Sunday, July 19, 2015

Museum Madness

You would think that since it's the weekend, I would probably decide to sleep in, right? Nope. I got up this morning at a jaw-dropping 4 AM and headed downstairs. Today was the planned sunrise viewing and breakfast in downtown Chicago. 

The perfect backdrop for the optimistic ending to a zombie horror movie.
There weren't any cars on the roads at such an early hour, so it only took us about a half-hour to get to Promontory Point, a tiny man-made peninsula that overlooks Lake Michigan. We arrive just in time to see the sun half revealed on the horizon. It was truly a sight to behold. Our group stayed for another half-hour, soaking in the morning light and appreciating the plethora of annoying flies buzzing around our faces, necks, and legs. Then we took a train to breakfast, which was at an amazing pancake restaurant.

After breakfast, we returned to the dorms. It was still around 9:30, so I did homework for a couple of hours before heading out again, this time with Tamika, Alana, and Alana's sister Claire. Unfortunately, neither Brandon nor Aisha could make it today. Our destination was the Museum Campus, a nice area next to Lake Michigan surrounded by three museums. 

This T. Rex is affectionately named "Sue."
Our quick lunch consisted of Chicago-styled hot dogs, pretzels, some drinks, and a rapidly disintegrating turkey and swiss wrap. Right after we finished, we decided to split up. Tamika and I went to check out the Field Museum of Natural History, since the line for the aquarium seemed too long. There was a lot to see inside, and if not for the time constraints (and the creepiness of real stuffed animals) we easily could have spent several hours learning interesting facts about animals, the history of life, and violent changes in the ecosystem. We only stayed for about two hours. 

He's smiling for the camera...
Celebratory adornments in the museum lobby for the Blackhawks' recent Stanley Cup win.
We only had an hour left, so we decided to try to get into the Shedd Aquarium. The long line moved surprisingly fast, and soon we were inside. Some things we saw were: a baby dolphin, adult dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, sea otters, and sea lions. We ran out of time before we could explore the other sections of the aquarium, and had to get back to the dorm in time to do homework.

A man...hugging a fish...?
Everyone loves penguins.
Today was one of the best days in the two weeks I've spent here, I have to say. There was not really a lot of worrying over class, and I got to learn a lot while taking a break. Tomorrow it's back to the torture of class...just kidding! I'm actually excited to get back into the interesting curriculum, even though the work might be difficult to understand. Also, I forgot to mention this, but it's been over two weeks since we've departed from San Francisco! It seems like it's been forever, but we're halfway there!

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