Chicago, Day 2

First of all, I wrote a nice long post detailing yesterday but lo, Blogger ate it. I will try to recreate it, but can’t promise to do it justice. Just think of how funny I am, and I’m sure that you’ll be able to imagine that my other post was 40 times as funny :-)

Anyway, we got a bit of a late start to the day. As I mentioned before, it was a bit of a rough night. I was laying in the bed and I could see the light through the curtains. I sat there in half-conscious mode for awhile, trying to determine what time it was. There were no clocks of any sort within viewable distance, though, since I wasn’t wearing my glasses, viewable distance is about 6 inches.

After eating breakfast (pancakes and eggs), we came back to the room to get ready. In the interests of time, Carolyn sacrificed a shower to be “smelly” Carolyn, but it was still 9:15 before we set on our way. Our multi-modal trip to the museum went as follows:

  1. 35 minute drive to the park and ride. Actually it was a kiss and ride. Parked there, and paid the $3 in quarters to the little machine, and went inside the terminal. There was another tourist group from ‘Sconsin buying their CTA visitor passes, so we had to wait for awhile till it was our turn. Their website lists 1, 2, 3, and 5 day passes, but this kiosk only had 1, 2, 3, and 7 day options. Since we are going to be here 4 days, I was already annoyed to have to buy a 5 day pass, but since that was not an option, I bought 2 7-day passes for $20 each. It did not occur to me until we were already on the train that I should have bought a 1-day and a 3-day for $17 each.
  2. As it turns out, we just missed the train, but another one came by in 7 minutes or so. The train ride was fairly uneventful, as train rides go. I thought it was pretty cool, and Scott enjoyed looking at the passing trains.
  3. We got a bit lost making our way from the train platform up to the street level, but eventually walked the 1-2 blocks to our bus stop. We had to catch either the 2, 6, 10 bus (or the 28 but that didn’t stop where we were). We didn’t have to wait long, but while we were waiting, an apparently homeless guy approached me, but instead of asking for any money or anything, just asked where we were going. When I told him we were catching this bus right here, he just left. It was somewhat weird. Right after he left, the #6 bus pulled up, but right behind it was the #10, which, given that its Route name is “Museum of Science and Industry” took us right to the front door of the museum (the #6 would have let us out a block away)

Brief rant on public transportation. The trip ended up taking us 2 hours. And I think that this was a fairly normal trip. We could have driven about 20 minutes to take a METRA train which would have also taken us into downtown, but I suspect that would have taken just as long, and we still would have had to take a bus after the train ride. Plus METRA isn’t covered by our visitor pass, so it would have cost $5 for each of us (one-way). And I am now coming to the realization that public transportation is just not viable except in certain rare cases. I voted for the light rail in Cincinnati (though it went down to heinous defeat), but I don’t think it would really work. People are just not going to be willing to spend 2 hours commuting. I certainly wouldn’t. Though maybe that’s just a Cincinnati perspective. When we got back to the hotel, I was talking to the lady at the front desk. I told her about our trip and how it lasted 2 hours. She asked if that was just from when we got on the train and I said that it was from when we left the hotel. She said, “Well, that’s not bad then”, so I joked that in 2 hours I could drive from Cincinnati to Columbus! She laughed and said that in Chicago you could drive 2 hours and just be in traffic.

Anyway, the museum. When we got there, there was a massive line to buy tickets. All in all it took another 45 minutes to buy tickets, and then we ate lunch, and by the time we got into the museum, it was 12:30 p.m. And as for the museum, it wasn’t that great, which was very disappointing. This was the one thing that I most wanted to do (besides Wrigley). I remember going with my parents, and it was a lot of fun. So I don’t know if it was just because now I’m an adult, or if the exhibits are not as good, or if it was having to deal with 3 kids, but it just wasn’t that good. It was okay, but nothing spectacular. Hopefully, the Children’s Museum will be better….

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