Milwaukee, WI

We’ve made it to Milwaukee without incident. The campground leaves a little to be desired, but we didn’t have a lot to chose from. We have the benefit of being conveniently located near downtown and a relatively short drive to Oconomowoc. Cities don’t often have many campgrounds.

Right now, I am really loving Milwaukee. We just had an awesome dinner of perogies and pork cutlets with crepes for desert. Alan found a great “road food” recommendation for authentic polish food. It totally lived up to expectations. I am stuffed! Just for the record, the place was called Polonez.

I’m not sure what part of town we were in but we did get to drive through various parts of Milwaukee and past Lake Michigan. It is a nice town, as cities go.

I will post a picture of our great parking lot campground later. We are at the State Fairgrounds. Luckily, the fair isn’t until next week.

We are off to movies, now. I don’t want to wait until we get home to see Harry Potter.

Taliesin

I have always loved the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. We even own a couple of coffee tables books with pictures of his homes and I’ve read a couple of books about him. We thought we would visit his school and winter home when we were travelling around Arizona but we never made it to Scottsdale.

The tour here was really pretty interesting. You got to tour through the school (where they still have an active program offering BS and MS degrees) and part of the main house, including the architect’s studio. This is one of the school buildings that still had a lot of FLlW’s original models.

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Taliesin 002We started at the Visitor Center which is also a FLlW-designed building. There was a very nice gift shop/book store and cafe in the building. It wasn’t a cheap tour. We ended up paying over $50 each for a two-hour guided tour, but it didn’t feel over-priced. I only have exterior pictures posted – they didn’t allow interior photos.

I really loved seeing the interiors in person but the rooms had a lot going on. As we often say in the quilt world – there weren’t a lot of places for your eyes to rest. The ceilings were also very low in some places. The whole things was very impressive, though. I am still a big fan.

This is the backside of the main house with some of the gardens.

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I was a little surprised to find that the buildings weren’t in great repair. The home is constantly undergoing restoration and the school is still being used with students living and working in the facility. Parts of the buildings were constructed in the early 1920’s and aren’t in the greatest shape. There have been several fires over the years and it seems that the architect was often more concerned with aesthetics than with quality construction.

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Tomorrow, we are off to Milwaukee and a visit with my good friend, Pat!

Spring Green, WI

We left Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula on Monday heading South.  All of the state parks in Wisconsin that looked interesting were booked and we didn’t want to risk the first-come, first-serve campsites, so we drove straight through to Spring Green, WI.  Spring Green is just West of Madison.  We are here because of Taliesin – the summer home of Frank Lloyd Wright.  We took the “Highlights” tour at Taliesen yesterday.  I will post some pictures later today.  We are only planning on staying here another day and then we will be off to visit my friend Pat in Oconomowoc.

Soo Locks

Resized Sault Ste. Marie 008We don’t usually go for boat rides, but we figured it was the best way to get to see the Soo Locks.  The Locks allow boats to travel from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan which are over 20 feet different in elevation.  You start on the Lake Michigan side, go through the Lock, tour around a little bit of Lake Superior and then you go back through the Lock.  Afterwards, we went to the Visitor Center where we saw a couple of the big ships go through the Locks.

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This is all that is left of the St. Mary’s Rapids that made the need for the Locks in the first place.  Most of the water is diverted into hydroelectric plants. 

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This is one of the Power Plants.  It really is quite beautiful for an industrial building – constructed out of native stone that was excavated to construct the inlet canal. 

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The even went through the trouble to build lighthouses into the facade. 

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Even though the weather wasn’t great, we ended up enjoying Brimley State Park – more than the other State Park in Michigan.  We even tried to extend our stay but our site was booked for the weekend and we didn’t want to bother moving.  Brimley was a lot quieter and the spaces were far apart with more trees.  We had nice neighbors (including a very large, loud woodpecker) that were friendly.  We hadn’t found campers to be as outgoing in Michigan as other places before this – maybe it was our Texas plates.

What Cuties!

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I have the greatest family! 

If you read my Crafting on Cumberland Blog (see My Quilting Blog link below) you would know that before we left town I made matching dresses for my two little cousins (Alyssa and Ashley) who live in Pennsylvania.  The dresses were way more difficult for me than making a quilt and I got terribly carried away with the embellishments. 

Well, much of my family were all at a party in Sea Isle City, NJ together and the girls had their matching dresses on!  My Aunt Nancy AND  my Uncle Jerry took pictures and sent them to me – isn’t that terrific?!?  I was so happy to see the dresses.  I really do have a great family!  I miss you all, but thanks for making me feel part of the Party!

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Ishpeming, MI

This is probably our last stop in Michigan.  We are still on the Upper Peninsula, near Lake Superior, in Ishpeming, MI.  We spent the last three nights in Brimley State Park near Saulte Ste. Marie on the Saint Mary River.  We stopped here so that we could visit the Iron Mining Museum and because it is about a five hour drive from where we were!  We will be hear for three nights and then there will be no debate – we will be heading South towards home.  We figure it will be maybe four or five weeks until we get back. 

I have some photos to post from our tour of the Soo Locks at Saulte Ste. Marie.  We have Internet here, so I should get those posted over the next two days.