Spicyland in Chicago – Day 3

Our last day!  Sad face.  😦

Mom and I took the 151 bus over to Lincoln Park for a little zoo adventure Saturday morning.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Admission is free, so weren’t sure how big it would be, or how many animals they’d have.  As it turns out, the zoo is a sprawling maze and home to animals of all shapes and sizes.  We were impressed (when we weren’t lost, turned around, or retracing our steps around the zebra and camel exhibits aaaagain).

Another thing – I do have a bit of a moral dilemma as it pertains to zoos.  On the one hand, it’s amazing to see an enormous tiger chowing down on a hunk of raw meat 10 feet in front of me, or a gigantic gorilla sacked out on the ground just right there, or a polar bear on a perch on the other side of his pool.

But on the other, it’s difficult for me to admire these animals knowing they are so far from their natural environment.  They’re in cages, they’re confined, and some appear visibly stressed by the audience of screaming kids and shutterbug adults.  (The jaguar started pacing around a very well-worn path in his cage, the lion similarly paced back and forth while we watched.)

So, while we were in awe of the creatures we saw, there was a little nagging pang in my head that just didn’t feel quite right.  You know what I mean?

Anyway, here’s who we met at the zoo….

sea lion 1

Sea Lion

sea lion 2

sea lion 3

sea lion 4

He liked to be upside down.

sea lion 5



tiger 2


tiger 1

tiger 3


tiger 4

jaguar 1

Jaguar – beautiful.

jaguar 2

jaguar 3

gibbons 1

Gibbons – they were crazy, swinging around all over!

gibbons 2

gorilla 1

Gorilla in a hammock.

This big dude was all tuckered out….

gorilla 2

gorilla 3







rhino 1


The rhinoceros took a mud bath while we were there.  First, he laid down on one side and rolled around.  Then he heaved himself up, did a little circle, and plopped down on the other side.  Hilarious!

rhino 2



polar bear 1

Polar bear

polar bear 2

polar bear 3

It was well after lunchtime by the time we got back to the hotel to meet up with Pops.  We were all famished, so we headed out in search of a late lunch/early dinner.  Linner?  Dunch?

My dad had his eye on Niu, a sushi/Japanese fusion spot on Illinios Street.  Sold!

Mom ordered the seaweed salad to start….seriously, to DIE!  I had a couple of bites and wished I’d ordered my own (she probably did too 😉 ).

seaweed salad

Vegetarian spring rolls (we ended up ordering a second plate, they were soooo goooood!)….

spring rolls

Gyoza – steamed vegetable dumplings.  Drool.

Gyoza - dumplings with vegetables

Dad’s sushi platter (Mom’s spicy Maki roll to the right):

Sushi plate with spicy Maki roll

My vegetarian roll with avocado – exquisite.

Maki roll with avocado

I love eating this kind of food because it’s so fresh, there are so many vegetables, and while I “may” have completely stuffed my face, I didn’t feel weighed down with a huge, heavy meal.  I was perfectly satisfied and ready for….the Ferris wheel!

Navy Pier ferris wheel

We weren’t far at all from Navy Pier, so it was a quick walk.  My mom’s departing request was a ride on the wheel, so we hopped in line with the other 2,598 people who had the same idea.  Actually – surprisingly – the wait wasn’t that long.

ferris wheel view 1

Did you know that the whole ride lasts seven minutes?  It goes so fast, but from the ground it looks like it’s crawling.

ferris wheel view 2

fam on the ferris wheel

ferris wheel view 3

ferris wheel view 4

ferris wheel view 5

Dad treated us to a Margaritaville margarita to go….

Margaritas to go

margarita on Navy Pier

Then we made our way back toward the Hard Rock.  Another early-morning flight awaited us the next day, frown.

last night

Last night in the beautiful city.

Sunday morning from the plane:

Goodbye Chicago 1

Goodbye, Chicago! MmmmWAH!

Goodbye Chicago 2

The three days completely flew!  We mustn’t let four years go by before a return visit.

Thank you, Dad and Mom, for an awesome, AWESOME weekend!  xxxxoooo


2 Comments on “Spicyland in Chicago – Day 3”

  1. Mummy says:

    Great memories, Leigh! Love spending time with you! xoxoxo

  2. Jennifer says:

    I have the same sentiment about zoos. Good for learning and seeing things we wouldn’t otherwise see, but sad and constricting.

    On another note, now I REALLY want to go back to Chicago!

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