Sunday, 17 March 2013

Train Trip 2013 - Washington to Chicago

Officially, the train left Washington on time. But just a couple minutes out of the station we stopped . . . and stayed stopped for quite some time. We were told there was a signal down ahead of us. Two and a half hours later we were advised that our original conductor crew disobeyed a signal -- essentially, went through a stop sign. The conductor, assistant conductor and engineer were removed from the train and a new crew brought in. If my eavesdropping interpreted things correctly, they're automatically suspended from operating a train for 45 days. Safety first! Especially on a train!

I’m glad I don’t work in downtown Chicago. The buildings are all so tall it seems like there’s no sun. Fortunately we were close to Millenium Park and the waterfront. Once again, we did a lot of walking!

Love the effect that wavy balconies have
on this building.
Look up . . . look waaaay up!

View of downtown and Lake Michigan from the aquarium
I find it interesting how something as simple as the cloud gate sculpture (aka the bean) can resonate with so many people, young & old; it makes them smile and act goofy, and take a multitude of photos of themselves and each other.  
Cloud Gate Sculpture -- with city scape and skating rink reflection
From under/inside the sculpture . . . that little dot in the very middle is me!
Self portrait

These photos were taken on a cloudy day. Andrew got some better ones on a nice sunny day.

We also visited the SheddAquarium -- our final and probably second favorite aquarium of the trip. The Shedd is located in a historic dome-shaped building situated right on the water. The exhibits area was quite wide open with lots of room to move around. We took in the dolphin show (which also included penguins and beluga whales) and really appreciated the focus on the training and health aspects of the animals rather than just putting on an entertaining show. The other great thing to see was how much the trainers obviously love what they’re doing. You just can’t fake smiles that big and animated! 

Other interesting sites around Chicago . . .

Ginormous gargoyle on top of Chicago Library

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