Travel on the Side

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I’m not originally from Wisconsin, but it’s been my home since 2011. Winter? You can keep it. But autumn? It’s lovely! Just wish it was longer. Here are a few pics from this fall in Wisconsin:

Classic “small town” Wisconsin can be found in Cedarburg, about 30 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee. The main street, Washington Avenue, is lined with restaurants and shops, from antique stores to boutiques to art galleries. My mom and her boyfriend were visiting from Indiana. They like antiquing and wine tasting, so Cedarburg was a good match. Bret and I drove them over to Cedarburg on a rainy November Saturday. Not letting the… Read More

Bizarre. That’s the only word to describe Wisconsin’s House on the Rock, near Spring Green–about an hour east of Madison. And I mean bizarre in a good way! It’s organized hoarding–part museum, part house, and odds-and-ends you might find at your grandparents. Began in 1959, and possibly owing to a dispute between its founder Alex Jordan, Jr. and famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright (the Wikipedia page is interesting!), House on the Rock… Read More

This fall, Boerner Botanical Gardens in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin hosted China Lights. This was the second time it was hosted here. It’s an enchanting display. Constructed entirely by Chinese artisans, their creations are illuminated each evening. You show up before sunset, maybe have a beer or a glass of wine, tour around the beautiful gardens, then after dark watch the magical displays get lit up! My favorites were the traditional Chinese dragon… Read More

Winter was mild in my part of Wisconsin. You’ll get no complaints from me. Spring has had its ups and downs temperature-wise. Last month I was up in Green Lake for a work conference–my first visit there. Green Lake is a small resort town (pop. of around 1,000) ┬álocated about an hour and half from either Madison or Milwaukee. I was there before peak tourist season, so things were still a bit… Read More

The leaves are just starting to change here in Wisconsin. Fall has been lovely: a lot of warm days and cool nights. Just about 35 minutes from where I live is Holy Hill, near Hubertus, Wisconsin in Washington County. Holy Hill, as you might have guessed, is home to a church: the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians. You can climb the 120+ steps (it’s steep..and crowded on… Read More

Milwaukee is a city of neighborhoods and one of the best is Bay View, located south of downtown, east of Interstate 43, and north of St. Francis, it borders Lake Michigan. Originally a factory town, Bay View is the site of the 1886 Bay View Massacre, when laborers protesting for an 8-hour workday were fired upon by order of the governor. Seven people died, including a 13-year old child. Today, Bay View,… Read More

Down to Chicago for a daytrip to do a little shopping. We parked at Wells & Kinzie, had lunch at Ed Debevic’s – a classic diner with “sassy” waitresses, and then headed up and down the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. Then it was over to Millennium Park to see Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) and the Crown Fountain. Then to the Loop, past the Willis Tower (sorry, always the Sears Tower… Read More

The lakefront and its festivals are two jewels in the crown that is Milwaukee. For 11 days in late June and early June, the Henry Maier Festival Grounds are home to Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. Almost all musical styles are represented here. It’s a big event with big headliners. This year featured The Rolling Stones, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Stevie Wonder, and Ed Sheeran–just a small sampling of the acts…. Read More

Winter finally faded away…or at least it did for a couple of weeks. The trees are budding, the daffodils are up, and things are green again. But now it’s a bit cooler–but I know it’s temporary. I heard a guy on the radio call it “springter” – that weird in-between winter and spring combo. When the weather was nice, made it into Milwaukee. Toured around the old Pabst Brewery and had lunch… Read More