Weeks 31 & 32: Nothing To Do And All Day To Do It In

Most weeks, I take maybe a dozen or so images and choose the one I like best to post as my weekly photo. Today’s post will be quite a bit longer, as Michelle & I just got back from a short vacation to Chicago and I’ve got rather more pictures to share than usual.

We drove out Thursday morning, hitting Chicago around 3. We were hoping to get there before the traffic went completely nuts for rush hour, while still not having to wait around too long before we could check into our hotel. We managed the second part without any problem, but the first was a bit more …. problematic. I’m not sure if it was actual rush hour traffic or not. But when we got within a couple of miles of the hotel the traffic turned into a snarled mess of bumper-to-bumper nonsense of the sort we don’t generally have to deal with at home.

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.
Robert Orben

Our Hotel (in Minature)
Scale model of our hotel at MSI

We made it safely through that mess to the hotel, handed the car over the the valet service, checked in, went to our room and collapsed for a bit. Oddly I find driving to Chicago to be a much bigger nightmare vastly more stressful and tiring than driving to Minneapolis. *shrug* Eventually we got back up and headed out to dinner. We decided for our first night to just hit the hotel’s restaurant.

I know it wasn’t particularly adventurous of us, but it had gotten some decent reviews and the menu promised both Italian food & pizza. We ended up having an excellent dinner[ref]Spinach supreme pizza with fresh mushrooms as well as a new (to me) and most excellent hard cider (Wyder’s Dry Apple)[/ref] and were served by an outstanding waiter.

Museum of Science and IndustryThe next morning we headed out to the Museum of Science and Industry. We got there early, bought our tickets and then waited a in line for a few minutes. Shortly afterwards, they opened up and we headed up into the museum. We went straight over to the area holding the MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition. This was actually one bonus to not getting around to visiting MSI the last time we vacationed in Chicago. The MythBusters exhibit is a temporary exhibit that only arrived at MSI earlier this year and leaves for its next stop in a couple of weeks. So if we’d come when I’d first wanted to, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to see this exhibit. Concrete Glider Blueprint

The exhibit was packed with stuff from the show, from blueprints to cloths to bits leftover from various experiments. It was a lot of fun, though I would say it was definitely geared more for kids rather than adults. All of the experiments setup in the exhibit were specifically designed to be as safe as they could be. Adults could (and did!) have fun with them, but that felt more like a lucky accident than something the exhibit designers planned. Still it was a lot of fun to go through and we helped ourselves in enjoying it by acting more like kids. *grin*"Mything" Clothes

After you went through the entire exhibit (which didn’t take very long, unfortunately) you reached a small stage area where they ran a live “MythBusters” show. Seating was limited to a bunch of wooden boxes and the show was a play off of the dodge a bullet myth[ref]They changed it to Dodge a Paintball and no, I didn’t volunteer to be on stage. Though I did answer a question correctly to earn my “Certified MythBuster” sticker[/ref]Analogue Toast

MythBusters were here!
MythBusters “Portraits”

Don't Try This At Home!

In addition to visiting the MythBusters, we also wandered around the rest of the museum. There was quite a bit to see, but probably the most interesting bit was the demonstration with the tesla coil on the third floor. When they first started it up, we didn’t know what was going on. We just heard an incredibly loud buzzing noise. Looking around for a minute cleared up our confusion.Zzzap!

Ripples in Motion
Ripple Generator

Bubble, Boil, Toil


Prism Flyer

One of the many flowers outside the Smart House exhibit.

Reaching for Space


Just let me fix this wire....

Key Lime Pie
Piece of outstandingly good key lime pie eaten while in Chicago when I would have otherwise been at a friend’s place watching Death Note.

The next day we went to the Art Institute, below are a few of the things we saw.Buzzzy Wallpaper


Now That's a Knife

Patterns in Metal

Keeping an Eye on Lichtenstein

We were most pleased to see this painting back on display[ref]Last time we visited the Art Institute, it had been taken down for cleaning/restoration work.[/ref] It’s an amazing work and by getting to see it up close; we both noticed things we’d never picked up on before (when viewing prints, seeing it in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, etc…).A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (Detail)

Beauty in Bronze

After finishing up at the Art Institute, we were feeling a touch crispy[ref]Due too much walking compared to our normal routine.[/ref] but we decided to walk through Millennium Park to see the “Bean”.

the Bean

I have to apologize for taking so long to get this post up. I’d originally intended to say quite a bit more; but since getting back from the vacation, my sleeping habits have been a bit out of whack (which screws with my ability and interest in stringing words together).

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