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10/05/2002: Weekend in Chicago - Part 1

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Originally, the plan for this weekend was for me to be at JournalCon. Alas, I got this new job, which required us to fly off to Chicago, and it just didn't make sense to spend the time to fly back when I'd end up missing most of it. So I called up a friend, transferred my registration to her, and prepared to have fun in Chicago instead.

We went to the Field museum today. Both of us like museums anyway, but when we found out that there was an exhibit all about chocolate, plus they were giving away free samples, that clinched the deal.

I know I've already noted in this journal that I am easily amused. But bear with me. You have to realize that in California (or at least in my part of California), we don't have some of the nifty things people here take for granted. For example, I've never seen a fast food restaurant built so that it bridges over the freeway, while here it's apparently a common thing. I was squealing like a little girl as we drove down a road right through the Chicago Stock Exchange, and some other huge impressive building that I think might have been a post office. I was also craning my head out the window like a giddy little tourist checking out all the architecture Ė all those amazing brick buildings and all the stonework.

There's a lot of construction on the roads around the museum, but after a week of this I'm getting pretty good and unplanned exploring when trying to figure out where I'm going. We got there eventually, and went inside, me still gaping in awe (it's a *big* museum). Over the next five hours or so we wandered, and still didn't even manage to see half the place. But oh boy did we have a blast learning all sorts of cool things. We now know that raccoons are actually related to dogs, and that there are feline relatives that only eat fruit. Saucers were invented to hold chocolate (although I'll admit that one sounded awfully fishy to me), and once upon a time chocolate was advertised as a health food (because it included such essential minerals as vitamin D. Okay. See. This kind of thing cracks me up. Um. Because Vitamin D isn't a mineral. Oh, never mind. Call is perverse nutrition humor if you wish).

We went through the pearl exhibit, where we saw all sorts of pearls in colors I didnít realize pearls came in (like coral pink), and we got to stare at mummies and amulets and hieroglyphs in the Egypt exhibit. But the coolest exhibit (well, after the one all about chocolate) was the one where we were all "shrunk" and got to explore a cubic inch of dirt and check out all the nematodes and other assorted creatures with far too many legs and antenna for comfort.

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