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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Welcome to Chicago! – U.S. Explorer

Welcome to Chicago! - U.S. Explorer

The U.S. Explorer checks in from Chicago

When we say X, you say R… When we say 1, you say 9…

We had an amazing time in the city with big shoulders… also known as Chicago! On our way into town, our first stop was at the famous bean in Millennium Park. So many of us took creative pictures in the reflection. Our group photo may have been the most awesome one we’ve taken yet!

Then we were off to a  White Sox game. We warmed up for the game with a Take Me Out to the Ballgame sing along! It was Abby’s first baseball game,and she said it was awesome! Lee, Tyler, Evan S. and Zach G. while exploring the park got right behind the Blue Jays dugout. Although Tyler was rooting for the Blue Jays , he was excited to watch the game and was excited for the fireworks after the Sox hit a home run.

We then checked into to the beautiful Omni hotel, located in the Chicago downtown area that is also known as the loop. For dinner, we devoured a Chicago delicacy –  deep dish pizza. At Gino’s you are also able to sign the walls. The XR19 legacy lives on… go to the 3rd floor and look at the sconce on the chandelier all the way in the back right corner.

The next day, we went to the Museum of Science & Industry, where everyone enjoyed checking out the exhibits. The favorite include the submarine, the airplane/trains and weather the exhibits. Mabil said she liked the exhibit where a machine takes a picture of yourself and you can see what you would look like at the age of 70 years old! Grant was amazed at the size, and said he looks forward to coming back see more on his next trip to Chicago.

After dinner at Sopranos, a delicious Italian restaurant, on our walk to Blue Man Group, we passed a park and spent a few minutes reliving our childhoods. Zach G. pushed Delilah on the swing. Kyle and Aaron got into a water fight. Sam E. swung on the monkey bars. Brandon and Noah went on the seesaw. Quite a bit of monkeying around!

The Blue Man Group was spectacular!  An incredible production! The highlight for many of us was the Rock Concert moves and having the chance to play with huge inflatable balls in a club-like atmosphere. Our front row seats also made us targets for banana  splatter and other concoctions. Zach R. made it onto the big screen when the group came into the audience. Alexa said she really liked the show and thought it was funny. Evan A. loved when the group played drums while paint splattered everywhere.

In the evening, Rickey said that his rose was the show. Zach G. said watching a baby chicken be born at the museum was unreal.

The following day, we went on a bike tour that offered  incredible views of Lake Michigan. We rode all along the water and even stopped at the Lincoln Zoo,. Emily and Seryna ran to look at the zebras. Matt said that he thought the gorillas were cool. For Jonah F. the highlight was the views, specifically of Navy Pier… which is where we stopped for lunch!

We then went to Willis Tower, the tallest highest building in the western hemisphere. Prior to our arrival, we watched Modern Marvels and  learned that the Willis Tower rises 1,450 feet high; that is the length of  five football fields. The Ledge on the 103rd floor is a pure glass outlook that jets out over the street below. Nikki took a picture of herself doing a hand stand on the ledge!

We stopped for dinner at Flat Top Grill, a make your own stir fry restaurant. We had many vegetables and sauces to choose from, and it was interesting to see the cool combinations everyone put together!

The next evening we went to the Second City Comedy club. It was a great show that included audience participation! We yelled out many suggestions for improvisation topics, they were so funny! Jonah F. said the show was hilarious. Zach G. said that his favorite part was when the actors pretended to play tennis and a song about when the world is going to end. Jamie enjoyed meeting one of the comedians after the show. Chase and Gary said they appreciated the comedy – and liked that the troop tried out material for thr new show they are debuting in the fall

Minneapolis here we come!

Team XR19

The Westcoast Blogger