I moved from Wyoming to Chicago in 2008 to go to University.
My dad drove with me all the way from Wyoming and helped me move in and get my bearings before he flew back home. Before he left, though, we checked out Chicago together. I remember the first thing we did was drive downtown and park in a parking garage. What a mistake that was! I think we had to pay about $10 an hour, which racked up quite a bill for just one downtown evening. That was the first and last time I ever drove downtown, instead opting to take the Metra from then on, which is a considerably cheaper option. What we did see downtown was pretty cool, though.
We also had a couple really cool pictures taken while in the Sears Tower (now the Willis tower, but always the Sears Tower in my heart), but I don’t have them. Maybe my dad can provide them? 😉
Shortly after I had settled in and my dad had flown home, my aunt came through on a trip across America and we went downtown together.
I recall us going to a pizzeria and sharing a deep dish pizza (no pics unfortunately). In any case, I didn’t really care for the deep dish myself. It was just too much like a dry soup and not enough like a pizza for me. New York style all the way!
We also went to the Field Museum, which had some very impressive exhibits.
One of the things I was most eager to see was an Egyptian exhibit showcasing the tomb Unis-ankh, the son of Unis, a Pharaoh from the 5th dynasty of ancient Egypt. I have always had an affinity for Ancient Egypt, so I was excited to check out the exhibit which is spread across 3 floors.
The walls are decorated with ancient hieroglyphics painted and/or carved into the walls, and it really was quite impressive to be able to walk through an ancient tomb reconstructed in the heart of Chicago.
Sue, the most complete and well-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex in the world also makes her home at the Field Museum. This fossil is more than 90% complete, which is quite impressive for dinosaur fossils. At 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips (12.8 and 4 meters, respectively), it’s quite the spectacle, although it didn’t seem to quite live up to the menacing gargantuan depicted in Jurassic Park.
This is the real skull, the one on the complete skeleton is actually a plastic replica. The real skull weighs 600 pounds (272 kilos)! It was so heavy that the support frame couldn’t hold it up, which is why a plastic cast had to be made to be displayed with the skeleton while the real skull is displayed separately.
There were plenty of other interesting exhibits in the museum, but we didn’t have so much time and unfortunately couldn’t get around to checking them all out. After leaving, we were met with some clouds that managed to cover the top part of the skyscrapers.
Fun fact: A lot of locals claim that Chicago’s nickname doesn’t actually originate from the frigid winds that come off of Lake Michigan, but instead argue that the name, “windy city,” comes from all the “hot air” that all the politicians blow out. It is not really clear or settled on where the nickname truly originates from.
After that, we went back home, leaving a good first impression of Chicago on me.
Thanks to dad for helping me move to Chicago. It was also nice to have my aunt visit and treat me to a trip to the Field Museum.
That’s it for this post, but since I lived in Chicago for a few years, I have plenty more posts about the windy city which I will post in the future.