I remember well the “Cows on Parade” public art display that hit Chicago two decades ago. I only saw a few of them at the time (and a few more since), but perhaps the interest in public art displays/scavenger hunts that flamed in me during the STL250 Cakeway to the West installation year began as a spark back then. I didn’t know until our most recent visit to Chicago, however, that a bronze cow in on display outside the Chicago Cultural Center to commemorate the event (and now I’m thinking St. Louis needs a bronze cake, but I digress).
If you look into its eyes, you will see the Chicago Picasso sculpture in one, and the historic Chicago water tower (the only public building to survive in the burn zone of the Great Chicago Fire), in the other. And don’t think that the irony of a herd of cows taking over Chicago, a city fabled to have burned because a cow kicked over a lantern, is lost on me!
Last Thursday was one of my favorite days of any trip up north…the day we took the Metra into the city of Chicago!
Those first moments in downtown Chicago are always a thrill for me!
Our big activity this year was going to the Sears Tower Skydeck. (Yes, I hear some people are calling it the Willis Tower these days, but it will always be “Sears” to me!) Not only were we thrilled with the views from all four sides of the Skydeck, we also walked out onto the “Ledge” for an even more amazing, and slightly terrifying, view!
After we had our fill of Chicago views, we made our way to Buckingham Fountain, where we had lunch, and a nice lady offered to take a picture of the six of us:
We then started walking toward Millennium Park, and found this cool dog along the way. I think he’s a companion to the dog we saw on the Wendella dock last year!
Bunny was thrilled to have an opportunity to feed some pigeons:
And we took some pictures at The Bean, as has become our tradition:
We then walked across Michigan Avenue to the Chicago Cultural Center, which used to be the central library in the city, and is home to beautiful mosaics and Tiffany glass domes:
Outside of the Cultural Center, we stopped to see the Bronze Cow statue, a gift to Chicago to commemorate the 1999 Cows on Parade display:
We of course had to stop at Marshall Field’s of Blessed Memory for a box of Frango mints:
And then back to Ogilvie Transportation Center to catch a train back to Geneva. We even found seats on the second floor!
After dinner in the hotel room, we indulged in the chocolate torte cake that I mentioned yesterday. It was as good as I remembered, and the children loved it!
After we spent a little more time relaxing, we headed to the outdoor pool, and stayed in the water as the stars came out. It was a lovely evening for a swim!
Back in the room, we watched a little more Food Network, but not a lot, because we were all exhausted from our busy day, and knew there was more fun to come!
When we were in Chicago last month, we visited the Museum of Science and Industry, which was always one of my favorite Chicago locations:
I had managed to forget how huge it is, however! We only had about five hours to spend there, which meant we went at breakneck speed to see and do a lot of things, even through we knew we’d never see everything. One of the first things we did was go through the mirror maze, which I found terrifying, because I was certain we were going to lose a child in there! It did look cool, though!
We slowed down long enough to watch the Tesla coil demonstration:
All that was just the tip of the iceberg! We checked out some of the trains, (including a cool model train story depicting travel from Chicago to Seattle), saw the chicks (including one that had just hatched!), played with a plasma globe, took in as much space stuff as we could, watched how a robot assembly line works, and even visited Yesterday’s Main Street. There is seriously so much there!
I was especially tickled to run across one of the “Cows on Parade” from the art installation that was popular in Chicago so many years ago!
It was a fun, busy day…I only hope that someday, we can go back, and see some of the things we missed!