Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lincoln Park Zoo

This weekend Sean worked both days, in addition to having worked all week long. He was able to get off early in the morning on Sunday (this is after working for 5 hours), just in time for us to rush to church. It was a gorgeous day outside, so I packed some flip-flops in the car for an after church walk along the lake. We like to take as much advantage of time that we have together as possible, so on the spur of the moment, we decided to walk along the beach for a while and then continue on a few blocks from Moody to the Lincoln Park Zoo. 

What a cool place! The zoo was founded in 1868 and houses over 1000 animals. It is located on the southern part of Lincoln Park, right in the middle of the city. The zoo is open 365 days a year and is free to the public.

As we meandered into the zoo, by way of the Lincoln Park Lagoon, we noticed many paddle boats in the water, including a romantic paddle boat for two in the shape of a giant swan. I told Sean, "That is the one I want to rent." He seemed amused and said that we would look dumb. See for yourself.

One of the first exhibits we visited was an area with nocturnal animals. You know they always make those buildings creepy. They hang fake snakes above your head and have nighttime sounds on the speakers in the background. Everything needs to be dark or the animals would be sleeping and unavailable to be viewed by the public. The deeper we went into the rooms, the creepier it got. We arrived at the bats, and there was a small hallway to the left of the dimly lit room. I decided that whatever was back there was something that I did not need to see, so I let Sean (who had already scared me once) check it out by himself. He came back out of the hallway and said that I really needed to come and see what was in the small area adjacent to the bat sanctuary. At first I refused, noting that he was notorious for luring me into non-scary situations that he managed to make scary. He promised that this was not the case. As I skeptically followed him into the hall, I saw the following little creature. It is a sand cat. They have huge ears and the cutest faces. One even woke up and stretched for us.

This next little creature is a Patagonian cavy. It is sort of similar to a rabbit but bigger with long legs. 

Of course, the tigers. One of my favorites. I love their giant paws. Any kind of cats always fascinate me.

When I was a child, my mother said that I was related to these next ones because of their skinny legs. 

This monkey-guy is kind of hard to see in the picture, but he only had one arm. The other one had to be amputated after he was trying to reach for some food that the public threw. He did not seem phased to be one-armed and jumped around and did embarrassing things just like the rest of the primates. 

This last one is a kind of gecko. It is suctioned to the glass. I didn't even see it at first.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nothing Much

Not much exciting stuff has happened in the last couple weeks. Sean and I are really getting settled in to living in Chicago. We like to get out and drive around when we get some time off together, so that we can get used to where everything is and how to get there easily. 

I have also started running with Sean (well not really with him, but at the same time). He has always been a runner and likes to find new routes wherever he is living. I am usually more of an elliptical-in-the-health-club girl, but we have not found a club that we like here yet. So, in the last couple of weeks, I have started going down to the lakefront with Sean and finding my own routine to exercise and be alone with my thoughts. Sean had told me that there was a really great view of the city on his route, and I had not witnessed it until the first time I tagged along with him. I wish I had brought my camera, because it was absolutely beautiful that day. There is a spot where you turn a corner and downtown just emerges in front of you as you move forward. I have never had such a great area to exercise, and I really look forward to our available evenings.

A very eventful moment in my life took place last weekend when I tried Unagi for the first time (the dragon one). It was actually quite delicious. For you non-sushi-eaters, check out this hilarious explanation.

We had been attending Moody Church in the evenings for the last few weeks, because Sean had been working so many night shifts. Last Sunday we were finally able to go during the morning again and went to an ABF (adult Bible fellowship) group for the first time. We really loved our group back in Minnesota at Grace, so we really think that having a group that you mesh with well is important. So far, I am excited. The people are really nice and friendly, and it seems like an environment where they really break down Bible passages and get into the meaning, which I love. 

It is hard to really get out and enjoy what the city has to offer, because Sean works so much. We don't get big chunks of time together. I do like our life here though, despite the busyness that surrounds us.