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Chicago: Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute and my birthday!

I’m back home now, after a bit of a whirlwind trip around the country.  My last few days in Chicago were lovely, just like my first couple.

chicago cultural center in b&w

David and Carrie are excellent hosts and always keep me well-entertained and well-fed.  I didn’t take a single photo at any of the restaurants we went to.  I’m a very serious eater and it’s hard for me to wait and even harder for me to remember to photo before I dive in.  Instead, I have for you the Shedd Aquarium:

turtle at the shedd aquarium, chicago

snake at the shedd aquarium, chicago

I must also add that it is really extraordinarily difficult to make good photographs at an aquarium.  First, it’s always quite dim.  Second, the glass and the water do the most horrible things to autofocus and angles.  In the photo below, this incredibly creepy giant spider crab looks like it’s on television or something.  No, it’s just the refraction and things making it look strange.  Very difficult to pull off good photography in an aquarium.

spider crab at the shedd aquarium, in black and white

seahorses at the shedd aquarium

The next day, my sorta birthday, we made it to the Art Institute.  We went on a “highlights” tour with one of the volunteer docents who spent fifteen minutes on each painting.  Suffice to say, it was more of a “highlight” tour.  In any case, it’s a huge museum with a ton of great stuff and an amazing number of very famous originals:

monet at the art institute

art installation at the art institute

various pieces of art at the art institute in chicago

modern wing of the art institute in chicago

Seriously, David and Carrie are the worst subjects.  “Go stand in front of those Chagall windows,” I said.  “Okay, look at each other.” They give me maybe .5 seconds to get my shot and then start walking back to me.  Thanks guys!!

chagall windows at the art institute

But seriously, thank you so much David and Carrie for always making my trips to Chicago so fantastic.  I hope very much that you get to go where you want for residency (Baltimore! Baltimore! Baltimore!).  And thank you David for my expensive and luxurious birthday dinner.  Yes folks, I’m now 27, the “hot age” and I look forward to everything this year of my life has to offer!

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