Our first full day in the state. Beautiful weather – upper 70’s, clear skies with a perfect balance of clouds. This is winter weather by Phoenix standards but we’re in Wisconsin and it’s August! I have to keep pinching myself.
It’s hard to not notice large bodies of water. In fact, you are never too far from one large body of water or another. It’s a little overwhelming, even for an old east coast gal like me. For instance, the coast is supposed to be in one direction or the other (east = NY/NJ, west = California). But the orientation keeps changing till you don’t know where you are, just that there is water nearby. And you will get to where you want to go eventually. Lake Michigan is the backdrop to Downtown Kenosha, which was once home to the old AMC and Simmons plants (that would be cars and mattresses). With those manufacturers long gone, the area has struggled to recover its economic base. Visitors today can enjoy a refreshed harbor, marina, parks and museums with a wide backdrop of Lake Michigan.
We met up with Denny’s brother (Jan) and sister-in-law (Marian) who drove from their home in Indiana to meet us. The Civil War Museum was an incredible experience. A 360 degree movie Seeing the Elephant was a moving description of the Civil War from the mid-western states’ perspective. Next door at the Public Museum are the bones of the only wooly mammoth found in Wisconsin.
Another fun museum was right across the marina – the Historical Society Museum. It’s a time capsule of Kenosha and all the industries that once fueled it’s economy. Here’s a perspective for you – in 1902 the average life expectancy was 47 years. Ouch! That means I would be pushing up daisies right now!
Being downtown, we took advantage of the refurbished street car system. Fun riding on the old electric rails and checking out the town layout. No lack of restaurants had us torn until we walked into Captain Mike’s on 6th Street. A local tradition, they have a great selection of local and popular beers accompanied by some incredible burgers as well as mac and cheese creations. Definitely a place with a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives vibe (are you reading this, Guy?). I had the mac and cheese of the month – with kalamata olives, goat cheese, tomatoes and onions. Two Cow beer, produced by local brewer New Glarus, washed it down. My tummy was groaning with satisfaction as I waddled down the street.
I don’t know if I can eat like this every day! Tea, please, and lots of it!