We didn’t go to the big zoo up here. Instead, we went to Lincoln Park Zoo. A nice small, free zoo. It was really good. The animals all had cages that had inside and outside parts and you could go around the outside and go inside so that you could see most of the animals. The only one I really didn’t like was the penquin house. There was no outside part to it and the windows were all foggy so it was really hard to see them. Many of the animals were so used to people that they were right there checking us out too. We saw a black panther, a snow leapard, and a black bear up close. The big cats were behind wires about three feet from the fence and those two that I mentioned were right at the front of their cage. The black bear was behind a tall wall of glass and they’d made a “cave” for it with part of it on the bear’s side of the glass and the other part on our side. He likes to sleep there and when he went to lay down, we were right there, so I got a picture of Christine right next to the bear. You can hardly see the glass, so it’s a cool picture. Christine loved seeing the bear up close like that. The polar bears were both swimming right next to the glass at the underwater viewing area, so there was another big animal seen so near to us. The female lion was out in the open and seemed to be enjoying the 75* weather. She was standing up on the highest rock in her area looking content. They were working on an outside area so we didn’t get to see it, but that was okay. I think we saw the animals in the building. The zoo was small enough that we were able to walk around and see all of the animals between 9 am and 12:30 pm.
After the zoo, we went and had lunch with Jeremy and then he took us up to his office and showed us his little work area and the group he’s working with. I know he has to love it because he’s with a whole bunch of geeks, just like him! After lunch, we walked around downtown Chicago a little bit. Christine played in a fountain for a little while and we worked on a little of her school work. She really had a great time.
On Friday, I took her to the sand dune park. We didn’t go to the part where most people go. We went to a smaller one called West Beach. It was nice and had only a few families there. There had been a storm during the early morning hours, so the waves on the lake were kind of big, but Christine didn’t mind. She really enjoyed it. She didn’t go very far in because I didn’t have my swimsuit and couldn’t go in too unless for emergency. She just played there on the sand and got in to up about knee depth water which got up to almost hip deep on her with some of the waves. She also had a blast running after the gulls. Something funny that happened while we were there. There was a group of college age kids, maybe about 6 of them, that were there when we first arrived. They left not long afterwards to get lunch, but kept all their stuff there because they were coming back after lunch. They had some snack food that they didn’t put away in gull proof containers. About ten minutes after they left, the gulls attacked and tore open two packages. There were a bunch of gulls flying around with whole cookies and rice cakes in their mouths. Each of them had about 3 or 4 more gulls flying around attacking them for that snack food. Both Christine and I laughed at their antics. It was quite interesting to watch.
After picking up Jeremy on Friday afternoon, we went back down south to take Christine to Jeremy’s parents’ house again. Jeremy was planning on doing some painting at the house, but they decided to do that next weekend and we spent most of today with the girls. It was nice. We went to a small mall up in Decatur, IL and let them play in the play area for a while. All the parents left except for us and one father and there were still 9 kids playing around. Since James is down in NC, that meant the other dad was watching five kids that looked alike and three of them looked the same size. I went over and said, “Okay, I want to ask the two obvious questions.” He said, “Yes, they are triplets and yes, all five are mine.” I laughed. I told him that I had five kids, but one at a time and he responded that he recommended it be done that way as it is probably much easier. His oldest is only five years old. I’d say that family has a lot on their plate. The triplets are about the same age as Noelle and were born the same weight and at the same time gestationally. You can see that one is a little behind in his development, but not by much.
Anyway, after our day with the girls, we came back up to Chicago-land with Amie. She is hoping that she’ll get to see Emily this week, but we’ll have to see if Crystal and she have time or not.