Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Are We There Yet?

For those of you who follow my every move on Twitter and FB, you'll know that I recently packed up the family and took a train to Chicago. After spending several days visiting several museums there, we returned home (also via train).

A couple things I learned:
  1. Driving in Chicago during the week is insane. Rush hour starts at 7 in the morning and goes until 7 at night (except for weekends).
  2. Despite the insane traffic, the drivers there are fairly polite.
  3. Speed limits are more like speed "guidelines".
  4. If you buy the Chicago City Pass, it's a LOT cheaper to see all their Museums.
  5. Parking at the museums is very expensive.
  6. Only see one museum a day.
  7. The Shedd Aquarium is awesome but at times repetitive. By the time we were done it was "Oh look, more fish". That being said, there are some awesome exhibits.
  8. The Museum of Science and Industry has the only captured German U-Boat. It also has the best exhibits with lots of interactive stuff, like a giant hamster wheel and relaxation thing where you compete against someone else to move a ball to the other person's "goal" with your mind. (which I somehow won every time...no I don't know how). We could have easily spent several days there. As it was, we got there at open and left half an hour before close and we still missed a large chunk of it.
  9. The Field Museum is really cool and has some amazing things in it. For example Sue the T-Rex. They also have over 20 mummies on display. Like the MSI, we couldn't see all of it before we got too tired to continue. The only disappointment was the Creatures of Light exhibit. It sounded like we were going to be able to see lots of cool bioluminescent critters, but it was all models and flashing lights. It did not live up to the hype.
  10. The Adler Planetarium has some amazing astronomy presentations, but the floor plan was confusing (even with a map!) and it was a little sparse on the exhibits. However, it did have a huge play area which we let loose the rampaging monkey boy loose in for a while. He and the angsty tween really enjoyed it.
  11. Food at the museums and even on the train is REALLY expensive except for Field Museum (which has a McDonald's).
We had a chance to go up in the Willis Tower Sky-Deck, but ran out of time (it was also included in the City Pass).

Sue, the T-Rex
Now on to #writemotivation update

  • I woke up early Friday morning and fired off my submission email to Brenda Drake's pitchmadness competition. I have been desperately trying to not pay attention to my twitter feed until the Round 2 results have been posted. I don't know if I made it in or not. If I did, GREAT! If not, it happens. I'm sure there were a ton of awesome stories that were submitted. I just appreciate that she's doing all of this.
  • Because I was on vacation, I didn't get on twitter much except at night and sometimes on my phone, so I didn't get much cheering on for my #writemotivation tweeps. My dino pompom waving will commence now that I am back.
  • I got a lot of revisions done while on the train and at night when everyone fell asleep. I don't have accurate statistics, but I'm in ch. 22 of 30.
  • Oh, and here's the blog post for the week!
'Till Next Time.


  1. WOW! A real T-rex! You should have bought pompoms and had Sue pose for #WriteMotivation! :D

    Your trip sounds amazingly fun! I wish Chicago was closer so I could do that...maybe just the Museum of Science and Industry and the Planetarium. I've been to Sea World...aquariums are pretty much all alike...ooooh looky....fish! :)

    1. Yup. And if you read the Dresden Files, you get to see Sue in all her Dino glory.

  2. Man, now I wanna take a vacation . . .

    1. LOL. The train to Chicago was actually pretty cost effective.

  3. That's really cool. I've never taken the train for a trip like that before. How was it as compared to flying or a road trip?

    Glad you had such a good time!

    And way to go on your revisions! You're almost done. :-D *waves shiny pompoms*

    1. The train was awesome and had lots of leg room. The nice thing about a train is that you don't stop to use the restroom or eat. Also, the Lounge car is lots of fun with big windows.

      It is also way cheaper than flying or driving.

  4. Thank you for the tip, Sir. I'm a Chicago Cubs fan *weeps*, so I hope to make a trip to visit them one of these days. When we do, my wife and I plan on visiting many of the places you did. This post will come in very handy then.
    Have a good one.


    1. Oh hey! Thanks! Glad I could help! Parking is about $20 a day. The planetarium will not take all day even if you do a lot of their presentations.

      Also, my Grandmother lives in Illinois and is a huge Cubs fan. All I can say is, be grateful you aren't a Royals fan! :D

    2. Bring. Quarters. For. Tolls. Otherwise, you will be forced to charge something stupid like $0.90 online to avoid the toll police.

  5. Sounds like you had a cool trip! I used to visit Chicago for family reunions when I was a kid, but have only seen it once as an adult and it was February - and absolutely freezing. They aren't kidding around about that wind. You guys did a lot! And I had to laugh about the aquarium thing.

    I know about being away from Twitter and #writemotivation, too. Back after just over 2 weeks and I feel not only so out of that, but also completely out of all the publishing/writing goings-on and even further out of all the cliques than I ever was before! Oh well. Back to writing :) Good luck this month--still time!! :)

    1. The last time I was in Chicago was before you were born. We drove through on our way to Niagara falls.