Chicago, day 06 – Artsy Fartsy and a Fear of Heights

Day 06 of our trip, Hubster decided to take off from his very important convention. Apparently they weren’t doing any talks in his area of rocket scientist expertise that day, and he really wanted to hang with us girls. He did manage to see a bit of the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium (hey, that kinda rhymes!) on his own, in the afternoons after his conference was over, but apparently he missed his WO-man and kids.

After all the other stuff we’d done, I was dying to see an art museum. I mean, it’s Chicago, right? There are TONS of art museums and galleries in that city. But a mom on her own with two kids has no chance in hell of getting through an art museum with any enjoyment, so I traded sex convinced Hubster to take me to the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s a nice museum. Very interesting art. I understand NONE of it.

Well, almost none of it. I did like the installations by Olafur Elliasson. These were rooms that had weird light effects and walk-in sculptures and such. One hallway had these overpowering yellow lights that leached all the color out of everything, so that when you went through it, you turned black and white. Freaky! Another room had a series of glass or plexi-glass hoops spinning on a string with a spot light shining through them. The light cast on the far wall broke into prismatic colors and did all sorts of swoops and swirls. Neat! Then there was the room with a free swinging fan hanging from the ceiling, you know, the sort of fan that you prop in the window when it gets really hot and your AC goes kaput? I sort of got that one (it reminded me of summer at my grandmother’s house), but Hubster didn’t care for it. He did like the room where one wall was covered entirely in reindeer moss. Yeah, I have no idea why that would be art.

The kids had no idea what they were looking at though, and things only got stranger as we moved through the painting gallery. Why some of those paintings are hanging in a museum is beyond me. I’ve seen more evocative images appear in Pixie’s diapers after a meal of blueberries and pureed squash. Yet someone things they’re art and must be preserved. I did get to see a real live Rene Magritte up close and personal. Loved it. Plus there was an Andy Warhol and a few names in there I recognized. Sadly, no photography was alllowed in the MCA, otherwise I’d show you some nifty pics with snarky commentary on the state of contemporary art.

Then we hit the gift shop, and I have to say, that’s the first time I’ve seen a gift shop that was a better museum than the museum it was attached to. The MCA gift shop had some amazing stuff in there, including all sorts of books on pop art and comics, manga, etc. They had a slew of Japanese toys, especially the little collectible trinkets that have become so popular these days. I desperately wanted to get a blank Munny doll so I could doodle it up all my own, but then I found a book on plushy art and that was that. I can’t wait to start making freaky little toys with my new-found knowledge };)

After the MCA, Hubster took us to the Hancock Observatory, where we took an elevator to the very tippy top floor so we could all look out a bunch of big plate glass windows and contemplate our deaths. Seriously, I am not a fan of heights, and I really don’t like standing at the top of a very tall building with nothing but a plate of glass between me and a leap to my death. Hubster swears he did not know about my phobia, and then proceeded to ignore it as he took the kids right up to the glass to peer out the windows! I sort of clung to the walls in the center of the floor, praying we would leave soon.

When we did finally descend (in what is probably the world’s fastest elevator – and no, the speed of our plunge did not make me feel better about heights), we headed over to lunch at the same food court/cafeteria/grocery store place Julie had taken us to a few days earlier (was it called Fresh Foods? I can’t recall). We got a huge picnic lunch and headed over to the Lincoln Park Zoo. After devouring everything (I have no idea why I felt starved, but I was), we toured the zoo. It’s a nice zoo, with a carousel and kiddie train, and an ape house and lots of other displays. Unfortunately, some of the animals were out for vet visits and the like. Other animals were hiding from the summer sun. I’d like to go back again sometime, maybe hit it in the morning before the heat sets in and the animals decide to take to the shade.

After a loooooooooong trek around the zoo, we finally headed back to the hotel, where we met up with Hubster’s brother Pat, who foolishly kindly volunteered to take the kids for the night. We sent him off with a smile and a wave, and then set about trying to find some adult entertainment for the evening. I think Hubster was hoping for Blue Man Group, but I nixxed that, opting instead for Harry Potter at the local IMAX theater. Yeah, I know, sounds lame. But you have no idea how infrequently we can get a sitter, and how badly I wanted to see Harry Potter.

The movie was grand. Dinner before hand was an adventure. We tried a Mexican place at the Navy pier, only to find ourselves seated in a wait staff dead zone. After 15 minutes of hoping someone would come take our order, we watched a trio of women get seated right next to us and promptly have their order taken. Their waiter didn’t even look at us as he hurried off to get their drinks, and me feeling snarky, I said, “Let’s leave this dump and go get some food!”

So we hit the Hagen Daaz cafe nearby and got some nice sandwiches. End of dinner adventure. (I know, some adventure, huh?)

After the movie, Hubster and I walked back to the hotel. It was near midnight by now and I’d been on my feet several hours, but since the kids were with their aunt and uncle, and we had a hotel room to ourselves, we did what any husband and wife would do – quickie sex and then off to lala land! Seriously, I wasn’t up to much. I did manage to wake up for sex the next morning, but I made Hubster go get me coffee first.

So that was day 06. Here are a few pics.

Hubster and kids, at the top of the Hancock Observatory, creeping me out by standing so close to the window.

One of the views from the Hancock Observatory. I think our hotel is in there somewhere.

They think they’re being so funny. We actually did see a window washer working outside the Observatory, and I nearly died of a heart attack.

Pixie discovering how big the great apes truly are.

Princess on the Lincoln Park Zoo carousel.

The hottie who is the Hubster. Yeah, I know I’m a lucky girl.

And the train ride at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

I know, I should have had more pictures from the day, but with the no photo policy at the MCA and so many animals out at the zoo, I only got a few good snaps. Tomorrow will be even more sparse, since the big exhibit at the museum we saw then was a no photos deal too! But then, I’m pretty sure everyone’s tired of seeing my vacation photos, right?

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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