When Zer0gee sent out the email for this task I absolutely knew that I had to be there to do it. I've always wanted to go play in that maze, but I either never had the money or no one wanted to go with me. I got there an hour early, so I ended up sitting on the bench in front of the entrance reading a book until Zer0gee arrived.
She hadn't known I was coming and was pleasantly surprised to see me there, I think. We sat and chatted for a bit, and then Inspector Hound showed up. My phone was in the process of dying, so I had just enough power to call CristostheBetrayer and see if he was going to be able to make it. He said he was, so the three of us sat on the bench and chatted until he got there. When he arrived Zer0gee got us all in for free because she works at Build-A-Bear so that was teh awsomez. We all went piling into the first area, where a very geeky guy who had apparently consumed *WAY* too much caffeine did a short intro about being careful and it being his first tour etc. and so forth.
We got on the elevator and I hit the button for the observation deck. We made fun of some of the signs that were on the walls while the guy went through this whole thing about the elevator failing and it dropping to the 'basement' level. By the time we got off of the elevator we were already laughing ourselves silly. We got into this area that had some signs about the history of Chicago which was fun, and a dummy in an alcove that was covered in black light paint complaining about being lost in the underground and being attacked by rats.
After that we got into the mirror maze, which was pretty cool. It had all of these really gorgeous Greek Revival style columns, and we got a bit lost trying to find our way through. I ended up finding the exit to it by dint of leaning against the wall that wasn't there and nearly falling on my ass in the process.
Then we had to squeeze through theses two huge bolsters, pretty much you had to go through sideways. Again, much giggling.
After that you go into this room that's all about the Chicago Fire and there's 30 or so punching bags that are painted with flames hanging from the ceiling.
You have to run around punching them to find the one that sets off the fire bell. We ran around like goons bumping into all the bags. I finally found the one that set off the bell, and when I looked up I realized that the bell was actually attached to the chain that the bag was hanging from. You could have gone directly to that bag if you had looked up. *snerk*
We ran around running into the bags for a bit again. Cris suggested that if the dancefloor at Neo (a Chicago Goth Club) had the same set up it would make dancing a hell of a lot more interesting. After that we went into a room that had a projection on the floor that had all these balls of flame. You had to run around the floor stomping on the flameballs to get them to go out. We did that a bunch of times, still laughing like crazy. I think the best time we got was 48 seconds.
Then you go down a hallway that has airjets at various intervals.
I got in front of one of them and pretended like my coat was being blown off by the air, and Zer0gee tried to do the Marilyn Monroe thing with her skirt but the material was too heavy and the jet was at the wrong height to really make it work. At the end of the hallway was a spinny star-tunnel which had a sign warning of cougars if you touched the sides.
There were no cougars and I was very disappointed. I wanted to see a cougar, damnit! We all hung out in the tunnel for a bit, making ourselves dizzy.
Right after the star tunnel was 'Dan, the Puker'. 'Nuff Said.
Then we went on to the last room where it's set up like the observation deck at the Hancock Tower. They have some fireworks and everything, and then the observation deck 'collapses', which was fun.
Just before you leave there's a door that lets you get back into the maze, so we went back in and moshed around in the fire-bag room for a while, then stomped out some more fire, then hung out in the star tunnel until we were all dizzy again. Did the observation deck again, and then finally left.
I had a really good time running around and being silly. Unfortunately my camera batteries died right as we walked into the maze, so I'm gonna have to rely on Zer0gee and Inspector Hound's pictures. Lots of fun, and all y'all in Chicago should have come with. You missed out. Nyah!
I think Morte pretty much covered everything, so I'll let you guys check out my photos and captions rather than post a bunch of redundant text. I'd just like to say I had an awesome time - it was really fun!
Like zer0gee, I think most of what I could add to Morte's text would be me typing "Yeah, me too!", so I'll just content myself with the pictures with my snarky captions and descriptions (which begin with "Our Introduction"). I had a great time, which surprised me since I had no idea that it would be that entertaining. Thank you guys for bringing me along.