Friday, April 14, 2006

Chicago, Part II: Riding the Bus and Travel Tips

The next day, after Hubby had recovered enough from the night before, we headed to the Field Museum. We got instructions from the concierge desk on how to take the bus, then headed to the corner. We were a little anxious because we haven’t ridden the bus before, always living in car-friendly cities. But we had good instructions, and since this bus is usually full of tourists, considering where it goes, the driver was pretty friendly. Also, they announce each stop, so really, you can’t get lost. And it’s always interesting being on public transportation. We knew we must have been on the right bus because most of the people around us were talking about getting off at the museum, or the aquarium, or the planetarium, and other things in that area.

Travel tip for ya if you ride the bus in Chicago. The busses are really long—2 busses connected with baffles like an accordion, which help them make turns. So, if you are standing in the center of the bus, look down and make sure you aren’t straddling the track because one foot will go one way while the other stays in place when you go around a corner. It also helps if you have someone to hold onto around those corners. It’s like a whole other ride!

Going down there, the bus wasn’t too crowded. Coming back, that was a different story—packed! Also, that brings me to another travel tip for ya. When you get directions on how to get somewhere, it doesn’t hurt to get directions on how to get back. We realized on the way back that we didn’t really know what direction that bus was going, and we just assumed it a loop. We were familiar enough with the area by this point and got off and a great stop, but next time I’m asking about both ways.

And yet one more tip! If you are only going to one museum, such as The Field Museum, pay the extra few bucks and order your tickets online for the day you’re going. Then, when all those people are winding their way up to the ticket booth, you’ll just walk right up to the Will Call window. Plus, they gave us complimentary tickets for the Evolving Planet exhibit. I’m glad they did because I hadn’t requested those tickets, and they’ve made all the dinosaurs part of that exhibit, so we would have missed them. Now, if you are going to go to more than one museum, get a Chicago CityPass. You can get these online at; they are good for 9 days, and you don’t have to wait in line to get in. You can also get them at the museums. So worth it.

Coming up, The Field Museum.

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