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18th Annual Canadian Pacific Holiday Train


12-5-16

sturtevant logo

This is the 18th year of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, an exciting fundraiser for area food banks along the route the train takes in the US and Canada.  It was only in Wisconsin for a couple of days and the timing of it’s stops are different each year.  We were lucky this year, we could go!

We chose the village of Sturtevant to see it.  This community is located just west of Racine and about 1 1/2 hours from Madison. After dinner we were directed into a parking lot in a shopping mall close to the depot.  The lot was filling up fast with an excited crowd waiting to see the train. Many people probably saw the train yearly.   This is the view from the lot.

Sturtevant Depot img_2613

Food and money were collected here at the Racine County Food Bank truck on site.

racine-county-food-bank-truck-at-sturtevant

KTI Country radio station in Milwaukee was there to cover the event with a live broadcast.

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We were well prepared for recording this event, Al recorded from the ground with our mini-video camera and I roamed the grounds with my new camera. I went up the stairs in the structure above the track to see it coming from above.

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I could soon see the headlight and hear the train horn. It was right on time, 5:25 PM!  The crowd cheered and whistled!

Canada Pacific Train arriving img_2674

It’s here!

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Join in the fun! Enjoy our video! The train was at the station for 45 minutes and we enjoyed a 1/2 hour Christmas music show. Performers were Colin James and Kelly Prescott.

This event was incredibly fun and worth the journey to get there.  Thanks Canadian Pacific for bringing such joy and goodwill on the rails!

Sturtevant Depot img_2643

 

 

Free Day at the Milwaukee Public Museum


2-4-16 First Thursday of the Month

Milwaukee Public Museum

What a great opportunity!  We found out that the Milwaukee Public Museum has a free day every month for ALL visitors. Kohls is the sponsor.  We jumped at this chance to go.  We found a historic clock just outside of the building.

Historic Tower Clock by Museum

After checking in at the front desk, we were on our way!  You can check your coat in for $1 or use a locker for 50 cents. We also got a free ticket to the Planetarium show at 11:30, there usually an extra charge for that.   I have not seen one of those shows since I was a kid.  It was great getting a refresher on the night sky and constellations.  Also some Hubble pictures were shown.  A great 25 minute show!

Planetarium show sign

We enjoyed a good lunch at the café  before heading back up to the first floor. The have a coffee stand too.

The Daily Grind coffee at museum

The museum has four floors, we just had time to see the ground, floors 1 and 2. It is a large museum so we hope to return to see the rest.  On the first floor were many great exhibits, a favorite being the “Streets of  Old Milwaukee” and “European Village”. It looks like Milwaukee around 1880-1910. To enhance your experience here, you can download an app to hear residents of old Milwaukee tell us about their occupations, etc. at the turn of the last century. You can only listen to the oratories through your headphones in your phone.

Streets of Old Milwaukee and European Village

You enter the Milwaukee exhibit through the streetcar and exit in the back.

Streets of Old Milwaukee Entrance

Let’s take a stroll through the street, you can occasionally hear horses hooves clopping.

Inside are prominent Wisconsin businesses, many still here.  Usinger’s, Schlitz and Roundy’s among them. The most charming part of this exhibit was the candy store. It was real and you could buy some “penny” candy here. The store is small so only a few people could be inside at a time.

Candy Store IMG_1518

You could also go up a staircase in one of the buildings and look down below at the street. You could see the candy store to the right. The front view showed an eye doctor business, complete with a sign with eyes that appear to be looking right at you!

Balcony view of candy store

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Eye sign at Public Museum

See the silhouette of the lady in the window? She moved in and out of view and appeared to be getting ready for a night out.

Lady in the window IMG_1539

Saw a photographer taking a portrait of a lady.

Photographer IMG_1545

Inside a general store.

General Store at Milwaukee

High fashion for ladies around 1900.

Ladies fashion IMG_1549

When you reach the end of the street it transitions into the European Village, opening up to Pabst Square.

