Ford Kids in Chicago, 2023 (Part Two): Breakfast at Roux, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street Books, Dinner at Eataly, Dessert at the Sugar Factory

Liz and I had a second day today, with the Ford kids. Our plan was another “Day in Chicago,” but this time a bit more reserved. A bit lower key.

We blew most of our energy last week on a pretty event-filled day. So today had fewer events, fewer things to do. But we still ended up filling the day, and then some.

I picked up the kids at Katie and Tim’s place, and drove everyone back to Hyde Park. We started the day with a late brunch (circa 11AM) at Roux.

This photo is after our meal, during what I called “an impromptu meeting in the middle of the restaurant.” No clue what was happening here.

The kids, walking together back to the car. There’s a fellowship and inseparable nature to these three, that’s difficult to express… but easily witnessed, if you see them all together.

On our way out of the parking lot, we spotted this… car? Barricade? Car barricade? No idea what the story is here.

Of note: there was no windshield to speak of, as the front of this thing was also a solid mass. Your guess is as good as mine.

At MSI, checking out the 40 foot tornado.

I had to prevent myself from humble bragging about how I got to stand inside this thing, once upon a time. Back when I was a Finalist for the Month at the Museum contest, and got treated like Science Royalty for a brief moment of time.

We got to watch the Foucault pendulum, and actually saw it knock over a few blocks. This was incredibly exciting.

Lightning in a bottle.

As we were walking around on the first floor, we heard a group of people chanting… counting down from 10 to zero. This was coming from the second floor, and when they reached zero… a terrifically loud buzzing sound came from the ceiling.

Turns out, it was the Tesla Coil – something that goes off once every 30 minutes or so.

I had forgotten about this guy, and how fun it was to see in action. We got to the second floor with a few minutes to spare, and settled down in the viewing area, directly underneath the coil. And we also joined in the countdown.

Tesla coil, still shot.

The “Avalanche Disk,” which is even cooler from up above.

Paige and Sebastian, playing a game where one person tries to say a random sentence… and the other person has to guess the emotion they are portraying.

A game that measures brain wave activity, where the calmest person moves the ball towards their opponent. To win the game, get relaxed!

Liz and Sebastian, in a battle of laid back wills.

Walking around the interior of a Boeing 727.

A must-visit exhibit. And something Liz was incredibly clear about seeing, before we even considered leaving: the baby chicks.

Lots of little guys, fluttering about.

More chicks.

As part of the “Blue Paradox” exhibit, an exploration of the amount of plastic waste that’s overtaking our oceans… people were asked to add their names to a pledge, to reduce plastic waste.

The dev in me saw that they were not doing any data sanitation, or validating any of the input for names.

A glimpse of the Mirror Maze, which was actually incredibly fun. I was getting pretty lost, and was making my way pretty slowly through this thing.

A funny realization: you could tell which paths were mirrors, and which were not by the amount of visible finger smudges on the glass. There was a guy inside the maze, furiously cleaning off all the mirrors. And about as fast as kids were leaving marks.

Still super fun, and visually compelling. I really got turned around a few times here!

On emerging from the museum, we realized that there had been a pretty big thunderstorm outside. We made our way over to 57th Street Books for a small break, before dinner.

Fast forward downtown, where we were at Eataly for dinner.

Small side note: as we were making our way from Hyde Park to downtown Chicago, the tornado sirens were going off. We had a choice to make, and ended up deciding to make the trek downtown despite the warnings.

En route, everyone’s phones started to go off with alarms. It was a bit disconcerting. But the skies looked ok, and we were making good time towards downtown. To me at the time, the safest place we could be was within a parking structure, so that’s where we were headed at top speed.

Playing a game of “I have never” with the kids. Not sure the exact name, but it involves everyone putting up all ten fingers… and then going around in a circle.

One person says “I have never…” and then states a thing that they have never done. If anyone else in the game has done the thing that was said… they put down a finger. Play continues until there’s only one person left.

I got knocked out pretty early, and I think it was ultimately between Liz and Sebastian (Liz won).

Paige was pretty sneaky though, and was using the game to try to discern information about everyone else. For example, she said things like “I have never gotten a tattoo.” And it felt like she was observing both me and Liz, to see what we’d do. Sneaky.

Our official plans for the night got cancelled, due to weather. We knew it was a bit up in the air, as we saw rain in the forecast… but we weren’t sure until around 4PM when we got the cancellation message.

The original plan was a Kayak tour along the Chicago River, at night. We’d depart at 7PM and join a large group that would paddle out to Navy Pier to watch the fireworks while on the water.

Unfortunately, with the amount of rain (and lightning) happening… the event got cancelled. So we decided to hit up a nearby dessert place instead.

Outside the Sugar Factory.

This was… a weird place. Kind of a candy store, kind of an adult bar with fancy drinks. It wasn’t clear to me who the target audience was, for this place.

A clear sign that Liz and I are not parents: we decided to serve these children chocolate cake and ice cream, circa 9:30 PM.

Three kids, two desserts.

Liz and I, sharing some ice cream.

Enjoying our desserts in an absurdly large table.

The kayak tour would have made for a pretty late night, with the whole thing ending around 10PM. It turns out, our desserts ended up making it just as late of a night… and we didn’t arrive back in Valpo until closer to 11:45PM.

We dropped the kids off, everyone was a bit bleary-eyed, and we said our goodbyes. On the hour drive back to Chicago, Liz and I were recapping the night and talked about how much fun we had with the Ford kids… both this week, and last.

Already looking forward to the next visit, next year.

Ford Kids in Chicago, 2023 (Part One): Scavenger Hunt Across the City, Mission to Mars Escape Room, Ethiopian Dinner at Demera, Blue Man Group
A Day in Chicago with the Ford Kids: Sears Tower, Fox in a Box Escape Room, Lunch at Revival Food Hall, Redline VR, Korean BBQ at San Soo Gab San
Jasmine and Jahnu Visit the Museum of Science and Industry
Exploring the Museum of Science and Industry
Month at the Museum: Science Experiment Reveals Winner
I’m a Finalist for Month at the Museum!

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