We took a 6-hour drive up to the Chicago suburbs to visit relatives and stay for a while. While there, we drove into Chicago to visit the Shedd Aquarium and see the beluga whales. I don't know why but I really love those things and can stand and watch them for a long time without wanting to do much else. The photos aren't great - too dark. The mother and calf swam around and up and through an opening that looked like a window and then down and around and up again and again and again. The calf, Nunavik, is not a year old, and stayed right beside or touching Mom all the time.
If you get a chance to visit, do it! There are plenty of critters to see, from the smallest frogs and seahorses to the bigger otter, belugas (they have 4) and dolphins.
I couldn't resist taking a photo of the Rockhopper Penguins...especially when I saw the Rockhopper artwork on the wall, created by them using their...um...natural materials.
Doesn't that look like a "drawing" of a Rockhopper? ha ha
On the way to Chicago, just north of Lafayette, Indiana, there is a windmill farm. It was surreal to see all these windmills in the farmland, hundreds of them for miles and they are farming right underneath them.
I'm not going to try to fill you in on everything yet - you'll have to wait for me to sort more photos. I'll give you a teaser though - we went to the Art Institute of Chicago, the 2nd largest art museum in the country, behind New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. (And let me give you a tip: If they tell you "Sure, you can walk from the Aquarium to the Art Institute," they are telling the truth, but it's about a 40 minute walk to get there and if you don't have on walking shoes, take a bus, a trolley or a cab instead. My feet are going to take a few days to get back to normal. (But I am so glad we did it because the paintings are outstanding, awe-inspiring, and just plain too great to miss if you're in Chicago.)