Monday, September 17, 2012


Wow, that last day was a doozy, and we were tiiiiiired.  We slept in even more than we did the day before, and went around the block from the hotel to Gino's East for lunch!

This place is famous for pizza, so why didn't we get pizza?  FAIL.  We weren't hungry for pizza because we had it at Giordano's and then had heavy Italian food for dinner the night before.  Plus, it was already 11:30am and they said the deep dish would take 45 minutes to cook.  We regret it.  But this place had spunk!

It reminded me of Luigi's (RIP) in Harrisonburg with the graffiti all over the walls.  Great personality - ok non-pizza food. :(

After lunch we went to Navy Pier to catch a water taxi to the Museum Campus.  Sure, we could have taken the bus, but the water taxi sounded so much cooler! :)

Can you get views like that from a bus?  I think not.

Our destination was the Shedd Aquarium - also on the Museum Campus are the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum.  We didn't get to either of those - we tried to go to the Field Museum after the aquarium, but they had stopped tours for the day (at 4pm?) and we never got back over there.  Bummer.

We got to the aquarium at the perfect time to hit a dolphin and Beluga whale show - I know these things have a bad reputation, but this one was less about tricks and jumps and treats more about how they rescue and train the animals.  Yes, I've seen The Cove.  It's disturbing, but this is no Sea World.  The tank where the show is held is right on Lake Michigan, and when the show started a screen came down to block out the sun.

After the show we walked around to see the fish and seahorses and penguins (oh my...):

The best part was the Jellies exhibit:

I mean, are you kidding me?  I know the colored backgrounds make them stand out more, but these blew me away!

After we were turned away from the Field Museum, we took the water taxi back to Navy Pier, where we took the Skyline Lake Tour - meh.  It was about 20 minutes long, just did a circle around the pier out near the lighthouse with a 3-year old tape playing the narrative (referred to the upcoming name change of the Sears Tower <- happened in 2009).  The breeze felt good, though, and it was included in our GoChicago card.

Then Dave made me cheat death AGAIN in the form of a ferris wheel.

We finished the day at Ditka's, for the best steak ever!  We were hungryrightnow and none of the places on our list were close enough to meet the hungryrightnow criteria, so we Urban Spoon'ed it.  My first thought when Dave suggested it was, you mean like Mike Ditka - Da Bears?  Classy.  But then I looked at the menu and read some reviews - and decided I was all in!

The service was fantastic, food was fantastic, there was a local there who knew everything about everything and wasn't afraid to show it.  He had balls, and I liked him.  He sat alone at *his* table in the corner, where he eats once a week.  He travels a lot and it's always his first stop when he gets home from a business trip because his house is empty, as well as his fridge.  That sounds sad, but coming from him it wasn't.  He owned it!


Next up - a visit with Dave's high school girlfriend (huh?) and a dud of an activity.  Wopwop.

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