Pabst Square in European Village

European Village in Museum

Each house surrounding the square represents a different country in Europe. Here is the Czech house from Al’s heritage.

Czech house at museum

The Russian house, my sister-in-law’s heritage. She is a first-generation American.

Russian house at Museum

We spent an extended amount of time in these exhibits, they were fascinating!  Now we move on to the Jack Puelicher Butterfly Garden. This sunny room had many beautiful butterflies and warm temperatures that felt good on this winter day.

Butterfly wing at Museum

Butterfly at Museum

Let’s watch them them in action!

A butterfly display in a case.

Butterflies at museum

And this Muskrat exhibit is from 1890, like the clock outside. Very intricate detail!

Muskrat Habitat display at museum

It was time to go, we plan on returning as soon as we can to see what we missed. Meanwhile, enjoy this great view across the street from the museum.

Milwaukee skyline

And this one facing in the other direction.

Milwaukee Skyline 2

The Milwaukee Zoo


12-26-15

Milwaukee Zoo entry

Our last adventure of the year, today was a special day.  the Greater Milwaukee Foundation gave Wisconsin a free gift for the last week of the year, free admission and parking to the Milwaukee Zoo for all visitors.

We went in and saw many Christmas trees decorated by various groups.The room was filled with them!

Christmas trees IMG_0185

Now we went outside to see the exhibits, first were the penguins.  They were sure having fun with all the people around watching them.

Milwaukee Zoo beginning

Milwaukee Zoo Penguins

Our next stop was the Primate house after walking an elevated walkway.

Ptimate House at Milwaukee Zoo1

One of my favorite parts was the Mold-O-Rama machine to make you a gorilla souvenir for $20.  They are all original machines from the 1960’s. It is an injection mold machine. Let’s see it in action!

And here is my gorilla!

Gorilla IMG_0265

It was a quiet day and it sometimes was hard to see the occupants in this building since many were napping. Tom the Gorilla was enjoying a snack by the window, probably looking at us too.

Tom the Gorilla at Milwaukee Zoo

Their habitat looks very natural and the animals appeared relaxed.

Primate home at Milwaukee Zoo

Time go go back outside to see other exhibits, it was raining but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the many visitors or the animals. There was an ice carver who had already carved a bear and had just started another one.

Ice carver at Milwaukee zoo

This sea-lion was getting lunch.

Sea Lion at Milwaukee Zoo

A Grizzly Bear was making the rounds too. He appeared to like the rain.

Grizzly beat at Milwaukee Zoo

A Polar Bear too, probably wishing it were snowing instead of rain.

Polar bear at Milwaukee Zoo

These Caribou were enjoying their natural woodland setting.  They are not often seen outside of Alaska. Stately creatures!

Caribou at Milwaukee Zoo

Next we explored the Small Mammal building which also had some primates, also bats.

Small Mammal building at Milwaukee Zoo

Small Mammal house at Milwaukeee Zoo

We went next door to see the aquatic building with lots of fish from around the world.  Enjoy this video made by another visitor to the zoo.

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This seemed to be a favorite stop for the many visitors that came. There is of course a large focus on Wisconsin fishing and we learned about how the famous “Friday Fish Fries” began in the dairy state.  Fish may not be the first thing to come to mind in the middle of the country, but we do have our freshwater seas, the Great Lakes providing plenty of good eating.

Friday Fish Fry history

The zoo also emphasizes how important “catch and release” is to sustaining and growing the fish population. My brother Lee Tauchen is a fishing guide and he practices this technique, he rarely eats his catches. He also creates beautiful lures he uses and sells.  He would love to take you out on a fishing trip, call him at (608) 444-2180 to set one up with him.

Catch and release

This display of small fish was mesmerizing to watch.

Small fish aquarioum at Milwaukee Zoo

We wanted to see the Aviary but it was closed for renovations.

We had a great visit to the Milwaukee Zoo and hope to return in summer when more is happening. Thanks Greater Milwaukee Foundation for the free week!

Clock at Milwaukee Zoo