Today I woke up bound and determined to do the bus thing here in Chicago. I had a map; I had a hotel concierge; I could do this. I armed Maddie with a list of questions to ask regarding proper bus numbers and pick up locations and sent her down to find it all out for us while we got ready this morning.
She came back with answers. Answers I trusted. I will never do this again. To make a very long story shorter, we were sent to the wrong location to wait for bus #10 to the Museum of Science and Industry. I did not figure this out until 30 minutes passed, and then went to the correct location where we waited another 25 before I almost gave up altogether. This was when the bus arrived. We made it from there without incident.
The museum was a lot of fun and, interestingly enough, the farm exhibit was one of the highlights for us because it was about everything Grandpa Rog does or did (and stuff Craig used to do as well), and the girls were pretty fascinated with it, particularly the pig-birthing portion. They had a real John Deere tractor and a combine set in a “field of corn.” It looked like they were really harvesting corn on the combine. Chloe was totally excited to climb up inside it and push every single button she could find. Maddie was more like, “We can do this anytime we want to for real with Grandpa!” and moved on to the soybean and pig exhibits.
There were many great things at this museum, including the Fairy Castle (a large “dollhouse” with exquisite miniatures), real chicks hatching out of eggs, and the Toy Maker 3000, where for $5 you could buy the privilege of watching a plastic toy top being assembled before your very eyes. We skipped the $5 part and watched other people’s toy tops being assembled before our very eyes. It was really pretty interesting, the whole assembly line production thing. I’m leaving a lot out, but that museum was really fun, too, especially since we were able to get in totally free with our St. Louis Science Center membership.
The bus ride home was easy. I must have looked like I thought it was, too, because a fellow tourist looked at me after we both sat down on the bus and said, “You look like you know Chicago well. Can I ask you a question?” I started laughing and said she was asking a very scary thing, but that I had a map and I wasn’t afraid to use it.
We got back to the hotel ten minutes before Craig did from his third day of conferencing, and we all headed off to grab some dinner together before taking advantage of the Art Institute of Chicago‘s free night tonight from 5-8. We didn’t mean to, but we actually walked all the way down there (about 1.5 miles), but then took a bus back, since I’m now an “expert” with Chicago public transportation (tongue firmly in cheek). We got off pretty close to our destination, found a cute city playground, and the girls played away.
And this concludes day four of our town mice in the big city adventure. We’re so very tired…and going to bed.