My Grampa’s visits usually go by very fast and this one was no exception. Already an entire week has gone by and it seems like we went to the airport yesterday to pick him up. Anyways, I was planned that for the last entire day we would spend a good part of the day just walking around down town Chicago to see the tall buildings and visit the park. It turned out to be a beautify day to stroll around the city.
In order to make the day more pleasant, and learning from past experience, I thought it would be a good idea to take the train to the city, avoid any parking hassles and get back at a timely fashion. Sorry, no mini dee in the city picts this time but im sure that day will come. Since it was Monday, I knew that getting back home by 6 pm would mean an hour and a half in traffic. Plus, it turns out there’s a half price discount for seniors.
Some of the cool places to visit in Chicago used to be the stock exchange but for about two years now, to my surprise, it has been closed to the public. Probably related to terrorist fears i guess. So we opted for the visitors center of the federal reserve bank. Gramps really liked that because it was the first time he ever saw so much money in one place. In fact, they had three displays of how much a pile of one million dollars would look like, in hundreds, in twenties and in singles. They also show you just how money gets shredded and reprinted. There was little bags of shredded bills for people to take so we each took one and then later, gramps went to grab another. On the bag it says there is an approximate $292 value of mixed denominations, so gramps wanted to take another one and try to sell it for a hundred to one of his friends... as a joke of course.
Seeming as the Chicago mercantile exchange and the Chicago board of trade were indefinitely closed to the public, we headed on foot to millennium park, with a quick stop to get a bite to eat on the way.
Last year when we went to the park to check out the sights, we didn’t spend a lot of time there because my meter for the parking ran out. you only get ten minutes for each quarter and seeming that I didn’t carry a roll of quarters with me we only stayed for about a half an hour. Since we were not going to have that issue this time, we wandered the park leisurely to see what there is to see.
First stop was the video water fountain where mom was brave enough to roll up her pants and touch the wall of water. All while a giant chin was on the video screen and a mouth that could have swallowed her whole.
Being a perfect day weather wise, there was a ton of kids just having a ball running around and playing in the water. After a short rest and enjoying the refreshing mist from the water falling, we then went to go tough the "bean" sculpture. They seem to have polished most of the seams up, but the area directly beneath it was closed off, probably to get those stubborn areas polished up. It looked very cool with all the distorted reflections of not only the people looking at it but of the band shell and the city skyline of Michigan Ave. It always impresses me to see how different that sculpture can be everytime I visit it.
Then we went to the Gerhy band shell. With the black plinths of the water fountain and the chrome finish of the bean sculpture, the band shell is a perfect fit to this park. Gramps was absolutely impressed with the entire park. Texas has nothing on Chicago.
Well that was enough for all of us for one day. Gramps had a great time seeing all that stuff, and was very impressed and amazed at how different chicago is compared to where he lives. Hopefully he will come back sooner rather than later.
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