Friday, August 31, 2018

Port Washington, Milwaukee, Chicago

Another early departure allowed us to enjoy a gorgeous sunrise.  Lake Michigan was VERY ROLLY during the trip's first half but rain calmed the wind and seas for the second half. 

We were relieved to arrive at the Port Washington Marina after our 8 hour cruise on Lake Michigan.  After topping off her fuel tanks, Spiritus got to her slip in time for Happy Hour!

The marina was adorned with colorful flowers . . . . EVERYWHERE!!!

The First Mate wanted to hang this beautiful hanging basket from the boom on Spiritus!

The reward for a long walk up the hill was seeing this historic church and the preparation for an afternoon wedding on this gorgeous day.

Since we weren't invited to the wedding, we chose a Mexican restaurant with the coolest bar stools.
Yep, the First Mate is trying to be a bar fly!

As we passed the Port Washington Lighthouse, we were delighted to find super flat water on Lake Michigan for our cruise to Milwaukee.

Upon arriving at McKinley Marina, we immediately took a bike ride to explore Milwaukee.

This lovely park was our view from Spiritus.  We discovered that Milwaukee has an ordinance prohibiting high rise buildings on the lake front, thus allowing for parks and green areas.

The Milwaukee Art Museum was an architectural phenomena.  The artist designed the structure so the roof's "wings" could move at 90 degree angles.

Sometimes it looked like a sailboat and sometimes it looked like a butterfly.

Walking in the entrance of the museum was an experience like none other; very cosmic!

This suspended Chihuly glass sculpture was fascinating!

No visit to Milwaukee would be complete without a visit to the Harley-Davidson Museum.

We had never seen such a collection of bikes from the earliest days . . . .

. . . . to Peter Fonda's "Easy Rider" days . . . .

. . . . and Eddy Knievel's days!!!

The First Mate wondered if we could trade our fold-up bicycles for this bike!

We enjoyed our walk along Milwaukee's river front . . . .

. . . . and were surprised to run into "The Fonz".  Aaaaaaaay!!!

This chapel on the Marquette University campus houses the stone from France that Joan of Arc allegedly rubbed for inspiration and wisdom.  We rubbed it in hopes of gaining some!

We toured the extremely impressive Pabst Mansion.  This 20,000 sq ft dwelling was built as their retirement home.  We decided they didn't get the memo that "Less is More".

The Pabst Mansion tour really stirred up a powerful thirst sooooo . . . . 

. . . . we toured the Miller Brewery and learned some history of "The High Life".

2.22 million cases of beer are produced weekly and 19,200 kegs are produced daily.  WOW!!

Can't begin to thank this lovely couple, Kris and Roger Kay, for their hospitality and kindness.
They are Milwaukee residents who gave us a 5 star tour of their city and cooked us the most delicious meal in their charming home.  These Loopers are ambassadors of goodness!

And we'll never forgive our Milwaukee besties, Roger and Kris, for introducing us to
Kopps, serving the BEST custard in the world!

We walked to the historic "Oriental Theater" to watch a movie and were awed by the amazing 1920's theater that had just undergone renovation.

Milwaukee's evening lights danced on the river as we walked back to our Spiritus. 

The dimly-lit markers helped guide us out of the marina before sunrise.

After the sun rose, we raised our righting sail, which allowed us to enjoy a smoother ride and hold a steady course.

Thanks to our thoughtful Milwaukee friends, Kris & Roger, we enjoyed yummy homemade chocolate chip cookies during our 10 hour cruise!

We didn't see much boat traffic until we got closer to Chicago.

Our excitement grew as our view of the Chicago skyline became clearer!

Spiritus cruised into Burnham Harbor and her crew was a little distracted by all the sights!

We could hardly believe we were docked right beside Soldier Field!!

Home of 'Da Bears!

We walked over to Soldier Field to join all the Bear Fans on Game Day!

The columns from the original stadium were left to flank the outside of the newly built stadium.

Awesome views from atop the stadium.  Had to snatch a "Bear Hug" before the kick-off!

The game really got us psyched for our favorite fall pastime: SEC football, starting in one week!

We cheered the Chicago Bears to a 27-20 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs!

It was crazy fun riding our bikes along the lakeshore bike trail.

