Tourists in Downtown Chicago – Travel Thursday

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October 11, 2012 by Lisa RunFastMama

This past Saturday we had the chance to relax and explore downtown Chicago before my marathon on Sunday.  I didn’t want to do too much walking, so we decided to cab it to the Shedd Aquarium first thing in the morning.  We arrived shortly after 9am and there were no lines at all.

Before we headed in, we took in the beautiful Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.  Baby Girl is studying the Great Lakes in school, so she was especially excited to visit this lake in person!

We also asked a fellow tourist to take a family photo for us.  Love the windy city, windy hair!

Our first stop was the gift shop. Why, you might be asking when most people avoid them like the plague and see the exhibits first?  This is why.  Someone LOVES penguins and this giant one caught my husband’s eye.

After saying bye to our new friend, we headed into the display areas.  What a beautiful facility!  The exhibits were incredible, kids were amazed and occupied and mama didn’t have to walk far!  The kids took off, still in sight of course, and were exploring each display and sharing them with us.

Our new friend, Mr. Eel!  

Baby Girl LOVES snakes!  She was so excited to see the “Snakes of the Amazon” display and listened intently as a native told his story about encountering the great river snake.We were all hungry as we headed downstairs to see the Jellies exhibit so we had a quick stop at the coffee bar.  Lucky for me, I brought some oatmeal and freeze-dried raspberries that I had as a quick snack.  The kids partook in Jellie cookies and Hubby ate a pastry.  Soon, we were off again.

Awe!  Yes, awe at these magnificent creatures!  Amazed at the detail, they seemed surreal.

We could have stayed there for hours.  Noticing each detail and watching them swim.  Monkey was fascinated by the baby jellies.  They were so cute!

Soon enough though, we found ourselves exiting into the lower-level gift shop.  Before we knew it, Sweet Pea was attacked!

A giant stingray claimed her as his Mommy and wanted to come home!  We were able to separate them and headed on.  They had several cool play areas where the kids pretended to be penguins and navigated an undersea sub!  This meant more rest for mama! Yea!

As we headed out, the line was stretched all the way in the front of the building and for good reason.  This was an incredible aquarium!  If you are ever in the Chicago area, be sure to set aside a morning to explore!

Mama was really hungry at this point so we hopped a cab towards the Miracle Mile.  We ended up at Joe’s Seafood.  Apparently a great seafood place in Chicago.  After assuring me allergies were taken very seriously and documenting all of mine on a bright pink card, my food arrived loaded with seasonings.  I always state, plain and simple, no seasonings!  None the less, my tuna was covered in sesame seeds.  Back to the kitchen it went and moments later, I had a wonderful salad to enjoy.

Even though the first dish came out wrong, we had a great experience.  The waiter was as friendly as can be, even asking the kids specifics about how they want their food prepared.  Hubby’s crab claws were wonderful and everyone enjoyed the meal.

Stuffed as can be, we wandered Michigan Ave a bit more before heading back to our hotel for an early evening in preparation for Mama’s first marathon the next day!

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2 thoughts on “Tourists in Downtown Chicago – Travel Thursday

  1. kmtreat says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. The photos are lovely. I haven’t been to an aquarium in years. Now I want to go again.

    P.S. How is your foot?

    • RunFastMama says:

      Thanks! My foot seems to be getting better. I can tell the swelling has gone down as the soft cast isn’t so tight. Taking it easy and using crutches at work for walking around.

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