Today was a day for things to go wrong, but like Mike, I turned those lemons into lemonade--Hard Lemonade! (Not really, but I wrote an ad for it last week, it’s still kind of in my head.)

But in all seriousness, I am quite pleased with the way the day ended up turning out. Yes things went wrong, but I did what I could and I still had a great day.

Another one of the coupons or deals or whatever you’d like to call them from my Go Chicago Card is the Grey Line Hop On/Hop Off trolley—totally paid for. That’s just awesome. However, you can only buy tickets at one of two stops. One is close to my hotel (but they don’t open until 10am), the other is a good hike away (they open at 9am).

Naturally, I wanted to start my day as early as possible so I could fit in as much as possible. I didn’t want to wait around until 10—I wanted to take the first trolley at 9. So that meant a walk. No worries—I’ve been walking 30,000+ steps everyday for the last two days—what’s a little more? Plus, I decided to wear runners today, runners that have already been broken in.

So off I went.

I wanted to pick up a drink in the hotel first (they’re only $1.50, and way over-priced almost every other tourist location). Of course, the machines wouldn’t take my one dollar bills. No worries. That worked out for the best. It was during that time I realized I didn’t have my camera. Crap, that would have sucked!

So back up to the room. Grabbed my camera, everything’s good to go.

I began the long walk down to the Hilton Hotel. After all, that is apparently one of the places that they sell you tickets for my trolley ride—it’s the early location.

It’s pouring, mind you, but I’ve got my umbrella and I am going to enjoy this day.

And I do.

I walk and walk and walk. For over 40 minutes, I’m just enjoying the city. In fact, it even stops raining, the sun is coming out, I actually take off my sweater (to show off my already less red, more brown shoulders that could really use some definition—first thing I want to do when I get back home (after seeing my hubby, of course. And taking a nap. And maybe unpacking. And figuring out what to do about our car (It’s dead. It died the day before I left. I already miss him.).OK, so working out won’t be the first thing I do, but it’s in the top 10. Probably.)), and start snapping away with my camera.

The city is so beautiful! I can’t not share this place with others!

I get to the Hilton and can’t find the trolley stop anywhere. So I go inside. I barely get inside the door when I’m already greeted and assisted on my way. (Have I mentioned that everything seems to have a revolving door here? So I basically go all the way around—it’s just like a ride! (that I have to push myself...but still fun!)) The bellhop shows me where to catch it and is really friendly. I didn’t tip him. I don’t believe that you should tip everyone you ask a question to—that’s why people aren’t good for the sake of being good anymore, they’re kind because they expect something in return. Just call it me keeping people honest. And travelling on a budget.

So I go and wait by the stop. But there’s still no place for me to buy my ticket. I wait and wait. And still unsure, I look at the schedule and map I happened to pick up the day before (from another location I can’t buy a ticket). This isn’t the right stop. There are two stops with the name Hilton in it, and it’s waaaay back there—long passed! Crap. I can’t buy my ticket here. Which means I can’t ride the trolley. Super crap.

So what else to do? Easy—walk!

And so I do. I’m seeing amazing things, taking more pictures, and then I see it. The signs to Museum Campus. It’s just ahead. I’m so close.

Yay! I’ve made it at last.

I go into the Field Museum, buy my ticket (free with my Go Chicago Card), and head out to find the man-eaters from Tsavo.

And there they are. In all their glory. Kind of. They’re a bit smaller than I imagined, but still evil looking (just like the movie promised!). I turn my camera back on and...my battery is dead.

Hmm. What now?

I go to the gift store looking for a replacement. I don’t know what I’m thinking, considering it’s a rechargeable camera battery. So that’s it. I’ve come all this way, seeing the only thing I really wanted to see while I was here, and can’t even remember it. Not a chance I am going to miss this!

I leave and catch a cab back to the hotel. I’ll charge it quick (15 minutes, right?), then catch my trolley (the close location) and go back.

After 45 minutes, it’s finally ready.

I catch the trolley and have an amazing time, albeit freezing! It’s cold on the top of an open double-decker. I wish I had thought to bring mittens.

Nevertheless, my guide, Virgil, is really entertaining. I learn so much about the city, see so many neat things.

Finally, I get there.

Of course, I’m also right by the Shedd Aquarium. So why not do that first? Then I can spend as much time after as I want at the museum!

In I go, snapping more and more photos. I see the whales, dolphins, giant snapping turtles, and in under 90 minutes, I’m good to go.

Now across the way to the Field Museum!

Right away I am taking photo after photo. Only to have my battery die again.

Oops.

Well, at least I am prepared this time. I brought the charger along. And there just so happen to be outlets all over the place. Sweet.

So that’s what I do—charge my battery in like 6-minute increments about 4 or 5 times throughout the afternoon.

But it works. I get to see most of the museum, including an awesome section on bugs underground full of animatronics beetles and crayfish and ants. And of course the giant spider. Normally I wouldn’t be bothered by it, considering that was my first tattoo. But because it’s so huge and eating a maggot (also huge) and just all around hairy and creepy, I am feeling itchy all over. Still, it’s a great exhibit.

I’ve now seen an amazing section on ancient Egypt (that starts in a pyramid that you climb up, look down, and then take the stairs all the way to the basement level. It’s absolutely amazing! No wonder this is one of the most incredible museums in the world—it’s just plain old awesome!

They have a very impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, and a neat section on the South Pacific, including a specific section on New Zealand and the Maori. It’s perfect! Only I can’t get in—it’s closed.

But I still see as much of the museum I can in the time allotted. (which isn’t very much anymore.) It’s amazing. Probably one of my favourite things here so far. You really do need a whole day just to see that one site! It is so large, so extensive, and it even has a waaaaay over-priced McDonalds in the basement. (I looked, but I didn’t eat.)

And after buying an over-priced shot glass and a cool magnet, I made my way back to the bus stop and waited to be picked up again. And it just so happened to be by Virgil again (and his trusty driver, Andy). I think I really lucked out, too. Virgil is hilarious—and he’s named after an awesome wrestler, the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase’s number two guy.

OK, he’s probably not named after that Virgil. But still, it’s nice to think. Here I am in the hometown of CM Punk, the straight-edge superstar, and now I get to hang out with Virgil. Plus, St. Louis isn’t far, so maybe I’ll get to see Randy Orton or little Evan Bourne. It’s a long shot, I know, but a girl can dream, right?

Next, it’s off to Winnipeg where Chris Jericho just might visit. I know, probably not. But give it time. They always come back home, don’t they?
Ryan
05/09/2010 15:43

Yay, Virgil!

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10/28/2010 09:13

The blog is very complete and very helpful the pictures you used to understand, really amused me much,if I really like your blog!

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