On our way back to the hotel from breakfast it started to rain. It continued to rain and rain. So Chris and I decided on indoor instead of outdoor activities for our second day in Chicago.

Apparently so did everyone else.

We arrived at Shedd Aquarium in the morning and there was already a lengthy line clear out of the building, down the stairs, and into the open rain.

We waited an hour to get in.

Because it took so long to get in, one of the shows we were going to see started soon, which meant walking over and standing in another line. We were advised to get in line early, so we attempted to do that (fifteen minutes before the show instead of ten). We were ejected from the line for showing up too early. We waited, we came back, and the line was much longer after the five or so minutes we had been gone. The sheer volume of people and the poor management of crowds and lines made the first several hours of the day frustrating.

We watched one of the 4-D experience videos. It was similar to the Disney simulations at Disneyworld where they add lights, wind, etc to the video you're watching. Only difference was this one was in 3-D and was a condensed BBC program.
We then went off to check out a few exhibits and eat some lunch. Once refueled, we went and stood in another line (this time much shorter) for their other show with dolphins and whales. I dont remember much of Sea World as a kid, but I imagine this demonstration was more educational than Sea World, although I was disappointed that they never actually used the proper names for the training techniques (like conditioned response). Instead they just continued to describe the process over and over. Maybe most people don't know what it's called?

The entire aquarium is large. Much larger than I thought it would be. And the setup is interesting. Because we had set times we needed to be somewhere, we didn't go through the traditional circle it looks like you're supposed to. I'm sure the entire experience flows much nicer if you do go through it that way.

They do have a few things I wasn't expecting at an aquarium, like tarantulas, a monkey, iguanas, and cockroaches. But honestly, they were nice additions to the exhibits they were in. I really probably would have enjoyed this place as a little kid. As an adult it's still fun, but I get far more stressed out in large crowds as an adult that I did as a child.

Shedd Aquarium is a nice aquarium. Very expensive, but nice. Next time we are in the area I hope to hit the Field Museum right next to it.


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