From Chicago, Illinois (Day 2) ...

Dear Emma, Sebbie, and Lizzie,

We had another day in downtown Chicago yesterday. This time we visited the Shedd Aquarium. It’s one of the best aquariums in the United States and there was so much to see: dolphins, beluga whales, otters, sharks, turtles, snakes, eels, sea lions, parrots, rays, giant clams, and a ton of fish! There was even a baby beluga whale (called a calf) — it was 5 feet long when it was born!

Our favorite was the animal show which was mostly the dolphins doing tricks. It was pretty neat! I’ll send your daddy a video of that.

Your daddy and I love scuba diving! This tropical tank reminded me of some of the dives that I’ve done:

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And here’s a picture of one of the sharks:

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There was a touch tank where we got to pet cownose rays, but I didn’t get any pictures of that. Have you ever pet a ray before? They’re kinda slimy.

I hadn’t planned to get a membership at the aquarium, but it ended up costing only a little more than just paying for one-day tickets. I was really glad that I’d given the aquarium extra money when I saw this exhibit on the coral conservation work they’re doing. The oceans are getting too hot, and a lot of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef has died. I feel so sad when I think about that! Here’s a really good movie we watched on Netflix that shows the scientists studying the coral: https://www.chasingcoral.com/

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We spent almost our full day at the aquarium, but for lunch we walked over to Grant Park for a food festival called The Taste of Chicago. Here’s a picture of Skye in front of the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park; It’s one of the largest fountains in the world and a famous landmark in Chicago. It was built almost 100 years ago!

It was another REALLY hot day, so we were happy to walk by the fountain and feel the mist.

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The food festival had 81 different food vendors and each one offered regular food, and then small dishes called “tastes.” I like getting little plates so I can try a lot of different things. I started with ice cream and a churro (which is a bit like a cinnamon donut), then had a Chicago Dog (I’ll tell you more about that in another letter), and two different kinds of tacos. I think the tiny food was just your size. 😊

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To be honest, I didn’t think the food festival was really worth it. It was hot, the lines were long, and the food was expensive without tasting that great. But trying new things is one reason I like to travel. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I don’t, but I can't know until I try. And everything always works out in the end!

I have some work to do today and I’m meeting a friend of mine, who’s a high school teacher, for dinner, so I’m still not sure what sightseeing adventure we’ll have time for this afternoon. Whatever we do, I’ll tell you about it tomorrow!

Bear Hugs and Unicorn Kisses,

Chris