Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The bus, the lamest aquatic show, the bean, and how to start a riot.

It almost sounds like a fantastical book or at least the beginning of a really great joke to tell when you're drunk but in fact, it sums up our Saturday in Chicago.

The first thing we did was buy our tickets for the double decker bus that Olivia REALLY wanted to ride. Ever since she saw them tooling around London during the Olympics she has been set on riding on one and yay me for being an awesome mom and making it happen.
 How hilarious is this picture of her? First off, I love her old lady sunglasses. Then she just looks so big girl and all loving the big city and seriously. To effing cute for her own good.
 Jackson wasn't loving the bus as much and decided that after banging his head on the railing he was better off on Matt's lap.
 Totally unrelated, but someday I'll see a show here. It's pretty much a must.
 Anyways. So the big thing on our itinerary was going to the Shedd Aquarium. I'm a Pisces so I like fish and shit, and we always like aquarium things wherever we go, and I figured this one would probably be bad ass. Because you'd think a place in Chicago could afford some really cool stuff.
 You'd be wrong, but more on that in a bit. We ended up having to wait outside in the sun for quite a bit. I wish I had the picture of Jen and I when she chased down Ironman and Hulk so we could get our pictures. Only after we had to tip them. Which, I maybe could have gotten away with not, but these people made solid looking costumes out of cardboard and duct tape- they were resourceful and could probably beat my ass. So I gave them $3 and called it good. But the kids got to take their picture next to cardboard things too.
 So once we got in we bought the "Total Experience" pass which let you into the aquarium, the 4D Ice Age movie, the Aquatic Show and then the special Jellies exhibit. Which all sounds amazing. First up we decided to get food and it was decent food, outrageously priced. Then we all go over to the 4D movie which only lasts about 15 minutes but holy man. My kids have never been in a 4D, which basically means you'll get water sprayed at you and something will poke you hard in the back. Neither of them were loving the whole 4D experience but at least they weren't like the kids in the way front screaming to get them out of there. Poor Jackson was more upset that he thought a dinosaur really blew boogers at him and I had to explain it was just water. I seriously don't think he believes me even still.

After the movie we went over to the aquatic show and sat for 50 minutes before it started. Which, actually went faster than I thought it would. And I got all excited because I love me some dolphins and I have decided I would like one of those weird white beluga whales. Jackson agrees.
 Matt not so much. Dream killer.
 But the show was hands down, the worst aquatic show I have ever seen. First off, the woman doing all the talking sounds like a god damn dolphin herself. Her voice goes high enough that only dogs can hear it, I'm sure. Then the dolphins didn't really do any tricks. They jumped once or twice, swam fast, and we heard about how they like a good tongue tickle which Matt thinks is hilarious. He now asks me if I want a tongue tickle and thinks he's a fucking riot.
 The whales were cute and weird looking, but kind of lame. The one clearly wanted no part in it's training and the woman announced that she's feisty and resistant. Which, obviously. Then they start talking about this sea otter that was rescued by Washington state or something and how the Shedd Aquarium really loves the otter and it's doing super great. It's a two minute clip on the Today show about how they care for it, etc. Do you think we get to see the otter?


No fucking otter to be had. Not in it's exhibit, not in the show, nothing. Basically, they wasted two minutes of my life hyping the prodigal otter and give us nothing.

Oh wait- I'm wrong. They bring us something.

A blind hawk.

I know. I KNOW. First off, the hawk flies from one end of the pool to the other and everyone claps. I'm sorry- but it's a god damn bird. It's supposed to fly- this is nothing out of the ordinary or outrageous. Then they tell us this hawk is blind in one eye and I'm confused. Like, who cares? It still has one good eye to see- what's the big deal? I can't see shit in the dark but nobody claps for me when I make it to the bathroom without taking everything out in my path.

Whatever. It was disappointing to say the least. Then we wandered around the rest of the aquarium which was lame. I would show you pictures but I have none. Why? Because people are rude as hell, that's why. I had one Asian woman practically following Olivia and I around and literally stepping in front of me to take pictures of every single fish. We couldn't even see the fish and she's trying to be all photographer with everything. I wanted to punch her in a family facility. That's how serious this was.

So we left and I basically feel like the Shedd Aquarium stole my money. Seriously. The aquarium in Duluth was better and that tells you how craptastic this was.

