The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We Go Chicago

This week the kids were on Spring break. Among other fun and games, the kids have started their own blogs (see the links below). I took off work Wednesday, and we drove to Chicago for edutainment and window shopping. We spent most of the day at the Field Museum which was awesome. It was a great museum, although neither the webpage nor the floor plan of the museum sold it very well--once we got there, we had no idea where we were going or what we would see. However, we were continuously surprised by the diversity and detail of the exhibits.

Sam decided that he wanted to read every word of each display, so we proceeded methodically through the mammals, reptiles, dinosaurs, and the evolution of life (with added bonus extinction!)

Tyrannosaurus Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton of them all...

Watch out for the giant sloth!

A rare picture of Sam without his cheese-eating grin (the trick is tickling!)

After the museum, we went to historic Old Town. (I needed some "foundations" to go with my maid-of-honor dress, and Normal was surprisingly lacking.) Old Town has all sorts of neat little (gentrified) stores that are missing in Normal. The kids played in a courtyard park. We smelled things in the spice store. We tasted many fantastic olive oils and vinegars, and bought a pricey (but transcendent) bottle of Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar at the Olive Oil and Vinegar store.

We spent a long time l├Ęche-vitrine at the chocolate shop, which seemed to specialize in random molded chocolates like chocolate T rexs, swans, tools, toothbrushes, etc.

There was also a fantastic aquarium store with the best invertebrates that I have seen since I left CA. (I am a fan of the invertebrates. In my opinion, if your tank doesn't have great invertebrates, then why bother with fish--just keep a tank full of rocks and mold.)

A good time was had by all. The kids were very good with the 2.5 hour drive each way, likely because of the portable DVD player. (They saw Destroy All Planets on the way to Chicago and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians on the way back). I was worried about the dog, because we had never left him alone and loose in the house for such a long time, but he was completely fine. When we got home, the kids went to sleep right away, and slept for so long that they were still out when I left for work the next day.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE the Chicago Field Museum, especially the really cool mummies down in the crypt!! Do they still have the mummies?

Great car photos. You should make a slide show of just the car photos.

Susan said...

Hi Kim,
I think that the mummies were a temporary exhibit--I didn't see any reference to them on the (crappy) map. Although we saw so many wonderful things at the Field Museum that were not on the map--who knows--it could be there somewhere.

We saw the bog man in CA, and Sam has informed us that it gave him the creeps, and he doesn't want to see any more dead people.