Who would have thought taking the Lake Express from one side of Lake Michigan to the other would be such a lovely experience? I recently made this trek so that I could visit my sister in Wisconsin. I’m so glad I did.
Leaving from Muskegon, it took two and a half hours and I was able to take my car, making it easy to head to my destination: Appleton, a couple of hours north of Milwaukee. The whole experience reminded me a bit of taking a car ferry in Denmark, going from Jutland to Copenhagen, a couple of years ago. That was a delightful way to travel. I’d do it again.
I had surprising Walk Down Memory Lane as the Lake Express headed out of the dock in Muskegon. I noticed a rather large ship tied up on a nearby dock. When we got closer I could see the name on the side–the Milwaukee Clipper. Wow. Very old memories flooded my brain. When I was a little girl, my Mother used to take us on that boat to cross the lake when we traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin to visit my grand mother.
Dad would drive the family station wagon around Chicago (a 12 hour trip in those days) and meet us. I used to think it was so we could have fun on the boat, but now I realized they didn’t want to spend those 12 hours plus the time it took to get across the state of Wisconsin with three rambunctious kids in the car.
And rambunctious we were. My Mother didn’t handle being on water very well so she holed up in the cabin she booked while my siblings and I raced all around the ship. It would be interesting to tour the boat now to see if I can remember any of the spaces.
I noted with interest my fellow passengers on the Lake Express on this beautiful day in May. It was particularly fun to see a group of German motorcycling tourists, taking photos and marveling at our “big lake.” I’m told there’s a big Motorcycle museum in Wisconsin. Maybe they were headed there. Or the many hundreds of miles of country roads in Wisconsin lined with red barns and beautiful scenery was the draw.
The Milwaukee skyline was fun to see on the other side of our Big Lake, as Michiganders tend to call Lake Michigan. I noticed lots of construction.
In Appleton, Wisconsin, I enjoyed seeing this little pocket park on the main street. Colorful and inviting.
After my family visit, I headed back to Milwaukee where I spent the night so I could catch the 6 am ride back to Michigan.
I enjoyed a good walk, seeing old homes and buildings, a newer hip area and the Lakeshore. I think it would be an interesting city to explore more extensively.
I got caught in an unexpected downpour…..soaked from head to toe……but thoroughly enjoyed the rainbow that appeared after the storm.
Here’s an attempt to capture the rain bow over the wonderful Art Museum in Milwaukee. Hah! Needed a different camera lens and a lot more skill for that one, but I enjoyed trying. If the Art Museum isn’t familiar to you, check out this blog post about an earlier visit to this landmark addition to Milwaukee. You may want to add it to your destination list. Going to Chicago to see the Calatrava.
And then to top off the experience, I captured a sunrise over Lake Michigan from the Lake Express as we headed home.