Sunday, April 27, 2008

operation chicago: saturday

saturday morning started off early (but not too early!). we got some tasty homemade vegan pancakes and were soon on our way off to the magnificent mile (aka michigan avenue) and the hancock observatory. there's not too much to say about the magnificent mile other than there were beautiful flowers planted on the sidewalks, and there were a lot of stores that there's no way das and I could ever afford to shop in. I think I lost some money just looking in the window! :) anyway, since das and I had never been to chicagoland before, the hancock was just a great opportunity to really view the city and all it's beauty. it wasn't the most clear of days, but even with some residual cloudiness, we could still see all four states (indiana, michigan, wisconsin, and, of course, illinois). the picture has, I *think*, the eastern coast in the background. it really is an intimidating height... and you can feel it going up the elevator. apparently their elevators are the fastest in the world?! crazy! :) so after our big trip to hancock, we made our way to the adler planetarium to meet up with S/M. how bizarre - we ended up on the same bus as them! out of all the busses in chicago, we had to get onto theirs [groan]. :) all kidding aside, the planetarium was so much fun. there were a lot of exhibits out, which is nothing that I remember seeing from my planetarium days (aka 4th grade). it was a great experience and was really interesting. we watched a show, too, because who goes to a planetarium without seeing a show?! it was a twenty minute program on black holes. *I* thought it was really great (I'm a science geek) but das dozed for a moment, and some dude behind us was in full-on snore mode! how embarrassing! after the planetarium, we made our way over to the navy pier, which I found out was the most visited attraction in all of chicago. it was pretty neat... not a lot there since it was still pretty chilly and there weren't many attractions out, but the view was great nonetheless. when it got too blustery, we went in to the smith stained glass museum, which was very cool. there was a lot of beautiful work... stuff I wish I could do. so post-planetarium, we went on to dinner. we ate at big bowl, an absolutely scrumptious chinese/thai restaurant. they had "homemade" ginger ale, with real ginger (of course!). I sampled the pomegranite ginger ale... wow. I want to make that at home. it was incredibly flavorful... a million times better than normal ginger ale (sorry schweppes and canada dry). of course, we were discussing over dinner that most are averse to ginger ale mostly due to the fact that a lot of people were served it during the stomach flu (or just nausea)... hense taste aversion. I personally enjoy ginger ale, and to have it au naturale was even better. and the restaurant was fantastic, too... good portions, decent prices, and great flavor. they even have a "self-service stir fry" which consisted of you getting up, filling your bowl with tasty veggie morsels after telling your server if you wanted meat (or tofu, or just the vegs) and what variety of sauce you wanted. I didn't brave the SSSF, but S did and she said it was good. if we ever go back, I'll try it. :) so after dinner, we walked around a little bit. we saw hard rock cafe (which, by the way, is NOT located near the hard rock hotel as das and I originally thought). we then all decided to head back home - well, M was going to head home but das, S, and I were going to head out to wrigleyville to scope out the scene. [sigh] this is where I admit my shortcomings... and tell you all that I lost a fight... with an el turnstile. we were running to get to the brown line... and while M/S were holding the train... both das and I got stuck in the turnstile. I, however, ended up with a bruise (the picture was taken about four days after the incident - the penny is there for size comparison). about 3/4 of my body made it through but then my right leg got slammed by a portion of the tripod turnstile. I wanted to vomit, the pain rushed through me so fast... but we had to get to the train! so I limped along and choked back some tears. we made the train, luckily. (note: as I write this a week and a half after the trip, I still have the bruise and it's only slightly smaller) so we get to wrigleyville (home of wrigley field) and it is quite the atmosphere... the cubby bear was offering up live band karaoke, people were all over the streets, and there was just a lot of energy there. and it was only 10pm! we walked by the io improv theatre thinking that we missed some of their more popular shows, but it turned out that there was another show on the stage at 10:30p! so we lucked out and made the show. it was really funny; das and I were so glad to be able to see it. after the show, we hailed a cab (rather than walk the two miles back home at 12:30am). such a long day... but a lot of fun!

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