We continued to walk through Grant Park and we encountered many statues, flower beds, water fountains and I couldn't get over how many monarch butterflies - wish we had our nets and insectarium that day!
This larger fountain is Buckingham fountain and unfortunately was blocked off, so you can't dip your feet in our anything. I guess if it wasn't they would have tourists in there all the time. On this stretch Jasmine had found a piece of wood that she wanted to take home and color, so lucky Jay got to add that to the backpack and carry it home (later to remember we couldn't take wood over the border anyhow) From the back side it had a nice view of the city line.
Now we have arrived at Millenium Park. The first two below are pictures of Jay Pritzker Pavilion, one of the best outdoor music venues in the world. Each of those arches is suspending a speaker system - it was a pretty cool site! It appeared that many locals were here eating their lunches and taking a break from work laying in the sun.
The next few shots are all of Cloud Gate - "The Bean". This was a huge interactive sculpture, inpsired by liquid mercury. You can not see a seem on it, only a reflection. It is concave, so you can walk through it or under the center of it. The last picture is taken looking up into the center of it from underneath!
After this exhibit, we went to the little Children's Activity room and listened to a kids' choir, played with skipping ropes and hoola hoops, made a craft out of recycled materials and then did some building with blocks. A nice break from the warm day. We headed out to some shade and had our picnic lunch. Devin enjoyed shooing the pigeons away from our food by giving them his crusts. Then off to explore the rest of the park and the other fountains and eat some ice cream.
Below is one of the two displays that make up the Crown Fountain at the end of Millenium Park. Different visuals rotate through, including faces of people from Chicago. Some of the time water cascades down the entire structure, while other times, it spits water out the mouth. Lots of people were cooling off here - it was just like a large splash park. Chatted with a nice local man who had brought his kids for the first time this year.
So, we called it a down day, but we still saw lots and walked at least 3 miles. The nice thing was we had all day to do just the park, so we weren't in a hurry and took lots of time to enjoy the fresh air and all the scenery! Again tonight we hit the pool to unwind and I snaps of the two boys and two girls heading to bed. The boys slept on an air mattress that was in the walk in closet and the girls had their own bedroom. Tonight was the night the boys told the superhero story about "Gas-i-nator, who stinks out the villains to conquer evil" - I never seen them laugh so much and Devin is still talking about Gas-i-nator every day and having a good chuckle. The girls wrote fairies a letter every night we were there and asked them to leave bags of fairy dust or invited them to tea parties. Lucky for them Chicago had some water fairies nearby, but the fairies in Chicago don't seem to have an ample supply of fairy dust. I guess it's too windy there ;)