Tag Archive | Milwaukee

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.

KTI Country radio img_2687

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.

Sturtevant Station img_2637

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!

holiday-train-above-img_2676

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

Balcony View front IMG_1536

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.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/d5bxoF0ex8I/hqdefault.jpg

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

 

 

MillerCoors Brewery Tour


1-13-16

Miller Brewery crop IMG_4278

Welcome to Miller Valley!

Miller Valley IMG_0787

We realized how much of Milwaukee we still have not seen, and decided that taking the free tour of the MillerCoors Brewery was just the thing on a snowy winter day. In this picture you can see the large silver tankards where the beer is aged for three weeks.

The tour is for one hour, be prepared to take stairs and walk to several buildings.  Register at the front desk when you arrive. Good info to know before beginning the tour.

Tour Info IMG_0807

 A photographer was there to take our picture and had some props to make the picture even more memorable.  We would be offered a 5×7 and 2-4×6 print, a bottle opener and a can cozy at the end of the tour for $20.  We got it, such a fun memento of our visit.

Miller Visitor Center in Milwaukee

We were on the first tour at 10:30, and it turned out to only be the two of us. Leah was our guide, she gave us the VIP treatment!

Leah and us IMG_0819

The tour began with a 10-minute film in the theater describing the history of the brewery. After that we went to the first building where the beer is made.

Beer Processing at Miller IMG_0827

Here we could also see the conveyor belt rolling with filled cases of beer.

We went down to the lower floor of this building and saw it is also a vast warehouse for all the beer.  Would you believe all of this will be gone by the next day?  Most goes to Chicago with the rest points elsewhere. It is the size of 5 football fields placed side-by-side. Here are some stats.

Beer Distribution stats at Miller IMG_0855

Beer Warehouse IMG_0852

We went back out and crossed the street, going under the bridge where you could see beer going across on the conveyor.

Miller Bridge IMG_0865

It was time to see where the Fermenting Room.  Copper tankards were on the upper level and the silver-colored ones were below.

Fermenting room at Miller

Miller Fermenting Facts IMG_0883

After this we walked further up the street to our last stop, the Historic Caves building where the beer was chilled before refrigeration.

Brewery Panoramic View IMG_0899

There was also a historic marker on the building.

Historic Caves Entrance at Miller IMG_0901

Plank Road Historic Marker at Brewery

We went into the hushed darkness of the cave, gently lit on either side but still allowing for night vision.  It was beautiful, and there was a mural painted in the back.

Miller Cave IMG_0910

Miller Cave IMG_0915

Miller Cave Mural IMG_0912

In here were were also paid a visit by Frederick Miller himself, via a projection on the back of the cave.

Very cool!  The tour was now finished, we then went to the tasting room. Al did the tasting since I don’t drink beer.  Thanks Leah, we really had fun!

Tasting Room IMG_0934

Tasting Room back at Miller IMG_0936

While we were there we got our photo that we had taken at the start of the tour.  Our first silly selfie of the year.

Miller Tour Selfie text

We really had a good time here today. Since there is not a restaurant on site, we went .7 miles away to Saz’s State House for a great lunch.

Saz's State House in Milwaukee IMG_0975

It’s always Miller Time™ in Milwaukee!

IMG_0943

It’s Amore on Brady Street – Milwaukee


5-21-14

Brady Street is a street with character and spunk.  It was settled by mainly Italian immigrants over a century ago and their decendants still own many businesses on this colorful street.  The TV show “Around the Corner with John McGivern” inspired us to come here.  He was right, what a fun place in the heart of Wisconsin’s largest city. Watch it here too.

We arrived early on this beautiful spring morning with businesses starting to open.  Brady St. has parking meters. If you don’t mind walking a couple blocks, we parked on the side of the street by Cass Park to park free. Great park for kids to enjoy. We couldn’t resist posing under the big cat archway.

Cass Park arch Milwaukee

We continued our walk and saw another little park, redbuds in bloom.

Park at N. Marshall and E. Lyon St.

We see a banner on the light pole as we reach Brady Street.

Brady Street banner

 

The first business we saw was Glorioso’s Italian Market, a wonderful place with lots of great food, some imported from Italy. We even had lunch there too, yum! Bring a cooler in the summer, you may be bringing home some of their meat and cheeses.

Glorioso's Collage

Another great place we stopped at was Dryhootch Coffee House. They have a special mission, they donate part of their proceeds to help vets. Learn more about this specific store here.   Our barista made us delicious café au laits and made us welcome! Al fit right in, being a Navy vet himself.

Dryhootch Coffee House

 

Thumbs up to Dryhootch!

Thumbs up to Dryhootch!

Berry Me Frozen Yogurt is another popular place.

Berry Me  on Brady St. Milwaukee

 

We reach one end of the street, The Dogg Haus is ready to serve up Chicago specialties.

The Dogg Haus

After lunch at Glorioso’s, we went to see the part of Brady St. we missed.  The street being 9 blocks long, there was a lot to see. St. Hedwig – Three Holy Women Catholic Church has been a cornerstone of this community since 1886.

