Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

While I was staying with my friend Kara in Chicago, she took me to the Museum of Science and Industry. She actually had an annual pass, which allows for a free guest when you come, so I actually got in free! It was really cool, and they were beginning to decorate for Christmas, which I always love.

The circus exhibits were fun.

I had to take this pic of all these Oscars! Luckily I have the best Oscar at home!

I thought I'd try out as an astronaut.

Here's the actual command module from Apollo 8.

And the rockets used during takeoff.

This is hard to see in this picture, but this is the actual U505 submarine that was taken by the US in 1944. It ultimately contributed to the allies' victory during World War II because it allowed them to prevent further submarine attacks by breaking secret codes found on board. This was HUGE since these attacks were causing the vast majority of the Allies' death toll between 1940 and 1944. Years after the sub was originally taken to Bermuda, it was brought up to Chicago through Louisiana along the Mississippi river and up to Lake Michigan. We took a tour inside of it, which was really cool. They didn't allow for pictures inside of it, though, but these two sites will show/tell you more about it http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-505.htm and http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/u-505/.

I had fun trying to make my shadow catch confetti.

This was a really awesome exhibit of Christmas trees. Here I am with the Italian tree.

There was a tree for almost every country in the world, all with ornaments and decorations that represented their cultures (even for countries that don't traditionally celebrate Christmas).

I liked how this one was pretty much just an advertisement for a Sports team!

There was a place where you could watch chicks hatching.

It was pretty cool to go into the train room and see the incredible miniatures of famous cities. This is the Chicago section.

And, of course, I had to take a pic at the Seattle section.

It was really fun to twirl this monstrous sand swirl. You can't tell from the pic, but it's about 50 times as large as me!

And I LOVED this LED dress! I want one!

Friday, March 4, 2011

"Chicago is my kind of razz-ma-tazz, and it has all that Jazz..."

In November 2010, I had the opportunity to visit Chicago for the first time. I'd never been anywhere remotely close to it, but I couldn't turn down the opportunity to go when I received an audition for the Santa Fe Young Artists opera program. I didn't get the role (though I thought it was one of the better auditions I've sung), but I still had a really fun time.

My friend Kara Jo, who I'd known at the University of Utah and performed recitals with, had recently moved there for her husband's residency. I got to see her for the first time in a long time and meet her little boy, Henry (He's adorable! Such a great laugh!). Plus she gave me a place to stay, drove me where I wanted to go, and gave me an excellent tour of Chicago. I got so spoiled it made it hard to be on my own the next month when I went to New York for auditions.

I loved the views of Mt Ranier and Mt Adams from the airplane.

I really lucked out actually getting decent pictures from the plane.

It was cool to see the gorge from an aerial view. I'd just seen it close up a few months earlier, and I posted those pictures in my post "ziplining in the rain."

During the evening after I'd had my audition, Kara drove me downtown to go to the top of the John Hancock building. We searched for awhile, never thinking we'd find street parking in downtown Chicago on Saturday night. At that point we were just looking for the least expensive garage parking, and we miraculously found street parking!

The John Hancock building is not the tallest building in Chicago(the Willis tower is), but it's right next to the lake and the view is fantastic! Here's a view of Navy Pier.

The gorgeous city lights!

The all teddy bear Christmas tree inside

More gorgeous city lights from the other side

Me washing the windows (and suddenly appearing on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon)

and me by the Christmas area.

Here's another view of downtown, but I thought this shot was pretty cool since you can also see the reflection of the Christmas trees.

Inside they had the story of the great Chicago fire, and the story of how it started with Mrs. O Leary's cow kicking over the lantern. Surprisingly enough, both the cow and farm survived the fire! What's interesting is that, even though it sucked for the generation who lived through it, it was the best thing that could have happened for the generation after. The city was rebuilt to be much stronger than it ever was.

They had a little area where you could go outside and feel why it's called the Windy city. This is me with the Willis Tower in the background.

After we came down we walked through the city and saw some pretty cathedrals.

And ultimately ended up at Pizzaria Uno, one of the most well known places for having authentic Chicago deep dish pizza.

Kara gave Henry some mini m&ms, and I thought it was hilarious when he tried to eat them with a fork.

This was only half of our small pizza! It was delicious!!! It was incredibly filling, and the pizza itself was like a mix between pizza and casserole. The crust was so good, and the combination of cheese, pesto sauce, and tomatoes was perfect!