So it started off in Chicago for my sister's graduation. She lives by Millennium Park, which is where the "Cloud Gate" or as the locals call it, "The Bean". Here it is below:
Lots of tourists come by. It's also really weird optically when you're underneath it.
Also Chicago hotdogs follow the following notice:
They go for peppers, mini pickles, some other pickles and onions, etc.
She's also really close to this:
which is a really cool place. It's also really close to Lake Michigan as seen below, if you turn left:
The first day we were there I mostly just explored, and past places like this:
And also visited the Planetarium which was free at the time:
If you're curious, the sign says "Welcome to the Universe" which I felt was really fitting for Anna.
We then went to the Aquarium, which was not free, but cheap (I think it was 8 dollars normally, compared to NE which is like 20). It was kind of like the NE Aquarium, with lots of stuff to see, including this manta ray:
It's creepy looking from below. It looks kind of like that monster guy from Pan's Labyrinth. We also went to the Museum of Science and Industry, which was full of larger than life experiments, including the below which simulated avalanches (ie granular material that behaves chaotically when in large amounts).
When I said my sister lives close, I meant really close (Millennium Park below):
We then went on an architecture boat tour, and saw lots of buildings from below, like this one (Sears Tower, very famous for the glass floors that you can step out on at the observation deck at the top).
But what we did was actually a river architecture + lake tour so we also got to see Chicago from Lake Michigan:
And then I explored around Navy Pier, which used to be a training ground until it got retrofitted into kind of an amusement park. Here's me taking an artsy far-away picture of the Ferris wheel in front:
Apparently during the.....something fair, possibly world's fair, not sure, there was a Ferris wheel double the current diameter, and a full ride (two rotations) would take an hour or something. Also something about how Chicago is known as the Windy City not for its wind, but because its politicians were wind bags when trying to convince people to host stuff in Chicago right after the Great Chicago Fire.
Another artsy picture of Chicago from Navy Pier this time:
And here are my parents at The Bean at sunset:
So when I finally went into the Art Institute of Chicago, I found a couple goodies like the following (Erin, pay attention):
1. Goodie One
2. Goodie Two (a piece found in the temporary R. Lichtenstein exhibit)
3. Goodie Three
4. Goodie Four
5. Goodie Five
Now another picture from the roof deck of the apartment building:
And then take a 2 hour flight to Denver and you can see this in the area between Boulder and Denver:
I actually then went to Denver after spending a while in Boulder (few days). Here's the Colorado State Capital below (from below):
And then at the same time, participated in an Equalist rally (like in Legend of Korra, except not). Just kidding, it was actually Denver PrideFest. Here's a more.....controlled/reserved picture:
On my way back, I found Rory (see arms for tallies, although kind of look more like stitch marks):
So something about Boulder/Colorado/etc is that there are lots of prairie dogs. Here are some on my way to work:
There's a scout dog that then emits a high pitched squeak when danger is observed, alerting the others to go back into their holes. The ground is filled with holes. Here's another picture from the area where I work:
The clouds around the bottom may be caused by the Colorado wild fires going on right now. Not sure if they're in the right direction or not, but it looks like the white clouds stuff is actually coming from the ground.
Finally food. I felt kind of proud of this NY strip steak, potatoes, and mixed greens with yellow bell pepper I made below:
And the below picture doesn't really do the baguettes I made quite enough justice because I had to put them in the microwave to keep them high enough to not get eaten by the 3 (now 4) dogs, 2 cats and 1 kitten that are also in the house I'm in.
Also work is good. Lots of office supplies, my computer finally arrived (nice laptop and two monitors at work). Getting used to industry-lifestyle is in process. Very different compared to the sacrifice-everything way of Academia I feel. Hi.