So first, the camera. We needed a new camera and we didn't want to wait any longer. We have been really happy with our almost ten year old Olympus C730Z but it "developed" a scratch on the lens somehow so it had to be replaced. We wanted to get one here because if you buy one in Canada you will likely pay a higher retail price and you are guaranteed to pay higher taxes.
So I saw a sale on at Staples for a compact camera. Not what I would have bought if we had unlimited funds, but definitely looked like good value for the money. An Olympus SZ-12 with a 24x optical zoom lens in a very compact package.
Pic of new camera!
On sale for $149, plus 9.5% Illinois sales tax. Doing some research, this is the cheapest this camera has ever been on sale, so it seems like a deal. I guess we'll see! The basics seem pretty familiar, but I'll have to do some studying and playing with the functions to figure the rest out.
By the time we got to the museum after the hour and ten minute bus ride, it was almost noon. That left us four hours to explore, including having lunch and so we knew we wouldn't see everything. Admission is $15, and then once again there are add-ons that range from $8 to $10 each.
German U-505 Submarine
The main attraction I wanted to see was the German U-505 Submarine. Just the fact that they got this huge vessel into the museum is amazing enough, and in fact they even show a video of how it was done. But more amazing was the story about it's capture on June 4, 1944. Essentially, other than their commander, the guys on the boarding party who saved the sub from sinking were only kids, ranging in age from 18 to 24.
Ruth beside one of the big propellers.
The capture of the sub was one of the best kept secrets of the war. The allies didn't want the Germans to know the vessel was in enemy hands. The men who knew about it had to sign a document saying they wouldn't tell anybody under penalty of death. Even the 58 German prisoners were not afforded the Geneva Convention Prisoner of War rights...their families were told they were lost at sea while they were actually alive at a POW camp in Louisiana.
I will tell "no one"!
I would have loved to do the on board tour of the sub, but that cost another $8. No thanks.
Then we quickly wandered through the space display. Not bad, actually better than the space display at the Adler Planetarium.
Kevin on the moon! Too funny...
And then quickly through the other displays. Four hours went by very quickly!
Arrrrgh Matey...where's the rum?!
The Science of Storms display was good.
Here's one for you Sam!
They have a full size Boeing 727 inside.
Flying over a large scale model of downtown Chicago!
We left the building at 4:00pm closing time. For $15 it's not bad value considering you can spend pretty much all day there. Once again, the extras are a bit of a disappointment. Would have liked to have done some of them but sorry, not worth the price.
We were going to go down to Navy Pier but in doing the research it looks like it's mostly shopping. The other attractions don't seem to get going until the May long weekend, so we decided to just go for a walk. Went about 2 miles north...lots of people out biking, walking, and jogging on a beautiful evening. Then we walked back through town and past Wrigley Field where the Chicago Cubs play. They are out of town this weekend though.
Heading back to Ottawa today. Have to fly on Air Canada to Toronto, and another flight to Ottawa.