Life Aquatic with Alan ‘Ferris’ Ward



Part two starts with a short, but windy walk to the Shedd Aquarium. As soon as you are through the door and through security, its starts with aplomb. There is a garden with a Sabre Toothed Shark, a fish made solely from flips flops – get it ‘soleley’, lol. There is a statue to the side called Man with a Fish and it’s like, well, a man with a fish?

Once your in and past the queues and the security, its starts right away with aplomb. Immediately you are met with hunners of tanks, with each area promoting the different river, streams and lochs from which these fish, turtles and frogs were stolen from to make this experience.

Sections with the names of Rivers, Islands and Lakes, The Great Lakes, Amazon Rising and the Wild Reef, are but some that makes up the sections and no tank is boring and there are so many. I could easily, you could easily, but more importantly, yer kids to could spend a whole day here running wild. Reptiles, Seahorses and a stupendous Caribbean Reef, a giant cylindrical tank with all manner of aquatic creatures including an old giant turtle.

The wild reef is an underground level, with viewing of all the sea life like Sharks, Stingrays and coral all around you and even under your feet, as the stingrays flash by you, its mesmerizing. Beluga Whales, Sea Otters, Ppppppick up Penguins, Sea lions and Dolphins all available to see in underwater viewing zone and while there is an Amphitheatre to watch the dolphins perform, i gave it a miss as i had bigger fish to fry, get it!  I’m soo funny.

I’m booked into the 4-D experience baby called ‘Shark’. They give you some 3-D glasses and you sit down to watch a BBC made documentary on Sharks, different types including the great white and visually it’s superb. The chairs you sit in rock and shudder when it’s to be scary and they spray water on your when there is supposed to be a big splash in the ocean. I’m in ma element here – loving it.

The program tells you there are no fewer than 15 ‘washed ashore’, exhibition features. Larger than life sculptures of aquatic animals made entirely from plastic beach trash – a timely reminder to all. Having been here for a full week now, I can easily say that America are the single biggest polluter when it come to plastics, waste and the likes and they are no keen to do anything about it. Let others deal with it is their mindset.









After a quick pit stop for a coffee and Chicago’s own world famous hot dogs, where the dog in the bun plays the smallest role for my $6, I’m a 5 min walk to the Field museum. Now, i am probably going to undersell this place somewhat, as its a distant third in my eyes from the first two and i was well blown away by them both. This is still interesting tho, not as much as it would have been if the T-Rex sculpture had not been down, being moved. Ffs!

The Field Museum of Natural History. I started on the bottom level called Inside Ancient Egypt and to be honest, it looked like most of the things on display had been knocked up, made to look aged and did not seem fully genuine – even tho I know they were, I read about them as I went along. Tombs, mummies and stone tablets and crockery, with some egyptians jewellry made up the room and it was OK.

You crack into an interactive ‘Underground Adventure’ seeing what life is like from the eyes of a bug. Pretty basic and one for kids. I shoot up to a rolling area of about 3 exhibitions kicking off with 13,000 years of human ingenuity and achievement, from Ice-Age mammoth hunters, to the Incas and Aztecs. A sort of Ancient americas of life in Chicago’s back yard. From there they compare that period to the Northwest Coast and the Arctic peoples, with some amazing tools and costumes on display, but also it tells a story about what everyday life was like – We never had it so good!!

I popped into the Hall of Gems, over 700 unique gemstones of unusual shape and size – all one of a kind, but that was it for me. There is a hall of China and Hall of Jade stones, but I done all that stuff weeks ago. Mammals of Asia, Halls of the Pacific  and a number of Science and kids play labs make up the majority of the rest of the Field Museum, with the exception of the 3-D theater and a show about Sue, their T-Rex and Evolving Planet – as the booklet sells it ‘An Awe-inspiring journey through 4 billion years of life on earth, single cells, thru dinosaurs and our extended human family.’

Not for me today, I’m pretty beat and the Pens game is on tonight, so I have to slow walk it back – I’m knackered neebs. Id I Choose to I can use my pass for a couple more attractions.

Museum of Science and industry with 14 acres of mind-blowing exhibits and 360 Chicago, an observation deck some 1000 feet up. One chap i am rooming with is chatty and he gives me a spare pepsi before he heads off the next day to go where?  See above. I give him my pass and lounge it around and head up to watch those world Champion Cubs.








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