Polar bear at the Toronto Zoo, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

We didn't leave ourselves enough time to see the whole thing...just couldn't seem to drag ourselves outside at a decently early hour even though it was a beautiful day. And then, we got sidetracked into buying a new camera!

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. 


  1. Busy, busy , so much to see, travel safe.

  2. Glad you enjoyed your trip to the Windy City! and have a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you two!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  3. I've thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Windy City. Thanks for taking us along.

  4. Kevin...once our outer space program gets back on track, I think you should seriously think of signing up to be the first blogger in outer space.

    You two have had a whirlwind of a visit. Glad you enjoyed (as Sandie said) the Windy City.

  5. As a kid, I was a bleacher bum at Wrigley Field. Go Ernie Banks! :)

  6. We have an Olympus and a Canon. I prefer the Olympus, easy to carry and always takes good pics. Have fun!

  7. a whirlwind tour of the windy city!!!..have a safe flight!!

  8. Looks like a real nice camera for a real nice price. The 24X optical zoom with a nice big lens looks very sweet. The Olympus company has taken some real hits on a "corporate management" front, so that might be why the price is down a bit.

  9. A very very busy tour but nicely documented. Gracias! Enjoy the family reunion.

  10. Ive noticed I have to "click here to read more" on my rss feed now. I like the old way.
    Do you plan on fixing this? Or am I stuck going to your web page to read all of the blog post?

  11. Interesting. The link provided to us with your comment directs us back to the RSS feed page where it does not show the "click here to read more". I have done nothing to change this, so I'm not sure what can be done to fix it. When I get some time this week I'll try and look into the options, but it's possible blogger has changed something, because I don't recall doing it.

  12. butterbean carpenterMay 12, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Howdy R&K,
    Thank y'all, for another great tour!!! I'm like you, Kevin, most submarines are essentially the same onboard and somewhere you'll find another for free... The Moon-walker pic was great and that tuff
    pirate queen was scary!!! Take some pics of Ottawa, everyone goes through there, but NOBODY takes any pics!!

  13. Thanks for the Chicago tour - loved it! Safe travels!

  14. You are bring back lots of memories of our trip to chicago:)


We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...