shrimp. Very good food, the fish and chips I had in addition to my shrimp was extremely good. Not like some of the stuff they try and pass off as fish and chips in NC after a quick stop to see the grandparents (the third or fourth this week) we went over to Oak Brook Mall. I did go to an Apple Store there, and I may post on some of the stuff I saw there (can thing of a couple things right off the bat, but this post is getting pretty long) Its upscale so I was going into all of the gadget shops, and I'm going to be looking at a Robosapian a lot closer (holy shit are those things fun)

Anyways tomorrow we're going to try and get an early start and go downtown before Spamalot (can't wait) at 2 PM local. After that we'll start heading back. Current plan is 2 phases, stopping somewhere near Indianapolis over night then starting early the 24th finishing at home. Like I guessed a strait shot is doable, but unnecessarily hard. We know that now and adjusted the plan accordingly.

Anyways, I need some sleep so I'm not completely zombie like in the morning.

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