My first time in Chicago, Illinois: Part 2.

Second / last day in Chicago was filled with yet another adventurous day as we made plans to visit Lincoln Park Zoo which is free. My first thought and expectations of visiting a free zoo was quite low to be honest cause if it's free, i'm most probably come face to face with some animals that i've seen before like monkeys or cows. Maybe throw in a few sheep and lambs too. Possibly crocodiles and err peacock? But nevertheless, we were all still excited about making a trip there. Had breakfast first at a bakery place nearby our hotel where they had a promo. A cup of coffee with your choice of bagel or muffin for $3. Pretty good deal for a place like Chicago in my opinion!

Remember kids, breakfast is the
 most important meal of the day!
Didn't take us long to catch a bus from where we were to get to the zoo. Despite the fact that all of us didn't know where we're going, i think we did a pretty good job figuring out which bus can get us where and this time around, i gotta give props to the invention of GPS on phones because it definitely did make things so much easier and less scarier to take a 'leap of faith' with directions.

A very tired us on the bus.
Spotted a very nice old looking church on the way there. 
It took about 20 minutes to get from down town all the way to the zoo. Again, if it wasn't with the help of my 'Maps' app on my iPhone, it would make things difficult as we wouldn't know where's the nearest stop to the zoo. Once we got off the bus, it didn't take us long to spot the entrance of the zoo but first, we had to take a picture of the breathtaking view of the city from where we were.

Oh Chicago! It kinda reminded of looking at Auckland City from Mission Bay. 
Entrance to Lincoln Park Zoo!
What you'll be expecting when you arrive at the zoo is the sight of squirrels. Lots and lots of squirrels running around. And i thought that would be all there is. Lol!

And they're all fat and chubby squirrels!
Life in the fab lane for them...
If you do plan to pop by the zoo for a visit, i think the best time to do so would be during summer as i would guess they would have more animals for you to see cause a few of the stops showed that they're having an off day just like us humans need a break as well.

Most probably due to cold weather...
But even though it's the winter season, i'm still surprised there were more animals around than what i expected. In fact, we were all surprised with the size of the zoo cause we really thought it was going to be a quick trip seeing a few animals but it took up almost the whole day for us. Here are a few of the  animals i thought that's worth checking out up close.

The sagging humped camel. We just went with
the assumption it was an old female camel. :P
My priceless reaction.
The zebras were really pretty in real life.
The gorillas, apes and chimps were extremely
fascinating up close especially with some of
their human like traits that they have.

This little fella clinging on to
its mama was attracting a lot of visitors.
After seeing a lot of the primates, can't
help but to take this message seriously. 
This big guy happened to growl for a bit when we were there. 
There were a lot more animals that we missed out on due to time constraint but trust me, if you happen to be in Chicago and you've got a soft spot for animals, Lincoln Park Zoo is definitely the one place you don't want to miss. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to explore the zoo and study the animals. By the time we're done with the zoo, we realised our train is scheduled to leave in the next three hours so time wasn't really on our side. We only had enough time to do one last thing in Chicago, i.e. to try their famous deep dish pizza.

Ok i gotta be honest. If it wasn't for this trip, i wouldn't have any idea about Chicago being famous for deep dish pizza. Just like me heading over to New Zealand and not knowing about the fish 'n chips frenzy there. Lol! We ended up trying our deep dish pizza at one of the most recommended restaurant in Chicago...

Gino's East Pizza
Like i said, i didn't know about the whole Chicago being famous for deep dish pizza so when we got there, our waiter told us that there will be a wait of 45 minutes for all deep dish pizzas while for the thin crusted pizza, a 20 minute wait. And since i know we were rushing for time and we were all hungry, i 'smartly' suggested to everyone that why not go for the thin crusted ones as it's faster and plus, i always prefer the thin crusted ones anyway. Talk about being a smart ass. My girlfriend had to explain to me that this is what Chicago pizza is all about and they're famous for that. Another cool thing about dining in Gino's is you're allowed to scribble anywhere if you have a marker, pen or a correction fluid.

Om nom nom nom...
Unfortunately for me while waiting for the pizza, my head started to spin a bit due to the red ambience lighting that they use. If you have sensitive eyes like me that gives you headache wearing polarised sunglasses, watching 3D movies or being under weird lighting for too long, it might be a little tricky for you to dine in there. I'm not sure if they have a spot that uses normal lighting though. But yes, that somehow ruined my appetite which is a bummer but i did force myself to take a few bites of the pizza. I'm sure i would have loved it if it wasn't for the headache. It's like the best of both worlds for me...mixture of  pizza and lasagne.

Alas, after our late lunch in Gino's it was time for us to bid farewell to Chicago! We had to rush back to our hotel, grab the luggages and run to the train station.

Sad to leave Chicago...
Chicago is definitely one of my places to visit again and hopefully, my next trip there i'll save up enough to spend a bit (hah, i save up to contradicting!) and also give myself more time to explore the city. Although it's only two days in Chicago, everywhere i go i noticed there's a lot of...

Starbucks. Almost every block and corner.
And these type of spinning doors. 
Ah Chicago. Till we meet again.


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