June 30, 2013
This very large and populous Illinois city contrasts much against the smaller and less populated Nebraska city. Buildings rise high above a sea of visiting tourists or residents who live among the normal busyness in downtown. Trees and flower pots are trimmed neatly to give the downtown a friendly appearance. Wind pulls my hair over my face multiple times during the day. Throughout the year, my family and I have been waiting forever to go someplace fresh to us, but someplace exciting. Over previous years, we went to Disney World. Usually vacation was planed to attend a specific special event such as the Walt Disney World Marathon. We were more specifically interested in Chicago because of the annual marathon, which was said to be one of the few best marathons in the world. I was more excited in being in a large busy city for the first time.

One tour we took lasted the entire day from early morning to early evening. Most of the tour included brief passings through the suburban neighborhoods. We did pass by Barrack Obama’s former Illinois home for only a few seconds, hence parking would trigger security to meet us. The two-story brick red home was blocked from view by tall evergreen tress, so you could only catch a glimpse of it through slits of tree openings.

The Adler Planetarium sat beside the magnificent Chicago skyline which sat behind the blue and tranquil Lake Michigan. Much of Chicago’s famous postcards and photographs were taken from this very spot which we were standing. The view was amazing! Shortly after eagerly taking pictures, we explored the inside of the planetarium. Like the average planetarium, there was a large room underneath a glowing dome-shaped ceiling. Other than that, there were a few exhibits, such as Curiosity the Rover which successfully landed on Mars, that caught my family’s attention.

My favorite museum we attended was the Museum of Science and Industry. The behemoth building was located further away from the rest of Chicago. Nearly every exhibit had hands-on activities such as learning how tsunamis worked. The station had an elongated tank full of water halfway to the top. You pulled a lever, showing how damaging you want the tsunami to be, then pressed a button, which activated what was representing the tectonic plates to move and cause waves. Another station was using mirrors and the sunlight to make a rainbow and learn the transfer of light and color. I thought that was really cool. Not only did the museum show us how to create amazing science (and possible destruction), but it showed us how to protect ourselves and keep our environment safe.

Food in Chicago was amazing even though its food tasted a little greasier than how I was used to. In a busy pizza shop we stopped in on the first night, we ordered large pizza, knowing that we would be trying something knew and entirely different. At the time, I was concerned with the thick crust loosening my newly put on braces. In the end, it was the very thick cheese, which always attempted to slip off in every bite. We had accidentally ordered three large pizzas, but we were glad to have leftovers for snacking at the hotel.

Chicago’s environment was very different from Omaha. I noticed the increase in homeless people on the vacation. People packed every street as if you had just come back from an evening concert, and because it was marathon weekend, people were everywhere you turned. Despite contrast between Omaha, Chicago is certainly a wonderful city with a wonderful environment, friendly people, delicious food and excellent recreation activities. Visit Chicago, the windy city!

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