Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain and Field Museum were on my mind when we went to visit my brother Mallik and sister-in-law Swathi this weekend. We also got to say hi to their common friend Deepthi who landed from India just the day before us.
We didn’t want to drive down to Chicago. Amtrak timings were not suitable for our travel timings either.Hence we opted to travel by bus.There are only 2 bus services to Chicago from Kansas City. One is the very famous Greyhound bus service and the other is the Megabus. The journey from Kansas city to Chicago by bus is 10 Hrs. These 10 Hrs includes 3 breaks that sums to 1 hr. When compared to long 10 hours journey in India the bus travel here doesn’t feel that hectic. The reason being good roads and super smooth buses.Cleanliness in the bus is well maintained. One restroom in the bus is such a relief for any emergency :). We were all set and I was super excited to see my brother after 6 months the coming morning.
Megabus claims to have wifi in the Bus. They do have wifi that connects but never works. So if anyone is planning to browse internet while travelling to spend some time, That is not an option. 3G/4G service on phones is the one to depend on.
Whenever I land in some crowded city, It reminds me of my life in Bangalore. I miss Bangalore. Megabus stops at Union Station in Chicago. One block down you can see the Sears building. Buses and Subway/train service is very convenient means of transport in Chicago. My Brother was waiting at the stop to receive us and take us home. We hopped into a red line bus and then took a subway and reached home.
Chicago had very fluctuating weather this Saturday. It rained for couple of hours, while we were greeting, talking and having breakfast and relaxing. Sleeping in the afternoon was something we were not interested in doing these 2 days. Hence we all headed out to Millennium park. We hopped onto to the bus and reached Millennium park in about half an hour.
I was curiously waiting to see the Cloud Gate at Millennium Park.The Cloud gate is a sculpture by Indian born British artist Anish Kapoor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anish_Kapoor). This sculpture is also called “The Bean” because of its shape. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together. The sculpture’s surface reflects the city’s skyline. Since this sculpture reflects the images like mirror, most of the visitors who come to see this sculpture start performing acts to see themselves reflect.You might want to sit down and watch people act. Its very entertaining.
On one side of The Bean is the Chicago skyline and the other side is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Jay Pritzker Pavilion is an outdoor music theater. This outdoor theater is designed with fixed seating area, green lawn, trellis network to support the sound system. The design of this theater replicates an indoor concert hall sound experience.
Half a mile walk from the theater is the very Beautiful Buckingham Fountain. It is located in the center of Grant Park and is one of the largest fountain in the world. This fountain represents lake Michigan with each horse symbolizing the states of Illinois, Wisconsin,Michigan and Indiana that border the lake. It operates until October with regular water shows. In winter it is decorated with festive lights.
We walked back to the park to see The Crown Fountain and Wrigley Square. The setup of Crown Fountain is a black granite reflecting pool between a pair of glass brick towers. The glass brick towers use LED’s to display the digital image. The way water is used for the fountain is said to be the unique feature of this place.The faces displayed on these glass brick towers are the local Chicagoans. This place is a public play area and is said be to promoting interaction between the public and the water. Kids really enjoy this place.
Wrigley Square has The Millennium Monument. It is the full sized replica of the semicircle of paired Greek Doric style columns.It lists the names of 115 financial donors who made the 91 contributions of at least 1 million each to help pay for the millennium park. The Millennium Monument has a fountain and a green lawn in front with benches on either sides of the lawn.
After having read the names of the donors for the park, We walked through the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue and boarded the bus back to home. Evening chai with gup-shup followed by dinner was the end of the day.
The field Museum was the only place of interest on Day 2. The entrance ticket to The field Museum is a little expensive. $23 for an adult.If you are a resident of Chicago with ID proof you get a discount of $2.One part of this museum not to be missed is the Dinosaur age. Dinosaur age is part of Evolution on Earth. All the fossils of the Dinosaurs that existed are displayed here with information. This place brings some belief about dinosaur’s existence.
Natural selection is one of the reasons for evolution of living creatures over millions of years on earth.
Museum closes by 5 pm in the evening.We spent some time lazying by the Lake Shore near Adler planetarium and returned home. After some refreshing chai and Dinner at night, We said “See You Again ” wishing my brother and his wife, health and happiness. We boarded our bus back to Kansas in the midnight for a long 10 hrs journey.