Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chicago: Day 2, Part 1: Subways and The Zoo!

On vacation Lilli ALWAYS wakes up way too early!!!! I'm sure it's a mega combination of being in a weird place and weird noises and so on, but that is also what makes it perfectly fine with me if we end up going to bed super early when we're traveling. On our first full day in Chicago she woke up around 6:45. Ugh.

Starbucks near our hotel became our breakfast destination every morning. This pretty much sums up why:

There were two dogs chained to the little fence on one side of us that barked at everyone who walked by. Any time she hears a dog bark, she barks. Luckily Pippin is not a barker. Then she spun around and saw another dog chained on the other side of us, which pretty much made Starbucks the most amazing place ever. And little birds were always around eating crumbs - so the entertainment factor (as well as a need for caffeine!) made Starbucks our first stop every morning.

After we ate we walked down to the Subway and had a couple of minutes to wait for our train so we had a nice little photo opp! Here's our standard "Lilli say cheese!" picture:I think this one is really cute:
We told her we were waiting for the train so we were both saying "choo chooo".
Action shot of our train:
She's a natural. She always wanted to hold onto the railing, whether we were on the bus or train. And by the end of the trip she'd seen us use our CTA cards enough that she'd grab them and try to insert them in pretty much anything.
We finally made it to the zoo! We visited the Lincoln Park Zoo, a free zoo right in the middle of the main downtown area. This exhibit with fish was one of the first one we went into and she loved it, especially the way the tanks go all the way down to the ground. A lot of places we visited had so many things on her level, it was great!

The sea lion area, you can see Brent and Lilli on the lower left.Lilli and I outside the Children's Zoo. It had some great indoor playground type stuff, but for kids older than her. Note that I don't have my backpack here. This was right after lunch and a yellowjacket had been annoying the fire out of us the whole time we ate the greasiest corn dogs EVER. In our rush to get away from the stupid bee we walked off and completely left our backpack at the picnic table. It was seriously about a half an hour before we realized it!!! We went back and it was exactly where we left it, which was amazing. In it were my wallet, ID, cash and credit cards, etc. Pretty much everything. So glad the people of Chicago are pretty honest! (Or at least scared of unattended bags!)
She was starting to get fussy so we put her in the stroller and she promptly fell asleep. We just had to get a picture of her asleep in front of the sign. She fell asleep before we found the Petting Zoo area, which stinks! That would have been her favorite (even though she enjoyed it all).
The Zoo has a great view of downtown. (Sears Tower is towards the right side, the building with two points further in the background. The Hancock building is more in the foreground with two points.) This area has been turned into a "Nature Boardwalk" which stinks - this used to be where the Swan Paddleboats were. Brent and I had never ridden them but I had wanted to do that this time with Lilli. They were a long standing tradition in the park since the early 1900s, so it stinks they've done away with it.
Me with some monkeys.
She slept while we shopped in the Gift Shop. Brent tried out a couple of things on her, ha! I ended up getting her one new toy, which she loved (pics in the next post).
We were almost done with the zoo when she fell asleep, but we didn't want to go too far away since our next activity was a Nature Museum next to the zoo. So we toured the Plant Conservatory and took some pictures. Me with some plants:
Me and Lilli with some plants:
She woke up just a few minutes after we left the greenhouses and we were off to our next adventure.

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