It’s already been a month! Hard to believe! This week started out exploring the Hank Aaron State Trail on our bikes, there is a trailhead maybe two blocks from our park. For an urban trail, there is plenty of feeling like you are away from the city, the wild flowers were everywhere! We didn’t go in with a map so we were surprised to find Mitchell Park wasn’t far at all. We weren’t sure what we were looking at when we came across those domes. The next big discovery was the Veterans home. The Victorian architecture and detail was beautiful to look at and we spent a fair amount of time doing just that. We also discovered if we wanted to we could bike to the zoo, to a Brewers game, and our neighborhood Walmart. We only stopped at the latter and stuffed our pack with produce for the week.
We met a nice couple from Las Vegas in our park who are full-timing like us, and they were our age! That was a first. We meet people our age, but we don’t meet many full-timers and none in our age group. We enjoy their energy, they are happy and laid-back like us. The husband is from Milwaukee and they are here visiting his family. They invited us to ride bikes to a local bar to listen to some live music one night. It was a bar that we believe only locals could know was there because it was hidden away in the State Park Fairgrounds, but man they get great bands! We enjoyed meeting their aunt, who at 62 is showing us all how it’s done – she was a social butterfly and quite the dancer! Such a nice evening!
We of course returned to Summerfest. I have lost track of all the bands we saw this week, so I will just give a couple of honorable mentions. Ed’s favorite was probably George Thorogood. We caught the tail end of Chicken Wire Empire and they were great! I wasn’t familiar with them but will be now. We also stumbled upon Lindsey Stirling, again an unknown to us. I don’t really follow electronic music and on it’s own I am not sure I would have paid a lot of attention to it. However, the stage performance was mesmerizing! They were doing ballet-like dances in these elaborate costumes and playing the violin at the same time. It was so graceful, it was as if the violins were part of their bodies.
I also enjoyed Tai Verdes. If you are on TikTok you know his music, but I didn’t know his story. He’d been working at a Verizon Wireless store in Los Angeles until about 3 months into the pandemic. He went viral, got a record deal, and his Stuck in the Middle album became a an overwhelming success. The New York Times say his single by the same name is one of the “Best Songs of 2020”. It recently hit #1 on Spotify’s chart. I love stories like that, good for him. He’s a charismatic performer and is a natural on stage.
We skipped Saturday, partially because there wasn’t a lot in the lineup that we wanted to see. Mostly though we have been so busy we were looking for a more low-key day and an early evening in. We chose to go look around in Cedarburg upon a recommendation from our new friends. It’s a small town with a preservation mindset – in a small area (maybe a few blocks or so) they have 216 historical sites registered. In the 60’s when there was a lot of urban renewal happening, the mayor made it stop in their town and it’s been preserved from about 150 years ago.
We started at the visitor’s center, which is also a museum. It is located across from the town mill and was the general store. For some nostalgia, feast your eyes:
The interesting thing about this town is two fellas came from CHARLESTON, WV (so I know they must be stellar gents!) to try and stake some business claims in Milwaukee. They decided Milwaukee was too much of a boom town so they set their eyes upon quiet Cedarburg. The river there wasn’t navigable, but it did have something unusual for such a flat area – rapids and waterfalls. So, they built a gristmill that became the heart of the town. And, beside of the mill is a structure that I assumed was at some point a Chinese Restaurant. However, it wasn’t, it was actually a gas station originally built in the 20’s. The mill is open in the bottom where a brewery now operates, we ducked in to see the part where the water still runs through it. While the preservations are all there, it’s a vibrant town with a lot of art stores, boutiques, trendy restaurants, and an old theatre.
Today, we wanted to go hiking but we didn’t want to drive too far. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center fit that bill nicely as it’s situated just north of the city. It’s really set up well for teaching children about nature, but it’s plenty beautiful for a nice walk and retreat for kids of all ages. Speaking of children, I have to say it’s starting to feel like I am reverting to my inner child! We have been riding our bikes (sometimes even with our friends), I color sometimes in the RV, and today I climbed a tree!
I am going to leave you with a little trivia. Do you know why Milwaukee is called “The Cream City?” It’s because of the way they cured their bricks in the 1900’s. The process causes the bricks to be cream and it’s used in a lot of the architecture here. A volunteer at the Visitor Center told us that the brick is worth good money now because they no longer make them. They might sell as high as 5 or 6 dollars a brick, and it’s well sought after for making repairs around the city.