Lincoln, Chicago, Silver Lake & Finally Milwaukee

What a busy couple days we've had. I'm sorry I missed writing yesterday, but by the time we finished walking around Milwaukee, it was waaaay past my bedtime and I was exhausted! But suffice it to say, that after waking up to storms yesterday in Springfield, Illinois, we visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library (very well done and we all learned a lot) and fought Chicago traffic (David did the driving, but I still had the sweaty palms)! After surviving Chicago, we stopped at some beautiful mountain biking trails just shy of Milwaukee, and Joe and David couldn't wait to get out and bike, so that was what we did. The trails were gorgeous, nice and smooth without any roots, rocks or underbrush like the Arkansas trails have. Both boys had a blast and it felt really good to stretch my legs even though every time I stopped to take a picture, mosquitoes the size of small horses would fly in and attack my legs, arms, face, ears . . . just about everywhere there was open skin. Blech!  We finished up at the trails and drove on into the city and found our hotel, a renovated life insurance building that was built in the late 1800's. The attention to detail was amazing! It was a gorgeous building and hotel to stay in. Here are a few of the pictures from yesterday. Just click on the thumbnails to see larger.

For today's adventure, we had a delicious breakfast over on the east side of town, the side of town that Joe told David later that he preferred to the Big City side to town where we hung out last night. Normally I don't take pictures of my food in public, but my fruit covered waffle was just too pretty to pass up. At least I didn't take the "foodie" picture with my phone and then Instagrammed it like so many other folks do! ; )  After breakfast, we wandered around downtown for a bit poking our heads into the Public Market and spending about half an hour in a motorcycle shop that sold Enfield motorcycles. They look like the old motorcycles from the 1930's and '40's. Very cool and very retro and a lot of fun to take pictures of!  Both boys were impressed with the machines that were for sale, but we only bought a couple t-shirts, much to the owners dismay. 

Then it was time to hit Lake Michigan . . . or at least the bay that fronted the Great Lake. It still amazes me that it's just a lake. It's soooo big! But there was an art museum along the waterfront (sorry, Mom and Dad, but we did not set one toe inside!), a war museum, and plenty of people and boat watching to be had. It was a beautiful morning to be out walking and enjoying the sunshine and blue skies. If the weather had only kept up . . .  then we wouldn't have been caught in a torrential downpour later in the afternoon after we had just begun mountain biking and hiking at a new spot on the other side of the city! We looked like a family of drowned rats! But again, it was a beautiful spot to get soaked to the skin. David said as we were driving back to our hotel, that he imagined the Pacific Northwest to be like the woods that we had just been in: a thick canopy that sheltered you from the worst of the rain, dense woods and packed dirt for the trails. He had a blast getting drenched, Joe and I weren't real thrilled with wearing sopping wet clothes all the way back to the city. But we all perked up after hot showers and some good BBQ for supper. Hard to imagine that there is good BBQ up here in Yankee Land, but there is. 

Tomorrow, we're heading over to Green Bay and Lambeau Field. I'm actually pretty excited about getting to see that historic football stadium and of course, David can hardly wait! And poor Joe, all he wants to do is avoid cities and just ride his bike. Which we promised he'll get to do tomorrow, too.  

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you all about one of the neatest things about Milwaukee that really impressed the three of us (besides all the gorgeous buildings that have been renovated). There is a river that runs through the heart of the city (I forget the name) the allows large boats to pass up and down, but instead of having traditional drawbridges that go up and down, the city engineers came up with raising the actual street to allow the boats to go downriver. The very last picture in this series shows just that happening. We all thought that was a rather ingenious and very clever idea. I bet Stephen would be fascinated by the concept. 

All righty, it's time to hit the hay. Till tomorrow then . .  .