Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Musings of our August Staycation to Milwaukee

Hello!  I'm here to bore you with more family and vacation pictures and stories.  As I've stated in previous posts,  I took two Staycations this summer to spend time with my kids.  In June we went camping at Willow River State Park, and in August we went to the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee and also spent one  day in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin enjoying what was suppose to be their Pure Water Days, but never could find where the activities were.  More on that in a later post.

First up,  our visit to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   Milwaukee is the city my husband and I grew up in.  After we married, we moved away and have lived in small towns ever since.  Most of our relatives that lived in Milwaukee are now deceased or moved away, so we rarely go back there to visit.  However, my husband was experiencing a bit of nostalgia and wanted to see the Wisconsin State Fair again, so off we went.

Because we really don't have close family in Milwaukee anymore,  I booked a room in a nice hotel  on the South Side.  We arrived Friday night and just crashed.  I had worked two back to back shifts leaving me about five hours of sleep between shifts, plus the four hour car drive to the big city, so I was tired!  On Saturday we got up bright and early and spent the whole day at the fair and at night we joined our very close life long friends - Kirk and Shannon - for dinner.

The next day we went to church.  It was the church my husband and I met, married, and dedicated our children in.  We always love to go back there and see all our old friends.  I've attended many different churches in my life, but I always consider this church, my home church, and the best church I've ever attended.  No matter how many years have gone by, I still miss this church and I have never felt a suitable replacement for it.  

We caught up with Kirk and Shannon again for the service and chatted for quite a bit afterwards and shared lots of hugs and tears when we said goodbye.  I've included a couple of photos that we took at church.  We didn't have a photographer so Kirk and Shannon switched places between being the photographer and being in the picture.  Kirk is on the far left in this picture followed by my husband, me, my son Jordan, my daughter Ashley, and my son-in-law Jason.

 Now it's Shannon's turn.  She is on the far left.  Isn't she a beauty?  She always has that gorgeous beaming smile on her face.  She is my angel on earth!
After the service we went back to the hotel to change and pack for the ride back home.  Before heading on the highway we decided to visit my old childhood stomping grounds:  South Shore Beach.  I think practically half my life was spent at this beach.  I lived about a mile away, so a typical summer day was waking up around 9:00 a.m., jumping on my ten speed bike and riding to the beach, then sunbathing, more biking on the trails, or just plain goofing around till 3:00 when it was time to head back home to eat.  Although I always loved the beach, I don't think I really appreciated what a rare privilege it was to live so close to a Great Lake until I moved away.  I remember the first time I saw the ocean how disappointed I was because 'it looked just like Lake Michigan'.  For some reason, I thought it would be a lot different, but other than bigger waves, it wasn't:  just water as far as the eyes could see!  Since moving away, most of my sand and water activities have been small lakes and beaches, if you could even call their beaches a beach.  So I really miss Lake Michigan and it's unbelievable beaches.  In fact, I really miss Milwaukee.  I don't think I really appreciated this city when I lived there, but when you move away and live in small towns, you miss a lot of things big cities have to offer:  fine arts centers, major music and theatre touring groups, museums, zoo's, major sports teams, summer festivals, and shopping, shopping, shopping.  Milwaukee has always been known as a big city with a small town feel.  And I would agree with that.  It is big enough to have everything any other big city like Chicago has, but still small enough that it feels like 'home'.  

So, here I am, about twenty five years later, back at my childhood beach.  This photo doesn't do it justice, but one thing I've always loved about South Shore Beach was how beautiful the Milwaukee Skyline looks.  This is also where we saw the fireworks every fourth of July and during the week of Summerfest.  One of my favorite summer memories is being on a yacht in the water near the Summerfest grounds and watching the fireworks directly above my boat.  It was such a magical night.
 I look so dorky in this picture.  I'm wearing my typical summer car ride outfit:  a loose comfy knit top, denim shorts, and loafers.  And I still have that fedora on that I bought from the fair the day before.  It came in handy all weekend!

While at the beach we discovered my husband still had it in him and could skip rocks like a pro.  He wowed the kids as his rocks skipped over the water a half a dozen times or more.  That was until his arm gave out and he had to stop.  Just like he learned he can't eat like he use to at the fair,  he also learned that he can't skip rocks like he use to!
 The boys discovered this work out station located right on the bike/jogging path.  Of course they had to give it a try!
 This is my son-in-law Jason.  My family has a habit of sneaking in my Fashion Over Fifty photos.  We have a running joke in my family that every time we see a good photo spot someone shouts out 'Fashion Over Fifty!' and we stop and take my picture.  Of course my family likes to tease me about it (in love) and they often sneak in the picture without me knowing.  My son Jordan started this habit, and now everyone does it. I'll never forget the first time I was scrolling through my fashion photos on my camera and I saw Jordan's head peeking out behind mine.  I burst out laughing and couldn't stop.  How could I not have known he was there and how could my husband (the photographer) not have given it away?   Someday I will have to do a post showing all my Fashion Over Fifty pictures where a family member snuck in the photo.  They are hilarious!  Here is Jason posing in my spot:  hmmm, Fashion for Men over Twenty?
 After our stop at the beach, we drove back home passing through downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Brewer Stadium.  If you like to see stadiums, you really need to check the new Brewer Stadium out.  It is gorgeous!

I spent the rest of the week just hanging out with the kids, relaxing.  Sometimes the best vacations are doing nothing at all.  Just rest, nourishment, and lots of long talks.  I did go into work two days, and my husband worked a full week, so on Saturday we hit the road again for another adventure, and for another post….till then:

Have a great day!  Amy


  1. You are definitely not boring me with your staycation and vacation posts. Looks like you all had a fun time. The Michigan beach there looks beautiful. I know how it is to miss something after you don't see it anymore every day, but take it for granted while you have it. I feel the same with the scenery I had when I lived in Germany. Now I wish I had "seen" it more while I lived there.

  2. Lovely post, sounds like a nice vacation for all of you and it is nice to reconnect with friends and favourite places every now and then!

  3. There is nothing more fun or relaxing than spending some time with your family just hanging out and having FUN!!! Wish that my family was in a position to do that right now...I think we all need a day like this!! LOL!!

    Beautiful photos of your family my friend! HUGS :)


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