USA Diaries – Day 26 – Second Free day means a trip to Chicago!


This diary post is a part of a 30 day trip that I am taking this month which it also happens to be my first ever International trip. So for the next 30 days I will be posting here all my weird thoughts and commentary.

How many times do you get an opportunity to see a new city and you turn it down? The answer in my case will always be never! Anyways, we had this chance to go and see the city of Chicago, now the drive itself is almost 4 hours long and that meant that we were suppose to take an early bus to the city. That also meant that we needed to wake up at 4 am almost and board the bus by 5 am so that we can be in the city by 9 am. And have plenty of time to see some more amazing museums.. I have to say though that at this time I was becoming quite sick of visiting so many museums! I mean ya Cultural Heritage is amazing and all, but then there is always a limit to how much you can actually digest, and I was basically on the verge of having had enough!

Oh and not to mention, it was finally nice to visit a city which has buildings taller than 6 storeys. So we get off at the Bus Station and immediately make our way to the Field Museum of Chicago which is suppose to be a really renowned Museum! Since it is a Private, non-federally funded Museum, therefore there is a charge to enter the Museum, and this was something which was quite shocking to a friend who was accompanying us. I think the shock was immense for her since she belongs to Washington, the home of the free for all Museum, the Smithsonian. Oh well!

At this point, it needs to be stressed again that I have had enough of Natural History and Insects and Bugs, so that is the last thing on display where I will be rushing. I instead decided to make my way to the Genghis Khan Display which is a temporary exhibition being done by the Museum. The exhibition was nice and covered many facets of the life of Genghis Khan and then the overall period and the way people were living at the time. The exhibition was not limited to Genghis Khan, instead it even explored through a Dried out Mummy and Jewels and Clothes, etc about how people were living at that time. Since it was a temporary exhibition, therefore I have not been able to take any pictures of the display, but for me it ranged as an average – not too good and not too bad – but definitely worth a lot of knowledge.

After this display I made my way to the African Display – the display was colorful and very lively and it explored the Cultural Diversity of the African people and how they are different. It dwelled into the history of the Africans – and my topic of interest – Slavery! I think the topic has become a major interest of mine since I read Alex Haley’s wonderful Autobiographical work “Roots”. I have said it many a times and still, I will say it again, that this book defines me and who I am and what I believe and what I follow. I really loved the display in which they have tried to capture the true essence of the problems that were faced by generations of African Americans and how they were treated. The truly amazing part of it was that they have even dug out some of the Ads that were placed in the newspapers and magazines to advertise the coming of the new ships with the slaves. 

I also had the chance to make a round of this Mummy Exhibit that they have. The exhibit entrance is through a Pyramid shape itself and then you go to the basement where you can get to see some real mummies.  The dioramas that they have in the exhibition are truly amazing. They are so realistic and they show the entire process of mummification, from the bandages to the gutting of the human body. It was too cool!

 

After that, we decided to head off to Lunch and a friend of ours kept screaming that we just had to try the Deep Dish Pizza that is in fact a specialty of Chicago. For lunch, the place selected was Hyde Park, which is located in the heart of University of Chicago. It was nice to see the University and the wonderful Architecture that is the synonymous with Wonderful Architecture.

The place for Pizza which we decided to try was a little restaurant called “Edwardo’s”, a small cafe sort of thing, with a wide variety of options available. We decided to have a cheese pizza, with chicken as an add on. The wait for the food was quite a while, but when it did come, I have to say, that it was worth the wait.

 

After lunch, I headed off to Robbie House, instead of the Oriental Institute, which was the original plan, but I was pretty sure that if I have gone to another Museum, I would have simply thrown up. Plus I had other plans, and these included a visit to the wonderful Robbie House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, which reflects it Prarie House Theory. The house is not allowed to be photographed from inside, but the feel of being inside a house which I have heard and read so much about, was truly wonderful. And it goes without saying, that a few books were also bought.

While we were taking a tour of the house, the bells from the Rockfeller Church started to ring as loud as they could, and they just would not stop. It turned out that this is a practice for the Concert that they have every Sunday, therefore I just had to make a stop at this wonderful Church. The building and the interior inside was so wonderful, it simply took your breath away.

I decided to make a short stop at the Oriental Institute as well, which seemed to be completely dedicated to the Art and History of the East. There were so many wonderful artifacts that were on display and having only 15 minutes in hand to see that Museum was hardly Justice in anyway.

 

On the way back, I was able to get a chance to see the Sears Tower,, but from very very far away!

And that was more or less the end of the day – with a 4 hour journey back to Madison. I was really glad I got this chance to see Chicago.. it was truly so different from Madison and Washington…. It was nice to finally see a real city!

 

 

 

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