After the aquarium everyone went to their hotels, medicated for headaches, took naps, whatever. We ended up walking down to Millennium Park so the kids could see the Bean and we did the obligatory family photo.
 Olivia wanted her own.
 Then Jackson wanted his. Right after this he turned around and slammed his face right into the bean. Then that was the end of our adventures there. Poor kid.
 So we decided to wait for the bus to catch up with Jen and her crew so while waiting I made them take their picture in front of a fountain.
 Oh, and no trip to Chicago is complete without getting a picture of the Crazy of the Week.
 So we all meet up and head to Navy Pier. On the weekends in the summer Navy Pier has fireworks and it's just a good time. We planned to eat dinner down there and honestly- when I went to Navy Pier for the first time I saw this restaurant called the Billy Goat Tavern. I have a love of goats even though the only real ones I've ever seen have been the cute baby ones at the zoo that all loved me. Anyways. So we ended up eating here on Saturday and what a god damn experience.
 First up, they have this goat head on the wall that is smiling at you. I kind of want this. I mean, who wouldn't want this in their home? How does this not scream "Home Sweet Home"? Anyways. So Jen points out that this basically looks like an old VFW inside and I take her word for it since I've never seen that. So we get food and I ended up ordering a cheezeborger. I have to be honest, I can't say with 100% certainty that what I ate was beef. I hope it wasn't goat because that would make me kind of sad. But it left a weird aftertaste in my mouth so who fucking knows. It could have been the no-name brand of chips they gave you as well. I mean, we just won't ever know.

After dinner we head down the Pier with the intentions of going to the Ferris Wheel.
 Oh, and Matt was a mermaid too.
 So, we're waiting in line and in front of us there is this group of 8 or so. We already have our tickets, they do not. They kind of debate about the tickets and one guy wanders off. The lines moves ahead a lot, and they kind of just stand there. So I ask the one woman if they have tickets, and she gets this "caught me" look on her face and says no. So I say, "Well then we're going ahead of you" because hello- we have tickets. All I hear is someone say, "How do they know we don't have tickets?!" and someone from our group let them know that we heard their entire we-don't-have-tickets conversation. Idiots.
 But the wheel was pretty.
Completely love this picture of these three.

And nobody puked on the wheel! I was afraid because my kids don't like rides in general but they did super well.
So afterwards they had this really great fireworks show and they had a radio station blasting music and there were so many people down there, it was just really great. I would definitely do that again.

The buses weren't running anymore at that time, but these free trolleys were. So we all walk down to where the trolleys pick you up and seriously, we're like the second and third families in line. We wait there for almost 20 minutes by the time the trolley comes and as we stand up to get in line, like EVERYONE cuts in front of us. So I do what any over exhausted, hungry, dehydrated mom does: make a complete scene. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with people? If it were just Matt and I and I see a group of people with small kids I would absolutely let them go ahead of me because hello- those kids probably need to get to bed.  They've probably had a long day. But no. These assholes don't do that, they just cut in line.

We ended up walking for what seemed like forever through questionable neighborhoods to the hotel. We had to split from Jen and her crew when we got to Michigan Avenue because our hotels were in opposite directions and yikes. Poor Jackson had to pee but won't pee outside, Olivia had stomach cramps (probably from not pooping for two days..yay), I have to pee and we're dodging homeless and drunk people. THEN we get to our hotel and end up having to go around the block to the other side because a bunch of people were getting arrested and we couldn't get through.

Needless to say, I was pretty god damn tired when we got back. I gave the kids showers and got outfits ready for the morning and most of our stuff packed since we were leaving the next day. I don't think I got to bed until around 1 am. *yawn*

But on Sunday... we had even MORE adventures.


Ryan Adair said...

Oh Chicago, how I miss thee! A show at the Chicago theatre is probably the most amazing thing ever, I saw sigur ros there in 2005 and literally cried like a baby because between the music and the ambiance, i felt like the luckiest human alive in that moment, and whatever, I'm a cryer.

Loved this post! Love your family, love you! You're awesome!

Take me to Chicago next, mmkay :)

Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

I feel like I did nothing exciting in Chicago now. I hate lines, so I never go to the Aquarium. Same with the Pier. I normally just eat, drink, and shop my ass off in Chicago.

Kevin Michael said...

Wow! I need to go to Chicago. Looks like fun!

Also, you're interested in fish and shit? Fish I understand, Shit not so much. Lol

Julie H said...

Sounds like a very very busy day! Your kids are little troopers!

____j said...

I loved the bean! Have I told you how jealous I am of you? Because I so, so am. I want to go to Chicago again so bad I can taste it.

Unknown said...

while I grew up going to the Boston aquarium, I've LOVED the Shedd the two times we've gone there. I saw an actual dolphin show and got to touch the Baluga whales that were uber curious. Sorry that your experience wasn't up to snuff. If you ever come out to DC, I would advise you that the Baltimore aquarium sucks...I was super disappointed.