|checking out 'the bean' my first night in town.|
I spent 3 glorious days hanging around a part of Chicago called "The Loop." I arrived mid-afternoon and checked-in to my my free (comped) room. One of the perks of having worked for Hostelling International is that I can stay in any HI hostel for free, for a maximum of 3 nights. I think I really lucked out, because I wound up having a private room! The room was roughly 8x10 with a big window and a queen bed, with a twin bunk on top. In the suite where my room was located, there was a private (one-person) bathroom and a kitchenette with good-sized fridge.
|Great reflection pattern|
By the time I got to Navy Pier it was almost dark. I had a really nice view of the lake at dusk and made it out to a distance on the pier from which I had a great view of the city skyline. I walked around until it was dark and could only imagine how packed and fun that place would be in the warmer months.
|City view from the pier|
|The Cloud Gate|
|Chagall piece in the city|
|Post Office dwarfed by buildings|
After the tour, I stopped for coffee at a highly-recommended spot, and went back to the hostel a bit early to participate in an activity called Culture Kitchen.
Students from Chicago-area high schools come in and do presentations on whatever country and culture they are currently learning about in school. They prepare a meal from that country and then go over a few facts. It was fantastic. They highlighted Argentina and it just so happened that one of the other hostelers who was participating was from Argentina. There were about 15 students and 5 or 6 hostel guests. I was the only person from the US and there was a Polish man, the aforementioned Argentinian, and a young twenty-something from Colombia,
After the presentations, we all decided to go out for a drink. One drink turned into a drink, then each one of the four of us buying a round of shots. Thankfully, I remembered to keep up with the water. Before bed, we made a tentative plan to go to the Museum of Science and Industry the next morning.
The museum was much cooler than I expected. We saw an exhibit of a WW2 U-boat, a Walt Disney exhibit, and a ton of other really cool permanent exhibits. I think my favorites were the U-boat, the slices of human body, and the cool vapor wind tornado thing. The planes suspended from the ceiling were pretty trippy... and we were able to see chicks hatching!
|Painted boat displayed in the alley|
At 10pm, I forced myself to go back to the hostel and go to bed because of this early hop over to San Fran!