It was late and I had this weird feeling that when we got to the hotel our room would be wrong. Well that feeling turned out to be right. Motel 6 charged my card and gave our room away. That was their first excuse, turns out they had the room but it was dirty and then it was back to “we gave it to someone else.” No one knows exactly why our room was lost but hotels.com rescued us and found us a different hotel. I wasn’t going to let this blunder ruin our trip.
Google told me that there was a chapel in Milwaukee. A chapel that originated in France. A chapel where THE Joan of Arch prayed. Well how the heck did it get in Wisconsin? Good question. After Word War I it was taken apart and shipped to a wealthy family in NY. That family donated it to Marquette University where it stands proudly to this day. They rebuilt it piece by piece and inch by inch until it was perfect.
If you know anything about me then you know I am a Frank Lloyd Wright fanatic. It’s like listed in my bio for this very blog. Google, man is she a blessing told me that the largest concentration of FLW homes was right in Milwaukee. My dad, he’s a good sport and we headed off to Burnham block, the American System Built Homes. I loved every minute of my tour, our guide was the best and he was impressed with my knowledge. I’ve seen the extravagant homes built by Wright, but these were simple and practical. The block contains two single family homes and four duplexes. One is under renovation and others are awaiting renovation. It’s a complex project that takes a lot of love and money. So if you find yourself in Milwaukee, GO!! The tour will set you back $15.
Sherri told me that she went to a brewery that had soda in Milwaukee. Google told me that place was called Sprecher’s and it did not disappoint. The tour was short and the line to get your free samples was long. We abandoned the line and started filling our case. You can buy the soda for 90 cents a bottle which is a steal. In the store you pay $3 for a bottle of soda. The flavors are endless, we got “low cal” root beer, watermelon, raspberry, strawberry, grape, and orange cream to name a few. Plus a few hard sodas and ciders.
Harley as in Harley Davidson. I have no interest in Motor Cycles. They make me nervous and don’t get me started about motor cycles on the freeways. Anyways since this trip is not all about me and my dad did willingly tag along to Wright and the church I brought him to the museum. His first words were “this is bigger than I thought it would be.” I should also mention that the guy at the ticket counter asked my dad if he needed a wheelchair because there is a lot of walking. My dad replied in the only way he knows how “do I look like I need a FUCKING wheelchair!?” Yup, that’s my dad and I’m keeping him. He loved the museum. The museum is filled with every Harley in existence from the very start to modern day. The displays are well executed and curated. If you like buttons there are lots of those to push. At the end they have an area where you can climb on a bike for photos.
Since Milwaukee is know for its high concentration of Germans and German culture I thought it was fitting that we go to a beer hall for sausages. What can I say, I am half German, thanks mom! And I love me a good sausage and German Potato salad and Spatzel. We went for the pretzel and beer hall platter. A platter our waitress called “the meat party.”
My whole reason for this trip was to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Greek Orthodox Church aka the “Jewel Box.” Now I should mention the congregation does not offer open tours. You can make a tour by appointment or you can just pack a dress and go to church. Now I am Methodist so the service was very different for me and my dad too. A wonderful woman named Denise took us under her wing and explained the service to us and made sure we were doing ok. There is a lot of standing during the service and the majority of it was in Greek and we were lost. Although lost it was a beautiful service in a beautiful church. Bucket list item accomplished.
After service we stopped for breakfast and drove onto Racine, because you guessed it another Wright building tour was on deck. But first KRINGLE! My lovely and dear friend Lisa would always bring Kringle back from Racine and it was delicious so I had to stop in at the bakery and grab like 3 of them….. don’t judge.
Trip advisor told me that the Wind Point Lighthouse was not to be missed and since I also have a minor obsession with lighthouses we went. She did not disappoint it was a perfect day on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Wingspread was my main reason for driving to Racine. Not familiar with Wingspread? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Wingspread is the Home Frank Lloyd Wright built for Herbert F. Johnson the owner of Johnson Wax now known as SC Johnson. The home was extraordinary for its time and expensive as well. The original budget was $100,000.00, Wright was famous for blowing budgets and blow this one he did. This is an extraordinary example of Wright architecture and it did not disappoint. It is after all the only Wright design that includes a swimming pool. Wright believed that swimming pools were glorified bath tubs, I tend to agree with the man.
Wingspread was the last stop on our journey. It was getting late so my dad and I headed westward to Home. Of course we made a stop in the Dells for dinner and I politely told my dad “this is your last trip this summer….” He didn’t like the sound of that and he keeps on asking me where we are going next. August and September are up in the air, when going through IVF you hand your life over to the clinic and pray for the best.