While we were in Chicago we met our good friends, Connie, Jake and Mat Carlson. They were here from Washington state on vacation. We spent the day with them and had a great time.
We visited Navy Pier; a long pier that goes into Lake Michigan. It's filled with restaurants, shops and lots of "touristy" boat tours. One of the attractions on Navy Pier is the Chicago Children's Museum.
|This photo shows Max and Mat at the water-play area.
The kids can make dams, float boats, open and close locks, pump water and
I think that Mitch, Max and their friends are getting a little too old for children's museums -- they seemed to take great joy in building contraptions that get the other kids wet instead of simply playing in the water.
|The kids would stick various shaped foam rubber pieces together into an "airplane", then hoist it up three stories to the top of this tower. There was a built-in stop watch to time the plane's descent. (You can see a plane on the lift with the yellow dot). They had fun building both the slow flying planes and the fast ones that dropped like a rock into the crowds below.|
|Some displays we've seen over and over again, but it
is always fun to see something new.
Chicago is full of wonderful museums. We visited the Museum of Science and Industry and toured a real German U-boat. This submarine was captured during World War II.
|Another great museum is the famous Field Museum.
The building, built in the late 1800's, is spectacular. Near the
far end you can see the famous T-Rex, "Sue".
This is a Natural History Museum. Here you can see what seems to be the largest collection of plants, animals and cultural artifacts anywhere. It would take you four full days to see everything at the Field Museum.
|Many of the exhibits date back to the late 1800's.
There are displays of hundreds of species of birds, mammals, plants, flowers,
rocks and gems. There is a spectacular exhibit on Ancient Egypt.
We spent a full day at the Field Museum in 1996 and spent this visit looking at some of the things we hadn't had time to see before.
|The insect displays are really impressive. The
variety of moths and butterflies is spectacular. There are large
ones and tiny ones -- some look like giant eyes and others look like dead
leaves. The translucent multi-colored ones are beautiful.
There were so many that it was hard to decided which one to put on this web page. Max picked out this blue one. It is about four inches from top to bottom. The beetle collection is also diverse in color and size. There must be over a thousand insects on display.
|Sue is the most intact T-Rex ever found. The actual
skull is too fragile to prop onto the fossilized skeleton, (the skull on
the body in the photo to the left is an artificial replica). The
real skull is on display in the case above.
Sue has just started to go on tour so you may get a chance to see her at your local science center or museum. We just ran into Sue again at the Boston Museum of Science a couple of days ago, (late September, 2000).
|Connie, Jake and Mat went to Ed Debevick's with us for
dinner, (a wacky place we stumbled into the last time we were in Chicago).
We chose this restaurant for a little entertainment for the kids.
The staff can be rude and harassing while they serve you.
Our waitress on this visit was fairly mild compared to the guy we had five
years ago. He sat on our table and ate the kid's french fries off
It's also a 1950's theme. The wait staff can be seen standing and singing on the counter in the background of this picture.
|We took an architectural tour of Chicago's buildings
on a boat that cruises down the Chicago River. Along the way our
guide pointed out the particular styles, designs, history, and anecdotes
of the buildings making up Chicago's beautiful skyline.
This picture is of a tour boat called the Seadog. They do high speed tours on Lake Michigan. The boys really wanted to go on this tour instead of the architectural one.
|The area along Lake Shore Drive is filled with parks
-- lots of sidewalks and grass. Here Cocoa tows Max on his roller
blades down a walk.
I could also say that this area is filled with Chicago. Most of the rubble from the famous Chicago Fire was dumped here, used as fill, to form what is now the Chicago waterfront. A visit to the Chicago Historical Museum is also a must if you come for a visit.
|One morning Max stepped outside and hollered for all
of us to come running. He had found a large Praying Mantis on the
side of our trailer.
We taped a quarter on the trailer for comparison -- yes, that's a quarter!!
Chicago at Night
from the end of Navy Pier
copyright Nodland 1999