6.28.2011

Shedd Aquariuuuhhh… Chicago!: Part I



My husband, a friend, and I decided to partake in Shedd Aquarium's Free Week. We got up bright and early at 8:00 am, and were on the road before 9! This is a rarity for our trips, so we felt it was an accomplishment.

All three of us realized the aquarium would be packed, and there would be hundreds and hundreds of children running about. Yet, us three brave, childless souls were determined to go, on the cheap, and have a good time.

Here's what really happened.

We stopped at the oasis for breakfast — excellent decision. None of us had eaten yet, and Jaqi didn't want to admit this until she learned Zak and I hadn't eaten either. Sbarro's, McDonald's, and Starbucks for the win. It was a good stop, and we got back on the road quick enough.

We arrived in downtown Chicago around 11:00, made our way (slowly) to the museum campus. Yes, there was way more traffic than is typical for that time of day. Naturally — it's free!

Sadly, we had forgotten about one minor detail. Parking. $16 for four hours, $19 for over four hours. We parked at the Soldier Field garage, as there were far too many people to accommodate the little parking lot for the museum.

Swallowing that minor reality, we piled out of the car, and made our way to Shedd. That was about a five minute walk. We got there and discovered, to our horror, an immense line snaking around the building. Keep in mind, this is a very large building. We made our way to the very end of the line, and when we got there, a nice young lad was directing folks who did not have strollers, wheelchairs, etc. to the main entrance.

Here is where we went so very wrong.

As we moved away from the incredibly long line full of strollers and toddlers and babies and the odd wheelchair, not a one of us could resist, in one form or another to utter, "this is another reason we don't have kids! We get to go in and they all have to wait in this horribly long li—oshit"

The "oshit" came from the sudden realization that the line at the main entrance for the "special" people who did not have strollers was at least as long as the line for the "tards with strollers". Well, shut my mouth and call me a jackass.

We quickly learned it was at least a three hour wait to get in. By the way, it had been sprinkling a bit off and on up 'til this point. Occasionally, the sun would peak out and beat down on everyone outside. Considering not a one of us had anticipated quite this much activity, we had brought neither umbrellas nor sunscreen.

What now?