It was a little bit of a bittersweet day here in Chicagoland. I rode Ellie for the last time. We rode to the southern terminus of the Lakefront Trail (hmm, it was surprisingly difficult to find that map), about two miles further than we had ever been before. It was a beautiful morning for a ride, almost no wind (except right along the shore). I had planned to go down 33rd Street, zip up MLK Boulevard, the over 31st to the shore, and south from there. Ellie had different plans (as she so often does – she hasn’t let me down yet). She led me the other way on MLK Boulevard down to Washington Park, then through the University of Chicago and to the trail that way. As usual, she was right. So pretty this morning. She never stops exploring – always looking for an adventure.
On our way back we found two rewards. First, there was this really amazing sculpture.
Then a little farther on, we found this.
I don’t recall if i mentioned this before, but Chicago has a project whereby dead trees are turned into artworks: Chicago Tree Project. It turns out that I’ve been by most of them. There are a few too far away for me to get to.
I left some of the background in that shot. you can almost see that Jackson Bark is spelled out on that fence. There is a pair of dog agility training courses in what used to be tennis courts.
We had another surprise on the way back. Although you can see from the pictures that the day was partly cloudy, as we pedaled to 32nd Street, I felt a few tiny drips of water. The sky overhead had just a few puffy little clouds. It was so little and so odd that I asked a guy walking his dog if we were getting rained on. He thought so. It sprinkled a little harder over the next few minutes as I rode Ellie to the bike store where she would be packed up to be shipped back to Connecticut. The store hadn’t opened yet when we got there, so I rode Ellie back home.
Jennie got stranded here again last night. She set out for a 9:45 pm flight back east, but it was delayed until 12:45 am, which meant she’d be landing at Bradley at 3:45 am, with no ride back home. All the flights today were booked, so she has a flight out tomorrow (Thursday) at 1:45 pm. We got to spend the day together again. Yay!
We walked Ellie to the bike shop to get her squared away, then headed on the the Shedd Aquarium. Since it was not Adventure Day, it was OK to stand in line. They really should change up their admissions procedures. Even after we got inside, it took a really long time for even eight or nine groups of people to buy tickets. There just MUST be a better way.
We had predetermined to buy the cheapest, no frills tickets they offered – this after paying extra to see the Terracotta soldiers at the Field Museum, but not actually seeing them. It turned out to be an excellent choice. The cheapest tickets were only eight dollars(!) for adults. After paying thirty to fifty dollars for most of the attractions here, this was a welcome relief. The next price up was about thirty-one dollars. I’m not sure what we missed (checking now – apparently we missed the Polar Play Zone and the Abbott Oceanarium). We spent about three and a half hours there, had a blast, and couldn’t imagine anything better. Such a nice aquarium. At this point it tops my list, which includes Mystic and the New England Aquarium in Boston.
Here are some pictures:
We left there and headed up into Grant Park to see Buckingham Fountain.
After that we went to Eataly, had had an excellent meal there. Now we are home.