Night

Chelsea and I had plans to go to the Adler Planetarium tonight. They were going to have telescopes out on the South Lawn, and invited folks to stop by to see Mars.

We hopped a few trains, and had a nice walk through bits of Grant Park to get to the Planetarium. We got a bit turned around a few times, and ended up following what we assumed to be a "group of nerds also headed to the planetarium."

Despite my offer of a shiny nickel, Chelsea refused to heckle the other groups by yelling out "NEEEEEERRRRRRRRRDS!"

Ok. Right. The picture of me hugging the guy, hugging the fish.

This was near the Shedd Aquarium. Originally, I was going to pass it by, but Chelsea insisted it was a good shot. She wanted to get her picture taken with the figure, but waffled a bit. Turns out, the whole thing isn’t a statue, but a fountain that had been turned off. After her hesitation, I gave her my camera and had her take a picture of me.

Side note: on the other side, where my right arm is? There was a HUGE spider. I tried to get some pictures of it, but it was too dark. Scared the CRAP outta me though.

After the picture, Chelsea tried to climb onto the fountain, but was worried about "making it across." The area she had to jump over was about a foot, where the water drained off.

What a wuss.

As I jumped off, we noticed a small family headed our way. We both felt a little guilty, setting such a bad example for the young kids in tow. But after about 20 feet, we looked back and saw the mother jumping onto the fountain to get her picture taken. I yelled back about the spider, but I don’t think they heard me.

 

Front steps, Adler Planetarium. The whole night, I was worried about using the Flash too much. There were some big telescopes nearby, and in my paranoid brain I could see my camera Flash and then some small kid screaming, clutching his eyes.

There were a crapload of people in attendance. I’d guess about 150? Maybe 200? There were lots of folks just hanging out on the lawn; everywhere there was a telescope, there was a line.

In my mind, I had imagined a handful of people at most: one or two astronomers who knew what they were talking about, people in blankets, thermoses of coffee and chicken soup. For some reason, that’s what I had in my head.

 

The whole time we were there, people were just milling about and trying to find Mars in the sky. Repeat this converastion 30 times and it’ll be like you were there too:

Person 1: Is that Mars? Over there?
Person 2: No. That’s a plane.

Due to the cloud cover, there wasn’t much viewing to be had. So most everyone else was just hanging out on the lawn, hoping that the skies would clear. We were walking around a bit and, at one point, we heard the crowd break into applause and cheering. But by the time we got back, the general excitement had died down.

Chelsea and I were trying to scan the skies the whole time. I think I might have seen Mars for a split second, when the clouds parted ever so slightly. But I’m not sure of what I saw.

I could have been a plane. :|

I noticed the concrete extension (above) and had this hankering to go sit out by the top, farther out on the water. After some coaxing, Chelsea and I headed out there.

 

Love this.

At the very end of this walkway, on the topmost plank, I found this bit of graffiti, scrawled into the corner.

 

This is part of a line for one of the telescopes. Because of the cloud cover, people were looking at the Sears Tower, waiting for the skies to clear.

 

Here’s what the city looks like from where we were. Don’t let this picture discourage you from visiting Chicago. The skyline is actually not this blurry when you view it in person.

 

Eventually, Chelsea and I decided to ditch the planetarium. We got tired of waiting around, hopped a cab, and went back to Wicker Park. We debated going out, but decided that anywhere would be loud and suck on a Friday. So we ended up getting some beer, and just hanging out in my apartment for the rest of the night.

We had some good talks, mainly about Columbus and the folks we used to run with back then. Tonight was a good night I thought – we hadn’t seen each other in a long while, so it was nice to hang out again. Despite a few awkward moments, I felt really positive about things. We even talked (briefly) about the guy she’s seeing now. All in all, I take this as a good sign.

 

 

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