A shorter driving day today as we left Elkhart, IN in the morning and drove to Chicago, IL. We wanted to stop and see something in Chicago so floated the idea of the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Lincoln Park Zoo. My kids love animals and would have liked the aquarium, but it was very expensive so we decided to go to the zoo (which had no admission, just $20 for parking (the museum and aquarium had $20 parking too, but then steep admission prices for all 4 of us on top of that - I'm reluctant to spend $100 for a 2-3 hour stop).
It was a hot 90 degree day so we didn't stay too long but everyone enjoyed the zoo. It was a very nicely set up. I could have done without the hoards of young summer camp kids in color-coordinated tee shirts running around, yelling, and blocking access to stuff. We obviously took lots of animal pictures (who doesn't at the zoo?) but here are the two I'll put on my blog.
My daughter sitting on a beautifully polished and striated glacial erratic. Rocks are so much more interesting than animals, don't you think? Of course my wife took the picture so she focused on my daughter rather than the rock. My wife also has this annoying habit of trying to take bad pictures of me (any picture of me is typically a bad picture) and you can see the typical result. Yes, I'm a jerk.
OK, here are some real animal pictures. A Siberian tiger and a swimming polar bear. Happy?
I probably would have enjoyed the Field Museum more (I've been there before but it was a number of years ago now) but then we would have stayed later and, as it was, leaving downtown Chicago on a Friday afternoon around 1:00 pm was horrendous traffic-wise. I'm always amazed at how much of an asshole some people are when they drive - especially in major cities. I'd rather swim with the polar bear than drive on an expressway in Chicago on a Friday afternoon. I'd be safer.
Eventually we worked our way up to Madison, WI where we're staying for the night. It wasn't a bad day but it was filled with a lot of little annoyances - traffic problems, driving through a torrential downpour, car concerns (which I checked out and am pretty sure are nothing to worry about), having to stop at Cabela's outside of Chicago to get camping stuff we didn't have, bad waitress service at dinner when people were starving, and a sub-par hotel in Madison with plumbing problems (Microtel). It is Friday the 13th (not that I believe in such nonsense). Have to take it all in stride when traveling.
Hopefully tomorrow is better as we drive up through WI and MN to near the SD border and camp at Blue Mounds State Park. My wife wants to stop somewhere crazy - I'll write about it tomorrow (or whenever I get Internet).