03 August 2011

The Chicagoland chronicles: my kind of town

After we spent time with Mr. P’s family, Mr. P took me to my scientific conference in downtown Chicago, while he headed off to Ann Arbor to visit some friends. I wasn’t looking forward to the conference after spending some fun and relaxing days with family, but in all it was a great meeting! Here, I’ll show you a bunch of photos from the meeting! Like the lectures and the poster sessions and the endless coffee supply!

Just kidding. That would be awful, wouldn’t it?

Instead I’ll show you a bunch of clichéd touristy things (including the nod to Sinatra in the post title)! My labmate and I skipped out on one lecture session and headed out on foot on a slightly drizzly Saturday morning. First stop? Well, duh:

The Chicago Bean! No wait, I’m sorry. The Cloud Gate. As if anyone would know what you were talking about if you said you saw the Chicago Cloud Gate. Quite frankly the most apt name would be the Chicago Red Blood Cell Made of Mercury.

That’s me in front, in the green shirt with the skinny ankles. I’ve seen soooo mannnny phoootos of the Bean from people who visited it, but I gotta say, in person it’s hard not to keep taking photos of it. It’s mesmerizing.

Around the corner in Millennium Park, we found this bizarre situation:

Apparently that is the Crown Fountain. It was... well, it was creepy. There are actually two of those giant glass faces, facing each other, with a giant shallow pool in between. The real-life kiddos splashing in the pool in their swimsuits? Adorable! The giant faces which are, most of the time, not spitting water but rather sort of vaguely half-smiling? Disturbing!

We quickly moved on through the park to Lurie Garden. The lush garden with the city towering around is pretty cool.

After Millennium Park, we headed to Navy Pier! Again, it’s touristy, but we were tourists. I made that completely obvious with my giant camera, complete with neckstrap. But you guys, Chicagoans are so nice, especially to tourists. When my labmate and I asked some runners, stopped at a crosswalk, which building was the Sears Tower, we got an enthusiastic discourse on each of the buildings in the skyline, plus recommendations for which to visit. It was delightful.

We didn’t make it to the Sears Tower, unfortunately (the lecture session we were skipping was only a few hours long, after all) but we did do this at Navy Pier:

Don’t recognize it? Here it is from afar:

The Navy Pier Ferris wheel! Once my labmate and I agreed that neither one of us would rock the car, we happily bought our tickets and boarded within minutes!

On the way up, though, we both started to realize... oh. This is a bit high.

Okay, she’s faking. A little. We weren’t quite that nervous. Although on the way up, I did check out the bolts and concluded that they looked fairly secure. Sure would have made a more interesting blog post if they weren’t, though!

After the Ferris wheel, we returned to the meeting for posters, networking, lectures, coffee, networking, workshops, coffee, lectures, posters, and some more networking. You know. The usual. And then Mr. P picked me up, and then we came home. THE END.

No wait! I lied. There’s one little detail about our visit to Chicago that I’m super excited to share with you... tomorrow!


Mary Beth said...

I can't wait until tomorrow! What is it? What is it?