Thursday, May 06, 2010

Best Non-Sequential Birthday Weekend Adventure Stories, Story No. 1

I'm not exactly sure how to approach the telling of all my Home for the Weekend with Collin and Jared tales, so I'll just start with something pretty interesting that we did. Something I had been eager to try for over a year. (Holy Smokes! I wrote that post exactly one year before I visited what I'm about to tell you I visited . . .)

Okay, May 1, Chicago Vacation Day 2 or 3, depending on how you look at it. A serious undertaking, an important mission: Let's get to the top of that thing, that Sears Tower. It's been a while and I heard there'd been some changes.

Well . . . first this change. Errr. Does anyone call it this? And does anyone say "Cloud Gate" either?

The line area was very different from the last time I went, probably at least 20 minutes. Fortunately there was nearly no line at all, so we could just cruise by all the fake museumy stuff there to placate the anxious and irritated.

But we did pause here and there to admire certain things. One thing they really like to make clear to you when you're waiting to go up is that you'll be 103 stories above the ground. Here's what it's like to shoot 103 stories above homeplate at Wrigley Field.

And then, one optional movie (we opted in) and a minute-long elevator ride (again: reminding you you're up 103 stories, again) and there you are, 103 stories above sweet home Chicago.

And that's all well and good, but the really important thins is that the Sears Tower has these clear balconies to go out on so that you can see straight down 103 stories to the ground below. That's why I was there, trapped in Chicago's ultimate tourist trap.

Seated photos were very popular.

I'm not particularly afraid of heights or anything, looking down at the ground didn't make my legs very wobbly or anything. But what did trigger a subconscious fear in me was looking up and seeing how close I was to the top of the Sears Tower . . . that's when my brain alerted my body that I was not where I was supposed to be at all.

Jared, however, was a known non-fan of being up high. We had to pull him onto the balcony with his eyes closed.

See! Compare the contrasting enthusiasm and comfort.

I don't know what he was nervous about.

Collin was down with the ledge but claimed to experience a sensation like he was sinking through the floor.

Returning to a secure position, Jared observed us invent a great new game: Sky Ledge Trustfall! Perhaps just as scary as doing a trust fall into a normal wall as you can't see the apparently certain doom behind you, but there's something to it.

And that's just about it for the Sears Skydeck. Goodbye, Skydeck! I'll visit again someday, maybe, for the right guest or if you make the ledges scarier (like if they were programed to drop an inch at random times--that would produce some screams or involuntary evacuations [of ledges]).

Okay, tune in again soon for another Chicago trip post from who knows what day having who knows what adventure.

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