A Day in Lincoln Park | The Geneva Convention: A Day in Lincoln Park

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Day in Lincoln Park

We had only two full days in the Windy City, and decided to make the most of them by spending the first doing all the touristy downtown things and eating pizza. Since we stayed in an apartment in Lincoln Park, a part of the city I don't know as well, we spent our second day wandering around there, seeing what it had to offer.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

We started out the day walking through some light snow and sunshine (and cold, cold winds!) to the Lincoln Park Conservatory. This isn't the first time we've wandered around gardens on vacation. I like the flowers and James likes the smell of New Zealand. Plus, it's spectacular, it's free (though donations are encouraged), it's deserted during the day, and it is a warm, humid break from the wind/blizzard outside.

Lincoln Park Conservatory
Lincoln Park Conservatory

Staying warm in the windy city: fleece tights and ski socks underneath skinny jeans and thermal boots, a shell underneath a button-up underneath my warmest cardigan, all layered under an enormous coat (not pictured).

Lincoln Park Conservatory
Lincoln Park Conservatory

The Conservatory is right next to the Zoo. We hadn't initially planned to stop in, but we had the time, and I'm so glad we changed our minds! I had forgotten how much fun zoos can be, especially when you have them almost entirely to yourselves. As the only ones in the underground sea lion viewing area, we didn't have to worry about trampling little children to admire the animals. We got to have several conversations with volunteers and zoo employees -- in the lion house we met a woman who gave us the inside scoop on finding the snow leopard, camouflaged in his outdoor habitat. In the primate house, we overheard a long, thorough discussion amongst zoo keepers on the best way to rearrange and remodel one of the habitats. At our last stop, the bird house, we talked to a zoo employee at length about conservation and best practices for zoos.

Lincoln Park Zoo

As an animal lover, I know there are a lot of valid questions to raise about the ethics of holding wild animals captive. I also know that many zoos are making an enormous effort to overhaul their practices, to assist with conservation, and give both scientists and the general public a better understanding of the animals in their care. I believe the Lincoln Park Zoo falls firmly into this category.

By the time we finished mingling with the birds, we were nearing closing time at the zoo (it's much earlier during the off season). We decided to warm up with coffee and a chocolate snack at the Belgian chocolatier we had passed several times on our way to pick up groceries and catch the L.

Lincoln Park Belgian Chocolatier

As the only person on earth who doesn't care much for hazelnut flavored chocolate, I will admit to a certain frustration at its abundance in Belgian chocolates, but I will never let that keep me from enjoying a full plate of deliciousness. I can particularly recommend the champagne truffle! It was a wonderful prelude to that night's dinner, which deserves its own post later this week.

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