Shedd Aquarium and the Jellies

Over the weekend I took my first ever trip to the Shedd Aquarium here in Chicago. I hear it’s a place everyone must see and I’m so glad I was finally able to make it. My wonderful friend Emiley scored some free tickets and graciously invited me along. My favorite exhibit, BY FAR, was the jellyfish exhibit. Those little guys are breath-taking. I kept asking our friend Stephanie if she thought I could own a jellyfish and actually keep it alive even though I keep killing my plants. She wasn’t too optimistic so I guess I’ll have to settle for the pictures I took for now. Excuse the image overload, I couldn’t narrow it down…

Shedd Aquarium: Jellies
Shedd Aquarium: Jellies
Shedd Aquarium: Jellies
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I could watch jellyfish for DAYS. They’re so beautiful. I’m also pretty proud of how my pictures turned out :).

xoxo
Mal

Marilyn Caused a Bit of a Stir

Marilyn Monroe Statue

“Mary Schmich gave the sculpture a scathing review. She called it ‘as tawdry as a peep show,’ and complained about the men walking by who were seen ‘shooting photos of her crotch while one stuck out his tongue to mime a lick.'”
(source)

Marilyn Monroe Statue

You may or may not have heard about the sculpture of Marilyn Monroe from the 7-year-itch that was recently erected on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. There are tons of strong opinions about the statue so, of course, I made it a priority to go see it. How did I feel about it, you ask? I LOVED IT! I have been a huge Marilyn fan for most of my life. I’ve written multiple research papers on her life and even did a project in fifth grade where I dressed up like her to deliver a speech about her life. I suppose it’s not all that surprising that I was really pumped up about the statue.

I took some pictures of her in all of her giant skirt-blown-up glory to share with all of you. It was SUPERRR crowded so I’ll probably end up going back when the temperature drops and most of the tourists disappear. Until then, enjoy the pictures that I already took!!

Marilyn Monroe Statue

Marilyn Monroe Statue

Marilyn Monroe Statue
Chicago has the best stuff!

xoxo
Mal

Touring my City

I live in an amazing city, and I feel like I’ve been taking it for granted. Now that I only have a year left, I’m determined to be a tourist in my city and soak up as much Chicago as possible! My dad was in town this weekend to help my brother move in to college for his senior year. He saved some time to hang out with me (his only daughter and favorite child) so we spent some time wandering around the city and taking pictures. I’ll split this into two posts so it’s not so image heavy!

Vietnam Memorial Chicago

Our first stop was the Vietnam War Memorial. I walk over the bridge where this is located EVERY SINGLE DAY on my way to work or to buy groceries and I never knew it existed. We just happened to see a sign requesting that you not bring your pets into the memorial, otherwise I would still have no idea it was there.

River Walk Chicago

Vietnam Memorial Chicago

This is another spot in Chicago that is extremely peaceful (the other location that is extremely peaceful is the Graceland Cemetery). Sometimes all I want is a quiet moment amidst all the chaos here. Those of you who live in a city will understand this, I’m certain. The hustle and bustle is fun but sitting in a serene place in the midst of all that chaos is really about as good as it gets!

Vietnam Memorial Chicago

Vietnam Memorial Chicago

On the ground they had this timeline of the war with significant battles and operations laid out. It was a really interesting and a unique way of looking at the war.

Do any of you live in big cities? Do you agree that finding quiet places in the middle of the noise and hustle of the city is like gold? I’d love to hear your experiences so I feel less insane :)

xo
Mal

Graceland Cemetery

There is a very good chance I only have one year left in Chicago. Actually, if you want to be exact, there’s a very good chance I only have 11 months left in Chicago. There are so many amazing places to eat, shop, and explore here that I complied a list of all the things I want to do before I move. Needless to say, there are about 12 restaurants for every one entry in other categories. What can I say? I love food…

Anyways, with my summer quickly coming to an end, I’ve narrowed down things that are not possible in the cold and I’m trying to check them off before winter strikes. One of the items on my list was to visit Graceland Cemetery. After reading Devil in the White City, I grew rather fond of Daniel Burnham and John Root (among other famous Chicago names like Potter Palmer). Then I found out that all of these men (plus MANY more) are buried in a giant, gorgeous cemetery that is open to visitors. I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to do before I left this great city and finally made the trip.
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The first bit of advice I have for those of you who travel to this cemetery is to be certain you are at the right one. Just down the street from Graceland Cemetery is Graceland Jewish Cemetery. Confusing? Yeah. I wandered around the wrong one for a solid 45 minutes before I walked away disappointed then realized I was in the wrong place. When I finally did get to the right cemetery, I was blown away. This place is GORGEOUS. Absolutely stunning. I took about a zillion pictures and walked until I had giant blisters on the bottom of my feet. Nothing I say about it can really do it justice, so I’ll share a some of my pictures below. I’m not even going to apologize for how image heavy this post is.
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William Kimball’s grave. He was a traveling salesman who eventually settled in Chicago and sold pianos and organs.
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George Pullman is responsible for the invention of the sleeping car and the construction of lots of railroads as a result. His grave was gorgeous!
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Mies Van Der Rohe’s headstone. A famous architect whose slogan was “less is more”.
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One of my favorites! That pyramid is the monument above is placed over the grave of a wealthy brewer, Peter Schoenhofen.
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Daniel Burnham was the chief of construction for the World’s Fair when it was in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century. He is also responsible for a lot of the other gorgeous buildings that grace my city today. He was partners with John Root before Root passed away.
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There were a ton of these headless statues around the cemetery. How creepy/awesome are they!?

One of my favorite graves was that of Marshall Field and his family. It looked like this gorgeous serene park and even had benches where you could sit and just have some quiet time to yourself. So I sat down and did what every blogger does…took pictures and journaled :). For those who don’t know, Marshall Field developed his company into the largest wholesale and dry goods seller in the world.
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Last, but not least, this is another of my favorites…
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Bruce Goff, architect.

It took me like a hundred years before I was finally able to find John Root’s grave. It was pretty but my feet hated me for making them walk so far just to find it. I’m glad I took the extra time and effort because he was one of the main reasons for my visit!
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The only headstone I didn’t get to see was that of Inez Clark. There’s a ton of folklore surrounding her grave and suggesting that she haunts the cemetery so I’m REALLY bummed I couldn’t find her burial spot. For more info, you can read here.

If you are in Chicago and you’re wondering what sights you should see and what sights you can skip, I would say this is NOT one to be skipped. It’s beautiful, breathtaking, and so incredibly peaceful. Plus, there are countless historical figures buried on the grounds–many of them resting underneath HUGE monuments. It truly is a sight to see :).

So have any of you ever been here before? What did you think? I’ve always loved graveyards of all kinds so it doesn’t surprise me that I was so in love with this one. I can’t wait to go back.

xoxo
Mal