1. It’s Chicago Flower and Garden Show time!
I went to the Chicago Flower and Garden Show with my mom for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. She wasn’t able to come along this year, but that didn’t stop me from visiting.
I particularly liked the tulip and hyacinth displays, just like last year, but my FAR and away favorite part of the show this year was the brand new butterfly garden!
The garden–which was more of a mesh tent surrounded by tables than a garden, at least compared to the other gardens at the show–gave out free seeds for plants that attract butterflies and had monarchs emerging from chrysalises. But the best part in my opinion was inside the mesh tent itself, where for $2, you could walk in with a foam paintbrush dipped in orange Powerade (a butterfly’s flavor of choice, I learned, since they enjoy citrus) and feed the butterflies!
These are painted ladies. There was a monarch in the tent, but it was tired and didn’t want to socialize, so it hung out with the (human) lady associated with the group that organized that particular garden.
I eventually coaxed the butterflies off the paintbrush and onto my finger, which you’ll have to imagine, since my hand was obviously too occupied for me to use it to take pictures. HOWEVER. The #1 highlight of my time in the butterfly tent, without question, was when I was just standing around minding my own business, feeding the butterflies on my paintbrush, when another butterfly, apropos of absolutely nothing (other than the fact that I was standing there) landed on my FACE. On my EYEBROW, to be specific. As you may or may not recall, this is the second time in two years a butterfly has landed on me without being bribed with Powerade or other sweet treats to do so, which further confirms my suspicion that I am a fairy princess.
The Chicago Flower and Garden Show runs through this weekend, and if you’re at all interested in flowers, I definitely recommend going. It’s not terribly expensive, and the displays are so pretty. It always gets me pumped for gardening later on in the year!
2. I finally, finally made it to the Museum of Science and Industry this weekend (well, Monday, technically, but I took PTO on Monday, so it was still the weekend as far as I was concerned 😛 ). I last visited MSI during the summer of 2002, so while some things have stayed the same (like the train by where you buy tickets), a LOT has changed from what I remember seeing on my last visit.
One of the special exhibits right now is Brick by Brick, which features recreations of architectural wonders (the Golden Gate Bridge, Fallingwater, a variety of skyscrapers and Cinderella’s Castle among them) built using Legos. I’ve thought gigantic Lego creations were pretty cool since the first time I visited a Lego store–which, now that I think about it, was probably right around the same time as my last trip to MSI–and I’ve thought architecture was pretty cool since, like, ever, so I was really fascinated by this exhibit.
Right outside Brick by Brick is a huge model train set that travels from Chicago to Seattle–it’s like it was built with me in mind! Travel by rail, Chicago, Seattle: all of my favorite things. I liked the model of Chicago, but I did find it a little strange that the model isn’t accurate (like putting the Daily News Building and Union Station immediately across the street from each other, when in fact Ogilvie and the Daily News Building are immediately across the street from each other, or putting El tracks next to the Sears (Willis) Tower, when in fact the El is a block away). But regardless, it was still pretty cool.
I have no recollection of ever seeing the genetics exhibit before, but I knew they had baby chicks there, and those were probably my favorite part of the whole museum. They were SO CUTE! So fluffy! So tiny! So perfect! I loved it.
3. And, while we’re on the topic of “Things I Had Not Done/Experienced in Chicago,” I had a particularly bizarre experience last Tuesday that seems like something that could really only happen here.
As you may or may not know/recall, last Tuesday, Chicago got slammed with lake effect snow. It was cold. It was gross. It was lame. But, fortunately, it was also before March 31, which meant the heat lamps were still on on CTA platforms. On my way home from dance, I huddled under one and noticed a pigeon to my right had the same idea.
It always amuses me when I see pigeons under heat lamps. Obviously they’re cold just like the rest of us, and even though they’re dirty, flying rats, etc., I think seeing them react to the cold just like people react to the cold “humanizes” them a bit, if you will. So, entertained by this annoyed pigeon, I opened the camera on my phone and took a picture of him. I continued reading whatever article I had pulled up, and noticed the pigeon had decided he was no longer happy where he stood. He took flight, headed in my direction, and flew right into my backpack!
NEVER in 26 and a half years of existence, have I EVER had a bird FLY INTO ME. In fact, I presumed this was a thing that COULD NOT happen, at least to birds that have the ability to fly, given that they have 1) eyes 2) wings and 3) the ability to change direction quickly, should something get in its way. I have had played many a game of Chicken with pigeons before, daring them to stay in my way as I continued moving straight forward, and I have ALWAYS won. In fact, I didn’t even consider the possibility that I could lose. I have a clear size advantage, and figured that’d always be enough to push me over the edge.
Have you ever visited the Museum of Science and Industry?
Do you garden?