I don’t know how people did road trips before the internet

Road Trip Statistics

Blue Ridge Mountains

We started out our 12 hour road trip in the mountains. Luckily, it was a beautiful drive.

Man riding tractorWe drove through a small town in Tennessee where we saw this tractor driving down Main St.

national bank of tennessee signI will forever be obsessed with type.

hand painted type liquor and wine

blurry stop sign


We had travel games, but upon further inspection, we decided it was too much work to play. Also, we forgot how to play backgammon.

windmillsIn Indiana, these windmills broke up the monotony. We drove through fields of them for miles, and they are beautiful, and a little creepy.


Finally in Milwaukee! David and I promptly headed out at 11:00 PM to a brewery near our hotel, on the river. Since it was Saturday night, there were a lot of people out. Highlights of that evening included seeing someone almost fall into the river, as they were being yanked onto a boat and lost their balance (she made it, lucky for the guy who pulled her), and watching a couple make out across the river next to the Henry Winkler statue. They were at it for about a half hour, and right in the line of sight when we were sitting at our table next to the river. I think it’s pretty cool to have a city with a river through it. Venice would probably blow my mind.

milwaukee public market sign

I saw this sign when we were walking to get coffee one morning.

lake michigan

We went to Lake Michigan. It was the second time I’ve seen a Great Lake, but the first time I’ve seen it up close and personal, and not from a car. I was amazed at how big they are, and how blue the water is. Unfortunately, the shore we were on was really dirty! I wonder if ocean beaches are also this dirty, but the tide going in and out washes the junk away, where here it just stays put.


dirty lake

Either way, there were a whole lot of dead fish, and children standing in the ‘surf’ screaming as dead fish brushed their ankles.

milwuakee museum of artWe visited the awesome art museum. It has ‘wings’ on the outside that open and close, and great architecture on the inside. We didn’t actually look at any art, just the building.


milwuakee museum of art

The wings! They were so cool, they kept slowly opening and closing.


milwuakee museum of artWhile we were waiting for the fireworks to begin, the old art museum looked cool lit up.

fireworksIn Wisconsin, they are not screwing around when it comes to their pyrotechnics. The fireworks show lasted an hour, complete with slight intermissions and two pre-finales. It was spectacular.

woodman's marketOn the 4th, (we saw fireworks on the 3rd) we went to the largest grocery store I have ever been to. I guess Wisconsinites aren’t messing around when it comes to food either. They had an attached liquor section, which blew my mind (here in NC, liquor stores are completely separate places), as it was larger than some grocery stores.

botanical garden roofWe also went to a botanical gardens. The building on the gardens had this great ceiling.

fishbowl koi

After we drove around and saw fireworks shows from the highway – which is raised up, so it was kind of like flying around and watching fireworks – we went back to the hotel. These fish live in the lobby.

chicago lakeviewThen we went to Chicago! I was so excited to be there. I have never been before, and it did not disappoint.

chicago museum of artWe spent a while at the Art Institute, which conveniently enough has a great collection of some of my favorite artists, not that I knew that when we went in. They also had this sweet rooftop installation, which I think would look swell on my back porch. If you are the artist who made this, call me.


chicago parkWe wandered down to the park, and listened to the orchestra(symphony?) practicing. Chicago is real classy like that. Free classical music for all!


chicago bean

And OF COURSE we went to the bean. Our tour guide, David’s cousin John, was very gracious and did not roll his eyes at all as we took six million pictures of all of the reflections, along with all the other tourists.


chicago bean

This is just one of many, many similar photos.

I had a great time on this trip. I got to meet almost all of David’s extended family, see where his parents are from (our hotel was close to where their wedding reception site, and the botanical gardens was where they had their wedding photos taken! How cool is that?) and learn the joy that is a good cheese curd. I know it sounds gross, but it isn’t.

treeing walker hound

Of course, the best part about going away is coming home to this guy.