Wednesday started out well. I worked out, had a healthful breakfast (see Dr. Petty? I did learn the difference between healthy and healthful!), and prepared to face the day with my lovely dress and new shoes on.

But then I checked my Go Chicago Card.

I bought a 3-day pass. They only gave me a 1-day pass. Oops. So instead of just going straight to the Art Institute of Chicago, I would now have to walk several blocks in the opposite direction to (hopefully) have them change my card.

I left early and everything, which, of course, is too early. They weren't open. Yet. But in the meantime, I did chat with some nice ladies who are former Chicagoans and are now living in Florida and L.A. (not at the same time obviously).

The lady at the consierge desk was really helpful and even more apologetic. So now did I not only get a new pass, but I also got a "free gift." I love those. It's always nice when it's something you really need, like a set of knives. That was a great free gift. I can actually use them. But this time, it was luggage tags. But really nice ones. I mean, really nice ones. Red leather, fancy, pretty, just high class luggage tags. So I'm down with that. She gave me two. I only wanted my card! Sweet.

From there it was over to the Art Institute. You may recall Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The three of them go there, and they walk through this bright hall of sculptures holding hands with third graders. I spent more time looking for third graders to relive that moment than I did looking at the art. (Wow, that sounds really awful. I promise, I'm not that kind of person!) I didn't find any. But that was cool. I did find something better:

The "Dot Painting."

Cameron Fry stares at a painting for so long that he sees the dots it was made of. Not strokes, but dots. It was really big. I wanted to contemplate my life, but I was too excited pretending I was a teenage guy from the 80s with miserable parents. (Of couse, I really would have been like a 30-year-old Alan Ruck playing an 18-year-old. Just saying.)

It was fun.

There are a lot of cool pieces. Lots of penis photos and breast sculptures. I do have more maturity than a 14-year-old boy who just found his dad's hidden dirty magazines. I didn't hide in a corner and giggle. In fact, I was honoured--most of these women are, well, amply shaped--just like me! They have the belly, the over-sized rounded breasts that aren't as perky as an A-cup, the contemplative looks. Mind you, they don't have my black-coffee brown eyes, but even artists aren't perfect. (And also, most of them, OK all of them, are made out of a bright, white stone--dark, mysterious eyes would just look creepy.)

After enjoying the miniature rooms and coats of armor, pictures of Jesus being crucified and Picasso painting self-portaits, it was time to move on. Back to the hotel to get my portfolio and show it to the professionals at Critical Mass.

Or that was the plan.

My feet were hurting so much, I stopped in the room to have a sit (it was a quick one, but still). And also, wearing a dress (with no material between the thighs) and having, um, sculpture-worthy thighs, they rub together and man that burns!

But still, in pain, I headed out. Walked the long streets of Chicago in search of the agency.

I didn't find it.

So I came back. I changed into capris and went to Navy Pier. Awesome!

First stop, lunch. Second, a boat ride. Or rather a Lake Michigan sight-seeing cruise. It was lovely. And already paid for (thank you Go Chicago card!). I took a lot of photos of the skyline from the lake.

Then, back at the pier, I went on rides. Those wild-flying swings. (Apparently I don't have the stomach I used to. It just went warbly and round and round all over the place. And also I was dizzy getting off. It felt like I had Sea Legs. Even though I had been off the ship for some time.) And then the p, slow-moving Ferris Wheel. So nice. It's the kind that doesn't stop, you just get on and hope you make it. One revolution (almost 5 minutes!) and you're good to go.

With all that height, I was able to get more great photos.

Then I got a Haagen Dazs ice cream. I think it was free. It was a Dulce Split Sundae. Absolutely amazing. But it cost $8.50! Disgusting!

I thought I gave the guy a $10, but when I checked my wallet back at the hotel, I had change from a $20. Meaning, I made money. I think. I can't even check the receipt, because he said I paid $8.50. I thought it was $10.50. So if that's the case, free ice cream and $11.50. This is a pretty nice town to tourists. (I'm still deciding if I should go back and give them their money back--the only thing that's stopping me is if I actually did give him $20. I suppose I'll never know.)

But right now I am off to rent a bike. I'm headed to the zoo (on the sunny day--tomorrow it's supposed to rain) and possibly Wriggly Field.

Quite excited.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, $12,000 pants look just like $12 pants. They might even be a bit uglier. They just have a nicer name, if you have a thing for Italians, that is.

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