Friday, April 22, 2011
O Is For...
O Is For...Oceanarium
O is also Oh Pretty Please Go Vote for Captain Ninja Alex J Cavanaugh's Cassastar trailer at You Gotta Read. He's #7
While poor Olive has been done in by an awl, I was done in by the John G. Shedd Aquarium and Oceanarium (I'm cheating a bit with the letters) and three 12 year old boys.
It was bright and sunny, a bit chilly, but what can you do, this is Chicago. We boarded the train, the boys excited, but fortunately no sugar high from breakfast cereal or Pop Tarts. We're all good, except I have to pee. No problem, I'll go when we get there. Yeah right. We arrived at the Aquarium at 11:00AM. There is a line that snakes down from the entry doors to Ohio. A line we were obliged to wait in for nearly an hour. Just. To. Get. Inside. There is another Three Mile Island line inside. So we waited in line to wait in line. My kidneys were ready to abandon ship and I was ready to feed my charges to the sharks.
We finally get our 4 tickets (after I fork over one complaining kidney) at 12:14PM. I raced awkwardly down a flight of curving stairs, dodged idiots, strollers and kiddie landmines, reached the bathroom and barely managed to avoid wetting myself. Yay me! I wish I had this much control when it comes chocolate.
And we were off. The first exhibit was the Amazon Rising Waters where the boys raced ahead like fighter jets breaking formation. Them from various points in the gallery: "Look, the snake!" "Where are the piranhas?" "Check this out!" Me: "Wait." "Wait." "Where...?"
The next two galleries were a blur of the same. I managed to collar them in time for our 4 D theater experience. Why are those glasses always designed for heads the size of very small coconuts? I herded them into yet another long ass line. I felt like I was at the United Airlines ticket counter. Finally after God only knows how much time, we were allowed into the theater. The boys bounced ahead like manic basketballs and when I saw them settle in the same row, I leap-frogged some poor old woman and side-swiped another in order to get right next to them. Twenty minutes of bliss followed. No questions, no running off, just sitting.
Let me just tell you, when they say 4 D, they mean wind effects inside the theater and, AND vibrating chairs. Oh Yeah. I highly recommend these, because you sure do leave that theater feeling great. And get your minds out of the gutter, it wasn't great in THAT way.
After another hour or so of playing spot the kid, it was feeding time. At those prices I was obliged to sign a promissary note for all my internal organs and those of my unborn children. Afterward, we headed to the Oceanarium. Beluga whales, dolphins, otters and cute little penguins. The boys were fascinated and educated thanks to the amazing staff. Best of all, they remained together and I got to actually see something for more than three seconds. Another small victory.
When it was time to leave, the boys were outside faster than I could blink and halfway to the train station. I followed in their contrails. We made it back in one piece, the car ride home a cacophony of sound louder than the vuvuzelas at the World Cup. When I got inside, I unleashed the boys, mainlined some ibuprofen and took a nap.
And to think I'll be tackling the Museum of Science and Industry with the same crew shortly. Drugs, I'm going to need more drugs.