Segways & a great night of conversations and jazz!
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Gord and I then decided to head to see the Art Institute; supposedly the second largest art museum in the US. It was massive. We didn't even check out everything! We did see some really ancient things from various civilizations which was cool. There was an exhibit downstairs that was all about miniature rooms - interesting, but odd that there were sooooo many! We checked out some old photography of Chicago and some of the print type artwork that I guess Chicago is/was (?) famous for. I loved some of the photography.... the print stuff, only some things I though were nice.
The worst part was probably the modern art section. I really don't get that stuff. Here's a canvas with black paint on it (covering it actually)...
The one thing that we did want to see was the Famous "American Gothic" painting. Its a pretty cool, especially when you read about how and why the artist did what they did.
We then decided to grab some hot dogs for lunch. I had heard that Chicago is famous for this so I got the "chicago style" hot dog - mustard, onion, relish, hot peppers, tomato, celery salt and a pickle spear. It was pretty good! I'd still totally go for the Chicago style pizza if I had to choose between the two.
We went back to the hostel and decided that we'd see if we could do one of the Segway tours we had seen rolling around. I have to say I never though I'd try it, but I figured you might as well try something once. I mean they did say when it came out that it was going to "revolutionize" how people do business...
So we ended up booking a tour for 5pm. We had some time to kill, so we decided to go and have a beer at a local blues place - Buddy Guy Legends. It was too early for live music, but we sat down at the bar none-the-less. Luckily they didn't ID Gord (even though he's ridiculously close to 21 and he had a whole logical way of making it seem like his ID was showing he's 21 - change the month and date order). So we had a couple of local Goose Island brews (didn't want to be too tipsy for the Segway rides) and then went down to the place to get "outfitted and trained" for our tour.
Outfitted means get a helmet and a bright yellow vest - so stylish! Trained meant watching a video showing a stick man falling off an animated segway and getting injured. After that our tour guide took us down to the park to get acquainted with the controls. It is actually pretty intuitive. Lean forward it goes foward, straighten up it slows down, lean back to go backwards (which the stick man doesn't suggest beginners do) and push the handle bars to either side to turn. It can actually turn on a dime even when you're stopped, which is why they suggest against going backwards. I took to it pretty quickly.
There's a speed limit built into the Segway to keep people safe which I tested out pretty quickly
We got back to the hostel just after 7, which was half an hour after I was supposed to meet for a hostel event to a local Jazz club. Luckily when I went to the desk to see where I could meet up with the group, there was a girl I had seen before in the hostel (running towards the elevator with her sister but in no rush to get anywhere if I remember correctly) was asking about the same thing. They guy at the desk couldn't say where they were, so the three of us Ariane, her sister Jacinthe (both from Quebec City) and me decided to meet up at the Jazz bar anyway. I tried to cajole Gord into coming as well, but he had to wake up very early for his flight the next morning.
I went off to grab a bite to eat at a local place that was suggested by the guy behind the desk - Epic Burger
I then went on the subway to head up to the Green Mill - the jazz club where we were meeting (supposedly an old Al Capone hang out). When I got out, it was pouring rain. So I ran over to the bar, paid my cover and went to see if I could find the girls. Luckily they had got there before me and were able to get a small table with a view of the stage. Well it "had" a view... until more people showed up and stood directly in our line of sight! But that ended up being just fine. The three of us sat there and had a great converstaion (mostly in English, but I did throw in a bit of French for show...).
When I finally had to go to the bathroom, I noticed on the way that Leroy and a few other people I recognized from the hostel were sitting directly to the right of the stage! So I asked if they had some extra room, and they were nice enough to squeeze in and let the three of us move up. The whole experience of the music was so much better from there. We were literally a metre from the closest band member (a guy who rocked the tambourine so well that he actually made it look cool - something I didn't think was possible). It was a great show, even though we only truly enjoyed the musical experience for a few songs. It was an awesome night! :)