From Chicago, Illinois (Day 5) ...

Dear Emma, Sebbie, and Lizzie,

Wow, I have a lot to share with you today! Yesterday, after we picked up Eric from the airport, we went back to the Shedd Aquarium. Skye wanted to show her daddy all the cool things we’d seen.

At first I wasn’t excited to go there again; we’d already spent most of Saturday there and it meant we wouldn’t be going on the architecture tour I was interested in. But now I’m glad we went with her idea. I didn’t realize how many things we hadn’t seen. And as luck would have it, there was a special event called Jazzin’ at the Shedd, so the museum was open until 10 o’clock at night! (We only stayed until 7:30 though.)

There were three different stages so, starting at 6 o’clock in the evening, we had live music playing in the background while we looked at the exhibits.

Are you ready to see some pictures?

Oh wait, I almost forgot! We arrived at the aquarium around 12:30; lunchtime. Remember I talked about Chicago Dogs? Well, I finally got a real one yesterday.

It was the first time Skye had eaten one and she loved it! What’s special about a Chicago-style hot dog? First of all, no ketchup allowed! It’s an all beef hot dog in a really soft poppy seed bun and there are small spicy peppers on top. These are all the things that go on a proper Chicago dog: yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish that’s been dyed bright green, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers (these are the slightly spicy ones), and a dash of celery salt. Yum!

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In case you were wondering, Skye was in a great mood yesterday! It was nice to see her smiling again :)

Ok, back to the aquarium…

Remember the video I sent of the dolphins in the animal show? Here’s a picture of the performance tank with the curtains open; you can see Lake Michigan in the background. I think it’s a cool design because it almost looks like the tank is part of the lake.

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Here’s a video of the Sea Lion during the animal show. I thought he was adorable!!

After the animal show they played this video and the dolphins were goofing around doing belly flops.

Then we went underground to watch the dolphins from below. They were so graceful!!

I didn’t say anything about it before, but I was disappointed not to have seen any Morrish Idols on Saturday; they are my favorite fish. It turns out we’d missed an exhibit called Underwater Beauty. Luckily, we noticed it this time and guess what — there was a tank with Morrish Idols! I was so excited. When I was scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, I saw one of these with a 3-foot long dorsal fin. It swam right under my belly!

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This exhibit, Underwater Beauty, ended up being my favorite thing in the museum. It's such a good thing we came back for a second day!

Look at these crazy fish. I couldn’t find a sign anywhere telling me what they are. Maybe you can figure it out?

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These are Glass Catfish and one of their bottom feeding roommates.

Technically, the fluorescent Flower Hat Jellies are not jellyfish — but they look like it!

These are some real jellyfish, but I didn’t write down what kind. I love the color of the blue ones.

Here’s another wild fish. This one is called a Longhorn Cowfish. Isn’t that a perfect name for it?

We took a little snack break in the afternoon and Skye and I got glitter tattoos. I love them because they last for a couple of days.

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Look how bright this sea urchin is!

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This time the ray touch tank wasn’t so crowded and I got a photo of Skye petting one of them.

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Did you know that sharks eat rays? It’s a good thing the sharks at the aquarium are well fed!!

We visited the Beluga Whales again too. Here’s a video of one of them playing with a ball:

And another one rubbing up against the glass; it looks like it’s saying “hi” to the child watching it.

In another tank there was a Beluga Whale Calf; it was only two-weeks old. It’s a little hard to see because it’s short and dark. It’s dark color keeps it safe while it’s little; it was 5-feet long when it was born!

Today we drive to Wisconsin. I’m not exactly sure where, because we haven’t made our hotel reservation yet, but we’ll figure it out. These surprises are always part of the fun of traveling. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Bear Hugs & Unicorn Kisses,

Chris

P.S. Remember the fire alarm that went off in our hotel at the beginning of our trip? It was caused by bacon smoke in the kitchen. (I think I forgot to tell you that.) I’m glad there wasn’t a real fire, but wish I’d gotten to sleep more that day!