2022 Chicago Trip

Day 3: Art, Fields, and Views!

Nowadays I don’t get as many steps in as I’d like to and given that I walked nearly 9 miles yesterday, my body is feeling it. However, it was blissful to be able to somewhat sleep in (until 8am) after such a long day.

Today wasn’t as packed full of things to do as yesterday, which was by design. I wanted to have flexibility to do things off the cuff if I wanted to or take my time at the places I’m at so I don’t have to feel rushed.

Luckily my bus stop is right near the hotel so it only takes me a minute or 2 to walk there. My bus pass luck apparently wore off as the driver told me my pass doesn’t work for his bus. Not sure at all how that’s possible considering I’ve ridden this bus multiples times since it’s the only one that goes from my hotel to the stop I need for downtown. I explain to him I have a 3 day pass and it’s been working for this bus, when he tells me they don’t have a 3 day pass…

Now I’m not saying this guy who’s been driving for years is wrong (especially considering he told me he wasn’t) but I think this is what the kids these days would call ‘sus’. He’s also not as nice as the others and made me pay for my trip. The call center for the pass is closed on Sundays, go figure, so I sent an email. Not sure how that will go, but seems very weird that the pass I purchased on the app that shows that exact bus as a route wouldn’t be correct.

Anyways, I was able to stop at a local breakfast place, Stan’s Donuts, for a breakfast sandwich. If I ate donuts it would’ve been a great option, because they had a huge variety of options. The sandwich was decent though, so not too bad.

I’m headed on my way to the National Museum of Mexican Art, which I’m super excited for. I love art and I’ve always felt I was Spanish in a past life, and this museum was fantastic. They’re a smaller museum with only 4 exhibits, and they’re free to the public! The exhibits were informational, the art was astonishing, and I loved every second of it. I wish I could use more words to describe my experience but there just aren’t any that do it justice. So I’ll leave some pictures for you below.

There was a Spanish fellow outside the museum with his own little ice cream cart, and the second I opened that door I could hear him calling towards me “paleta, paleta”. I figured I’d see what he had, and even though he tried to convince me to buy the stereotypical ice cream you get at your normal truck, I opted for a Spanish paleta (popsicle) instead. He showed me one, I asked (in Spanish) if he had one in mango, and I was sold.For context, these popsicles tend to be fresh and natural, with actual fruit pieces inside. He even complimented my Spanish saying it was correct!! :’) He asked me if I was studying Spanish, and I told him my boyfriend was Mexican but I was learning (and have been trying since high school lol). I always get so nervous when I speak Spanish because it’s not always proper or correct, so it really made my day when he told me it was good!❤️

After the Mexican Art Museum I was headed towards my last official planned attraction – the Field Museum. It’s located on a ‘museum campus’ so there’s a little bit of walking from the bus which was perfect, because I got some more skyline views!

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Field Museum other than that it has dinosaurs and Egyptians, but I felt like I was in the real life Night at The Museum. I was really looking at all these animals excepting them to be winking at me any second lol

The more I visit museums the more I determine whether or not I enjoy them, and it really comes down to one main thing – navigation. Museums that are chaotic, sporadic, and have information overload tend to be my least favorite. On the contrary, museums that have a one way in, one way out method nearly almost always win. In my opinion, you want all visitors of museums to see everything. If you have multiple access points you can’t guarantee that they’ll see everything which I think, personally, is sad for the exhibitors who put in tons of work. That being said, the Field Museum is half and half. Some of the exhibits I realized I was doing backwards, some I had no idea how to get out of, and some I visited multiple times because I was lost.

They did have a few exhibits that were one way and were AMAZING. I mean they were so well done, so easy to follow, and so informative. Not to discredit the other exhibits – because they were enjoyable too – but these took the cake in my book.

Wild Color is hands down probably my favorite exhibit in any museum I’ve ever been to. It does require an additional ticket to your admission, but since I had my GoCity Pass, I got it included! They had 3 ‘specialty’ exhibits and this is the one I chose. Essentially, you go through the colors of the rainbow. They relate it to animals, life, and communication. I have no more words than that, so I’ve included some pictures below. SO well done and so interactive!

My next favorite exhibit was Evolving Planet. This exhibit brings you on the journey of life from the very beginning. It also brings you through the 6 (!!) mass extinctions we’ve had! Apparently the education system failed me, because I had zero idea there were that many. You get to go through all the steps of evolution, see fossils and skeletons of life, and eventually end up seeing Sue.

Sue is the largest and most complete T-Rex ever found. Don’t quote me, but I believe 90% of the bones in the skeleton are original!

After I closed down the Field Museum, everything was fair game. It was quite a walk getting to the museum so I decided I’d bike a little bit. It was much easier on my aching feet, and it was fun. Only downfall was they are exceptionally tall for a little five foot person. Anyone who saw me attempt to get on this bike most definitely thought I had no idea what I was doing.

None the less, I decided I’d check out Buckingham Fountain. It wasn’t too busy, probably because there wasn’t much going on, but the views were still great. It was a good moment to just sit down for a little and take in the scenery.

I was going to head to the Riverwalk as my final place when I decided I’d make a pit stop to check out some stores then head to get dinner. One thing is for sure – I plan to be heading back much earlier this time around.

I stopped for dinner at a restaurant, Bub City, where I had a delicious salad and drink. I hung out at the bar, and chit chatted a little with the girl next to me. She told me how sketchy the L (subway) is at dark, and how neither of us would want to be reliant on public transit especially when it came to grocery shopping. Some light hearted conversation before she headed out, and I enjoyed my dinner.

I’ve realized since last night that the reason it takes so long to get back is because the buses don’t run nearly as often. As luck would have it, I finished with plenty of time to catch the 8:30 bus so I should be to the hotel in about an hour and a half😅

I won’t brag about my public transit skills or anything, but apparently I look like I know what I’m doing because multiple people have asked me for help. Once I’ve done it a couple of times and understand what is going on, I’m fairly smooth after that. That tracks with past experiences.

I’ve finally made it to the last station to catch the bus to go back to the hotel when I see the foreign couple from the first night! They make eye contact with me and walk over asking me questions about the bus and pass. It’s a little challenging sometimes because they speak Spanish, and often when someone hears me say anything they just assume I’m fluent or something. But we figure it out and sit near each other on the bus; it’s kind of cute. As we walk to the hotel they’re talking to me about how crazy/late the bus times are, ask me how long I’m in town for, and also compliment me on my Spanish! Two times in one day, and I’m feeling good.

With that I’m back in my room, showered, and ready for bed. Tomorrow is my last day, and I’m not quite sure what the plan is just yet. I’d like to go to Riverwalk since that’s pretty much the only thing I had on my list that I haven’t done yet. It’ll depend on my luggage situation, cause I know for sure that I don’t want to be bringing it with me all day.

Until next time<3

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