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.
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, 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.
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!
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