Friday, June 12, 2009

Windy City: Epilogue

I have been through Chicago many times, but I had stayed in Chicago twice, so I have learned several important lessons I will now share with you. I think you will find them helpful no matter where you are traveling this summer.

1. Figure out what you need before you get to the front of the line.

You know I always like to do my homework in advance. I am just a little AR that way. Plus I hate getting behind those people in line who have had the entire length of the line to figure out what ticket they need and just can't.

This proved very helpful at the Museum of Science and Industry. Because I knew what tickets I wanted at the front of the line and asked for them in a nice clear voice when I got there, I got a hearty thank you from the ticket person who then took the time to draw me a personalized map of the things I might find interesting.

This strategy also worked well for Brent at lunch. His prompt, clear request for chicken strips drew such enthusiasm from the line workers, we got bonus strips.

So easy, so profitable.

2. Sometimes it does not pay to buy your tickets in advance.

Yes, I know this seems to contradict number one, but imagine how excited I was after our success of Day One, knowing I had gone the extra step and pre-purchased my tickets for the the Field Museum. I did this because the Field Museum website strongly urged it, due to the popularity of their traveling pirate exhibit.

Now imagine my dismay to find I was the only one. I had to wait in line with everyone else to get someone to tell me that even though I had purchased my tickets and pre-printed them at home, I had to now go stand in the will-call line. Very frustrating and it happened again the same afternoon at the Shedd Aquarium.

This is not always true, by the way. Prepurchasing your tickets to Sea World, for example, is easy and convenient. You just walk right up to the gate.

3. In spite of it's old school Chicago brick exterior and very fun eternal flame fire pit, The Brick House Tavern should have you humming the Commodores.

I don't know what to tell you, we ended up feeling pretty silly over this one. It was right next to our hotel and the parking lot was full morning and night. Seemed like a good sign. It was high class. The food was very, very good and our waitress seemed relieved to resume her un-flirtatious voice while at our table, but it's really not a place for children. We did not allow Colin to go to the bathroom after I had seen the tasteful naked men posters on the inside of the women's room and we avoided ordering "the Double D Cupcakes."

If you are an over 21 male, I highly recommend it. Jeremy J, I am talking to you.

Over all we had a terrific time and are ready to enjoy some summer fun at home.

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