It's high suburban adventure when Ben discovers Western Lowland Gorillas in Brookfield, the origins of Tarzan in Oak Park, the secrets to the Universe at Argonne National Laboratory in DuPage County and finally indulges in a "Death by Chocolate Slumber Party" at a Woodstock bed and breakfast. What a State!
Tropic World at Brookfield Zoo is where Ben communes with a family of Great Apes and observes an indoor thundershower. Ramar, the silverback of the troop, takes a special interest in Ben, prompting our fearless leader's sudden departure. We reappear at the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest for a tour of the Tarzan exhibit and lots of fascinating information about Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs, a former native. Ben gets blinded by science at The Argonne National Laboratory, then survives a scare at the Death by Chocolate Slumber Party in Woodstock, home of the Bundling Board Bed and Breakfast. The lengths this man goes to make your television viewing experience the best…
Tropic World at Brookfield Zoo
Meet Ben's distant relatives! Actually we're all related, aren't we? Ben enjoys the privileges of being a TV host by gaining access to the Western Lowland Gorillas' environment and setting out the food before the gang arrives. Keep in mind we only visit one part of this huge natural habitat enclosure, which must be seen to be believed. Still, you could spend hours watching Ramar and his family (including two new babies) hang from the vines, make passes at each other, and overall demonstrate the joys of living in the here and now. Maybe that's what separates us from them - we love to worry!
Tarzan, Mars and the Fertile Mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest
217 Home Avenue, Oak Park, IL
Sure it's impressive that Edgar Rice Burroughs created Tarzan and wrote all those books. But how about his business savvy to claim ownership of the publishing and incorporate his own name! Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. As Ben put it, he must have some happy relatives minding the store now that he's gone. Come and marvel at the accomplishments of a man who seemed to have no direction, who couldn't hold a job, yet never stopped believing he could achieve something great. And don't miss poking about the entire building, a real gem. Beautiful grounds too.
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne IL, (DuPage County)
Watch Ben's eyes roll up into his head as he tries to comprehend the technological wonders of the nation's first national laboratory, chartered in 1946. Hey, our pith- helmeted hero was an English Major, okay? From the Lab's website: "Argonne is a direct descendant of the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory, part of the World War Two Manhattan Project. After the war, Argonne was given the mission of developing nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes. Over the years, Argonne's research expanded to include many other areas of science, engineering and technology. Argonne is not and never has been a weapons laboratory." Ben couldn't have said it better himself.
Death By Chocolate Slumber Party
Bundling Board Bed and Breakfast
220 E. South Street
Woodstock, IL 60098
What better way to relax after exploring the wilds of suburbia than to crash at a welcoming B and B for the night. But this isn't just any night. Watch Ben sample the multi-course chocolate extravaganza along with the houseguests and see who has a chocoholic episode first. By the way, when you're in town be sure to ask about the "Groundhog Day" sights - they filmed the movie with Bill Murray here. Plus there's a neat little Dick Tracy museum as well. We'll try to show it to you next time. When chocolate is not involved.