Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Three times a Fish Guy. - Xander

 319 Days To Go: 307 Things To Do: Day 35 In Chicago

59. Free Day at Shedd Aquarium
60. Pegasus in Greektown for dinner
61. Drinks at Dugan's Pub


So, for some time now, a good friend of mine Mary (not to be confused with Mary Grace aka MG) has been thinking of moving out of DC her home for the last five or six years.  I, of course, launch a tactful and subtle campaign to recruit her to Chicago.  And by tactful and subtle I mean...asking her every time we talked if she was coming.  But my efforts have clearly paid off because about a week ago she finally DID move to Chicago and today we manage to get together.  I could not be more excited.

Periodically throughout the year museums here in Chicago will have free days.   This is always a bit of a gamble.  On the one hand you get to go to the museum for free.  On the other, EVERYONE gets to go to the museum for free and does.  Today though we take the risk.  The Shedd Aquarium 1200 S Lake Shore Drive is both free AND open late, until 8pm.  Fitz and I head over to meet Mary at 5:30.

It's a bit tricky to take pictures of stuff inside tanks, but I do my best. 

The free admission doesn't allow you access to any of the special exhibits, just the galleries and the Caribbean Reef.  I'm cool with that although would like to go back to check out the Oceanarium and the Polar Play Zone.  Penguins are cool.  Plus, it's called the Polar Play Zone.  And I had been particularly excited all day to see the puffer fish.  Ever since I saw the movie Next Stop Wonderland (which I understand is about Boston.  The Boston subway, the Boston aquarium) I have loved puffer fish.  They puff!  Literally!  Turns out - no puffer fish in the gallery, at least none I saw.  Luckily the sea horses, sting rays, and turtles make up for it.

There are tons and tons of kids running around.  I find this somewhat endearing; I can relate to their enthusiasm.  However, Fitz is allergic to kids so is a bit uncomfortable by this turn of events.  I find her discomfort amusing.  You might think this makes me a bad friend, but only if you don't know Fitz. I think our timing was good though, most of them start to disperse before long; one assumes to go eat dinner.

This plan also means it's going to be tough for me to get home to see So You Think You Can Dance.  For most of the day I harbor the delusion that somehow, I'll hop a cab and get home to see the Top 11 perform but midway through Waters of the Amazon I surrender the fantasy.  I'm having too much fun with Mary.  And she wants to help with the blog experiment (I knew she would).

So, instead of hopping in a cab and hurrying home I go with Mary and Emily (Fitz left due to an outbreak of kid-itis but was replaced by Emily just as we were walking out) to Greektown.  Shockingly, despite finding the neighborhood terribly cute AND my love for Greece this is the first time I've gone to hang out in Greektown. 

We start with some traditional Greek food and beer on the rooftop of Pegasus 130 S Halsted.  Opa!  Anything that can combine cheese, fire, and cheering is guaranteed to be a good time.  Pegasus has been around for about 20 years, and brings authentic Mediterranean cooking to the heart of chicago.  I took a trip to Greece a few years ago and loved, loved, loved it.  Can't wait to get back.  My favorite things were the ruins.  The scenery.  And the food.  We order some saganaki (flaming cheese - yum), spanakopitakia (spinach and feta), and soutzoukia (meatballs).  Delicious.  And we order some greek beer to wash it down.

After some food, we head down the street to continue exploring and stumble upon Dugan's Pub - a seemingly irish establishment in Greektown.  But what the hell?  We go in and grab a beer. 
Turns out - they kinda pride themselves on being the only Irish Pub in the neighborhood.  And the beer selection was solid - lots of microbrews.

More pictures from the aquarium.  Fun!

318 Days To Go: 304 Things To Do: 35 Days in Chicago = 34 New Experiences

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