On the way out to Ontario, my dad and I took a detour and visited Chicago for a day. By the time we rolled in and got exploring it was already about 2pm, so our time was limited, but I absolutely loved it. Didn't love how stinking hot and humid it was, being a prairie kid and all, but that's going to be my life living by the great lakes for awhile.

 After a sweaty ride on the metro, we came across a great statue of Christopher Columbus with an immaculately placed addition by a seagull, and then wandered around the (air conditioned) Field Museum for a couple of hours. There was a temporary exhibit about Genghis Khan which was absolutely amazing for so many reasons. I was thoroughly amused to have grossed out some old ladies while explaining some skeletal features of a mummy to my dad. Sometimes my skills come in handy! 

The main exhibition hall had a bunch of great things, including totem poles which made me feel at home, but the star of the show is this monster above. 

Then we took a walk to get downtown, and on the way to the water's edge came across some cool equine statuary. I love a city that invests in public art, and there were so many interesting sculptures on the path downtown. 

And finally, we made it to the bean. I've been fascinated by the idea of this thing for years and seeing it in person blew my mind. I must have taken a thousand photos of it. Also, curved objects make for hilarious failed attempts at head-squishing, as my dad learned. It was the Jazz-fest weekend while we were there, so the atmosphere in Millenium park was extra special.

And after wandering around the streets for a good couple hours, we needed food and I wouldn't leave Chicago without eating some pizza. Thankfully, a parking meter guy gave us directions to Giordano's (which we had walked by when we started our quest. I don't have pizza-radar) and after a 40 minute wait, we delved into the best pizza ever. Seriously. I can say that each slice was 1.5" thick because I happened to have my tape measure on hand. Amazing.

I hope I can go back soon and spend a bit more time wandering around. I would love to get a better look at some of the architecture and walk around more museums. Visiting Chicago has certainly inspired me to visit more big cities. I feel like such a small-town kid visiting these places (the buildings are so big! There are so many people!) and my new spot in the country will be much more forgiving for short trips to fun places. I'm hoping to get to New York in the spring, but we'll see. Do you have any recommendations for awesome places in the Northeastern part of the US/Canada?

Settling In

So, I've made it across the country. It took driving through 4 provinces, 9 states, sleeping in 4 strange beds, and too many tanks of gas, but I'm here. The first week of classes was insanity. Learning how to teach problem students, drinking lots of sub-par coffee and meeting lots of new people filled my days and I couldn't help but come to my new home and collapse. My campus is beautiful and, as you can see above, is right on the river. Studying in the library and watching the rowers go by, or seeing storks in the morning isn't half bad.

I'm feeling terribly homesick though. I miss James, I miss the dog, I miss my friends. I miss the city I've come to love. I miss running into people I know. Thankfully I have some happy spaces in my room to remind me of home. (The cut-out is from Amy Victoria Wakefield and James made me the Battlestar Galactica inspired frame to house one of the only tolerable pictures of us)
In other happy news... I'M GOING TO RHINEBECK!

Yep. I've been basically seeing in caps since I officially made the plans. One of the perks of being a bit more on the eastern side of the continent is that, well, I'm more than halfway to New York. Is anyone else going? I haven't registered for any courses so I'm just planning on milling about for the weekend. Is there something I shouldn't miss?

Can't wait to meet some of you in person!