St. Hedwig Catholic Church Milwaukee

The Dragonfly is a unique store inside as well as out, a gargoyle sits atop the roof overlooking Brady Street.

IMG_0714

The Dragonfly in Milwaukee

 

Well, we finally make it to the other end of Brady Street. We come upon a bridge overlooking the Milwaukee River. What a view! This is the right side.

IBridge near Brady St. Milwaukee Right side view

 

The left side..You can see a couple canoeing down the river.  This will take you all the way down to where we were last year, the Milwaukee Ale House.

Brady Street Bridge left side

 

Milwaukee Ale House

Near the bridge is McCormack-Mervis Brady Street park, ending our journey today.  We hope you enjoyed Brady Street, we plan on returning again. What a fun day!

McCormack-Mervis Brady Street Park

 

Brady Street Park Milwaukee

Stop and Learn in Watertown


Wilkommen to Watertown

 

Downtown Watertown

Watertown is a city of 23,000 with a rich history carefully preserved.  It was founded by Timothy Johnson.  He arrived at the Watertown site 12-10-1836. He also co-founded nearby Johnson Creek. If you are heading to Watertown from the west, at Rest Area 13, where you can see a historical marker describing hills left by the glaciers called Drumlins.

Drumlin historic marker near Johnson Creek

 German immigrants built many of the historic buildings all over town.  It’s home to the famous Octagon House (shaped like a stop sign), built prior to the Civil War.  The house is now the base of operations for the Watertown Historical Society, and is open for tours April to October, and some special events Nov-March.

Octagon HouseOctagon House marker in Watertown

Also on site is the first Kindergarten in the US.  The white building is behind the Octagon House along with the an early settler’s farm,  both restored. Watertown has many brochures for self-guided walking tours available.

First Kindergarden and Farm

 A marker commemorating this school is on the side of the building.

First Kindergarden marker in Watertown

 The red barn also has a marker.

Red Barn plaque in Watertown

We also paid our respects at Memorial Park, where a tall Civil War Monument stands, erected in 1899.  Also more recent monuments to soldiers in more recent wars.

Memorial Park Watertown

The downtown is quite beautiful too.  Be sure to stop by the Chamber of Commerce if they are open.

Watertown Chamber of Commerce

The beautiful Watertown Public Library, the present building in use since June 14, 1907.

Watertown Library

The Cole Memorial Bridge is the centerpiece of downtown, the Rock River runs under it.

Cole Memorial Bridge in Watertown

 

Cole Memorialbridge plaque

 

We also discovered this site was also important during the Black Hawk War of 1832.

Black Hawk Trail marker in Watertown

Many murals also adorn the sides of many buildings highlighting Watertown’s early history.  Here is a pretty circus mural, picture taken in 2010. It is somewhat obscured now by the business occupying the building.

Circus Mural in Watertown

 Watertown is known also for many buildings constructed of brick made from a special light color clay found near Milwaukee.  Because the clay was so plentiful, Milwaukee was dubbed “Cream City”  The Octagon House is built from this brick.

We have also enjoyed patronizing some of the great businesses here. Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters is our favorite place for the best coffee ever! Not just coffee but a cafe serving breakfast and lunch.

BB Building cropBerres Brothers Billboard in Watertown

Another great place is Mullen’s Dairy Bar downtown.

Mullens Dairy Bar

Another favorite place is Glenn’s Market and Catering. They make their own meat products and so much more!  Even have a selection of gluten-free products. We highly recommend stopping here for your grilling and party needs!

Glenn's Market sign in Watertown Glenn's Market and Catering in Watertown

 We also enjoy shopping at the Bethesda Thrift Store when we stop in Watertown. We always find great stuff here!

 Photo by Bethesda

Photo by Bethesda

Across the street from Glenn’s is the former Railroad depot, now Garden Path Floral Garden and Gifts.

Garden Path Florist depot in Watertown

If you look right of the depot, you see an impressive large building up on a hill. It’s Maranatha Baptist University, since 1968. One hundred years earlier in 1872, it was Sacred Heart College, then Sacred Heart Military Academy in 1955. Read about the early history here.

Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown

 

There is much more to learn in Watertown and will be back again soon!

Related Articles

* Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog

* USA Today

Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee


2-19-13

It was a cold, snowy day in February, a great time to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. We are not bikers, but we know people who are.  What a fun place!  We learned the history of the Harley through the many exhibits. They even played an important role in WWII. I never knew!  There was even a chance to see the room where they restore bikes and store ones not currently on display.

StatueHarley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee

IMG_07882-19 139

2-19 194

IMG_0801

The last area of the museum featured a large screen and cycles you could sit on and pretend to ride for a great photo-op.

On cycle 2

The museum also has two restaurants on site. The Motor Bar and Restaurant, and a less expensive cafe also.  We had lunch at the cafe, great food! Don’t forget the gift shop, lots of great items there too.  It was a wonderful day. Even if you are not a Harley fan going in, you may be one going out!

IMG_0823IMG_0832