Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicago - Part 2

So our first full day in the city started pretty early since we'd called it quits early the night before. We decided to head down to the Art Institute area. I wanted to explore the Institute and the Shedd Aquarium, as well as see the "Bean" and Buckingham Fountain. All of which were pretty much in the same area.

Since the Art Institute didn't open until 10:30AM, we found the Cloud Gate Sculpture, a.k.a the "Bean" first.

It's pretty awesome. I could probably amuse myself for hours trying to get pictures of reflections.

After the Bean, we saw a Starbucks across the street, so we went for some coffee. I should have kept a latte count during the trip, because I took in more caffeine in those four days than I usually do in a month! Fresh from our coffee fix, we headed back past the Institute since they still weren't open at this point, and found Buckingham Fountain.

I'm sure it's very pretty, but unfortunately it had been drained for the winter. We did get our first glimpse of Lake Michigan, though!

By this time, the Art Institute was open, so we made our way back.

It was actually super amazing. We saw works by Picasso, Dali, Monet, Van Gogh, Hopper, Wood, and a bunch of other amazing artists. Apparently there were some paintings by Degas somewhere, but we couldn't find them. I think my favorite, though, was A Sunday on la Grande Jatte, by Georges Seurat.

We spent a few hours at the Art Institute and saw everything from paintings, to sculpture, to kimonos, to WWII Soviet propaganda posters. If I lived in Chicago, I would totally cough up the $80 for a membership, just to go and stare at masterpieces whenever I want.

After the Art Institute, we went for lunch. We ended up at Giordano's for our first taste of Chicago stuffed pizza. We ordered a medium for the two of us, which was a huuuuge mistake. One piece was enough to fill anyone up, and we each had to eat four because we were walking around the city and couldn't take leftovers with us. It was amazing, but waaaay too much.

Despite being stuffed to the point of not being able to breathe, we also each had a cannoli before heading to the Shedd Aquarium.

We didn't realize the aquarium closed at 5PM, and it was already about 3:30PM when we got inside, so we just did the $8 main floor admission. So we didn't get to see the dolphins or whales or the jellyfish exhibit, but just the main floor was awesome, and I love aquariums!

Also at the aquarium, there were some awesome views of Lake Michigan.

Since that was our last stop for the day, we made our way back to the hostel to get ready for our show that night. It was Woman School - based on a Moliere play. When we got there, however, we were the only audience members. Since it was just us, they decided to cancel the performance. They offered to move our tickets to another night, and/or give us lots more tickets for our friends, but since we were only in town for one more day and had tickets to another show, we had to ask for a refund. I felt bad since they were obviously a small, struggling theatre company, but I needed my $20 more than they did.

In lieu of our show, we went out drinking. We hit a tequila bar/Mexican restaurant first and split a pitcher of delicious margs, and then had a sangria a piece. We then ventured out and hit a few other bars before heading back to the hostel for the night.

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