A Squared: Avoiding the NATO Insanity: City Walks #19 & #20

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Avoiding the NATO Insanity: City Walks #19 & #20

What a weekend.  In case you have been living under a rock (or in case you live elsewhere and your life has been less impacted), the NATO Summit is underway in Chicago and the city has gone a little nuts.  Protesters have taken over the downtown area and since that's where we live, we have tried to make ourselves scarce this weekend!  We did some grilling, Alex played some soccer, we explored Lincoln Park (see more below), and then we rewarded ourselves with dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  On top of all of that, I have Monday off.  Not such a bad weekend after all.

City Walk #19: Lincoln Park (Northern Portion)

Elks National Veterans Memorial
We had some crazy beautiful (and hot!) weather this weekend, so we knew we wanted to spend the majority of it outside.  The NATO protests proved to make that a bit of a challenge, so we got out the City Walks deck and headed north to Lincoln Park.  And what a perfect day for it!  We ended up walking about 5 miles by the time we finished, but we saw a lot of Lincoln Park that I didn't even know existed.  I'm ashamed to admit that since I worked about 2 blocks away from the starting point for a year!

The walk started at the Elks National Veterans Memorial (1), which was unfortunately closed (maybe NATO related?) and then we wound through the northern part of the park down to Fullerton Pkwy. to the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum (2).  This is where Alex and I had our last engagement photo shoot and where we walked through the butterfly gardens, saw lots of ducklings, and met a huge turtle named Sheldon!  Along the way we stopped at the statues of Goethe and Alexander Hamilton-- the latter was surrounded by sunbathers, so I don't have a photo of him-- and North Pond restaurant.

That's Goethe above, Sheldon the turtle at the Nature Museum, and the beautiful view from North Pond restaurant.

City Walk #20: Lincoln Park (Southern Portion)

Flamingo fight
Since the first walk was a shorter one, we decided to move right into walk #20 which picks up at Fullerton Pkwy. where #19 leaves off.  It began at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond (1) and I can't believe we have never been here before.  This is one of the coolest places that I have seen in Chicago and I didn't even know it existed before this weekend.  It's a quiet little prairie-style landscaped lily pond nestled right in Lincoln Park.  So beautiful!  Alex did his good deed for the day and rescued some teenage girls and their backpacks from an aggressive Canadian Goose.  They were petrified and he happens to be fascinated by Canadian Geese so we earned some good karma there too.
Alex and the scary Goose

We followed the Lily Pond with a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo (2) where we witnessed a flamingo fight and lots of really poorly behaved children and parents.  We also visited the Lincoln Park Conservatory (3)-- I have driven by a hundred times and never ventured inside.  It's a greenhouse so it was obviously really warm in there, but another really cool thing to experience. We ventured all the way through the Park to check out the historic Cafe Brauer (4), the statue of Ulysses S. Grant (5), and then ended at the Shakespeare Garden (6), which was blocked off.  This was a great way to enjoy a really hot day in the city and to enjoy all of Lincoln Park in one day.  The downside?  My feet are killing me.

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