Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chi-town, continued

Sue, at the Field Museum
Day 7
We woke up on day 7 not hungry for breakfast. Still full from the night before,  decided to skip it and have an early lunch. We rolled out of bed and hopped in  a cab for the Field Museum. Wow. I was sooooo impressed with this place. We started in the lobby with Sue, the biggest, most complete T-rex skeleton ever discovered. Then, we moved on to the Evolution of Earth exhibit. We traced the rise of life on Earth, through continental shifts and mass extinctions. This is the exhibit where you'll find the museum's dinosaur collection, which is one of the most extensive I've ever seen. It's also strikingly presented, alongside beautiful paintings of the creatures as they might have appeared when they lived.

By this time, it was nearly 11 a.m., and we were getting hungry. We stopped for a quick lunch in the museum cafe, which is a Corner Bakery (not ideal, but serviceable). Then, we headed to the Grainger Hall of Gems. O. Em. Geeeee!!! Stunning jewelry and stones. So many glittery little darlings! I wanted to take them all home! We took in the Jade Room, as well, before backtracking to the main level for the Egyptian collection.
Pacific Islanders exhibit, Field Museum

Now, the Egyptian collection is impressive, but its narrow passageways and tight spaces make it unsuited for really large crowds. A series of summer camp groups had chosen this particular day to visit the Field Museum, and it was quite a challenge to make one's way through this portion of the museum with any sort of time or focus to truly grasp what you were looking at. We escaped to the Africa exhibits, which were blissfully deserted. We strolled back to the Tsavo lions (of Ghost in the Darkness fame), which killed 140 men before being dispatched themselves. Yikes! After that, we exited via the Pacific Islander exhibits (again, almost deserted) and headed for the hotel.

After a nap and a shower, we were up and at 'em once again. We had dinner reservations at Coco Pazzo Cafe, which was a wonderful little place not far from the hotel. Hubs got the veal ravioli, and I had the duck pappardelle.  I washed my pasta down with a glass of red wine, and they gave us a pistachio semifreddo dessert on the house! (Service had been a tad slow when we first arrived.)

Lots of yuks!
Then, we hopped a cab to go see The Second City! I'd gotten tickets for hubs in honor of his birthday. He loves comedy, but there aren't tons of opportunities to watch is close by. What FUN! The cast led us through an uproarious two hours of scripted and improv mash ups. I particularly loved Katie Rich and Holly Laurent. If you book reserved preferred seats, you sit a lot closer to the action. Thus, you have a greater chance of becoming part of the show. (We didn't do this, but FYI.) We had an amazing time, stopping at the Capital Grille before bed for tea and a mile-high slice of coconut cream pie. What a night!

Day 8
Our last half-day! We didn't go see any attractions, but I did walk down to Pierrot Gourmet in the Peninsula Hotel for breakfast before I left. What a homey little spot! I had a GIANT breakfast flatbread and a big cup of strong coffee. Delicious, if pricey! Stray newspapers abounded, so I settled in with one of them, ate, stretched my legs, and hugged my coffee cup close.
Pierrot Gourmet knows breakfast.

Then, it was off to pack, check out, and make my way to the airport!

We adored Chicago and can't wait to go back. What an amazing city! It's a direct flight from the Jackson area on Southwest. You have NO EXCUSE not to go. Just go. Go! You'll have a fabulous time!

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