We filled our baskets and backpacks with fresh provisions from Mariano's Fresh Market, a favorite food mecca we discovered during Loop #1.

We lowered the mast on Spiritus so we could make it under the fixed bridges we would encounter during our cruise down the Chicago Ship Channel to the Illinois River.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Sturgeon Bay to Manitowoc, WI

We arrived at our beautiful marina after a "lumpy" 4 hour cruise from Sister Bay to Sturgeon Bay.
The flowers on our dock were a welcome delight.

The sunset view from Spiritus was a nice addition to our evening meal.

Cheers!  Cousin Cindy drove from Green Bay to join us the next day.
She is responsible for introducing us to Wisconsin's home-brewed "Spotted Cow".

So much fun spending the day together, laughing and catching up on our lives.

Walking in Sturgeon Bay's historic downtown district made us feel like we were in a movie set.

Got fish?!?!?!

Fellow Loopers, Jan & Lee Rachel on Shangri-La, joined us at our marina. 
 The guys grilled awesome steaks, each claiming theirs was the biggest!

We cruised through the Ship Channel to enter Lake Michigan . . . . 

. . . . leaving Sturgeon Bay to our stern.

As Spiritus entered Lake Michigan, a Lighthouse marked the port side of the channel . . . .

. . . . and another lighthouse marked the starboard side of the channel.

A smooth 8-hour cruise brought us into the town of Kewaunee.

Entering Kewaunee Harbor, we saw the historic tug, Ludington.  This particular tug was used to transport ammunition and supplies to the beaches of Normandy during WW II.

We got Spiritus secured in her slip and immediately noticed she was surrounded by fishing boats! 

With MORE fishing poles than we could count!

And EVERY size, length, and lure imaginable!

The First Mate modeled the new shirt sent from her Minnesota BFF... and it is NOT a fishing shirt!

Cousin Keith, from Green Bay, came to visit and he brought his drone!

Keith's flying drone took beautiful shots of our Kewaunee Marina . . . .

. . . . can you find Spiritus??

The drone caught us stealing a kiss on the bow of Spiritus . . . .

. . . . and dancing on the dock at her stern!

It didn't take long for us to indulge in Wisconsin cheese curds at the Waterside Pub & Grill.

Keith took us to Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay.  
This famous wooden roller coaster was moved here from Memphis, Tennessee.

The Zippin Pippin was Elvis Presley's favorite roller coaster.  
Elvis would rent it out for an evening of fun with his friends in Memphis.

The Zippin Pippin rocked and rolled us more than any cruise on Spiritus!

Keith and Linda raced to the end of this looooooong slide.  Winner won a double scoop of ice cream!

We slept in our very first dirt-house bed since starting our second Loop.
Scruffy welcomed us with sweet snuggles, a six-pack of Spotted Cow, and Oke-Doke Cheese popcorn!

A highlight of our Green Bay weekend was celebrating with Amanda & Jason at their post-wedding party.

Talented Jason built the card box, modeling it after the church in Mexico where they shared their vows.

The party planners did an awesome job decorating with fiesta colors and yummy food.

The sun melted into the horizon as Keith drove us back to Spiritus from Green Bay.
It wasn't easy saying goodbye but we had an early morning departure for our cruise to Manitowoc. 

The Manitowoc Lighthouse greeted us as we entered the breakwater.
Manitowoc Marina provided the "hub" for us to visit with more cousins.


First time this young crew has been on a boat!  It was fun introducing our third cousins to life aboard Spiritus.  They asked the most thought-provoking questions.  Why is a toilet called a head anyway??

The longest bike trail on the Wisconsin coast of Lake Michigan connects Manitowoc and Two Rivers.

We enjoyed peddling the trail, enjoying the views . . . .

. . . . stopping to smell the flowers . . . .

. . . . and admiring the awesome sculptures along the path!

Our cousin's three daughters are now married with children of their own, making us feel OLD!!

The Captain is testing Shelby's swimming skills before she commits to joining us on the Loop.

Our cousins forced us to an ice cream sundae at Beernsteins.
This area of Wisconsin claims to be the home of the first ice cream sundae!

Our last dinner together with Lisa, Jackie, and Darrell at Two Rivers Lighthouse Inn.  

"This is the Good Life" indeed!