I think we packed an entire summer in three days in Milwaukee, and racked up countless miles on the Radio Flyer. While Aaron put in full days working, Claire and I explored the area on foot (and in wagon), skipping through the parks, picking rocks on the beaches and singing “I’m a Little Teapot” at the top of our lungs at Milwaukee’s finest kite shop (I guess Claire just got inspired!). We also may have visited Colectivo, my favorite local coffee shop, a time or three.
The three of us spent the late afternoons at the Milwaukee Yacht Club pool and hot tub; we went on a walking adventure one night, and enjoyed dinner with friends at the tiki bar another. Yep, the yacht club also has a tiki bar, not to mention a gorgeous clubhouse and showers that rival a five-star hotel.
Anxious to reach new cruising grounds, we cast lines mid-afternoon yesterday and arrived at Port Washington just as the sun was setting. So excited to explore this charming little town today as the three amigos – Aaron is officially on vacation!
Clarity, tucked in at Milwaukee Yacht Club
Colectivo! My favorite coffee shop, which just so happens to be a five-minute walk from the club.
It quickly became Claire’s favorite, too. “Mommy, I want to eat all of this!”
Mmmmmm… Fresh cinnamon rolls…. Nom nom nom…
I used to worry about Claire not being social enough. This is her “best friend,” met just outside the coffee shop. Name unknown 🙂
The playground right off of McKinley Beach, also a five-minute walk from the club.
Passing thunderstorms aren’t that bad when you can wait them out at the club pool house (!!)
No way I was stopping this from happening 🙂
After dinner one night, we decided to go exploring and see what we could find. I’m more of a planner, but Aaron always takes us on the best adventures!
During our evening adventures, we found the Oak Leaf Trail, a gem hidden just off of Lincoln Memorial Drive..
We walked to the Gift of Wings kite shop in Veterans Park when we were here two years ago, and I was excited that it was still there – though you’ll have the hardest time finding it on a map, or even finding this specific location listed on their website! I guess it’s a secret kite shop.
That octopus kite came home with us. It will now serve as Clarity’s wind vane.
Kites, kites, kites
What could be more exciting than a ring pop?!
Paddleboat rentals in the Veterans Park lagoon. If we had stayed a day or two longer, we definitely would have rented one!
It really doesn’t take much to keep this kid entertained outdoors. She played in her “sand nest” for at least an hour.
Beach Babes 🙂
The sign of a successful day! Towels and swimsuits drying on the lifelines.
On the walk to Bradford Beach, we passed by the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. Unfortunately it wasn’t open – but it’s definitely on the list for our next visit!
Cruisin’ – wagon-style
“Excuse me, miss! May I please have some fried cheese curds?”
Northpoint Custard must be a huge destination in these parts. About a minute after this photo, a group of 20-30 visitors descended.
Bradford Beach – the North Avenue Beach of Milwaukee. Claire had a blast and swam for a bit, but unfortunately the water was filled with weeds.
Those hats! I wish the Chicago lifeguards had those as part of their uniform.
We did it! Clarity is cruising once again!
As many cruisers know, casting the first lines of the trip is often the hardest part – so much tethers us to land. There are so many reasons that we should stay in Chicago and do the daily grind. But as soon as the skyline is in our wake, I remember why we do this.
See pics from our weekend sails here!
On Saturday, we sailed with 10-15 knots out of the northeast and were able to fly both the jib and the main for six hours out of our eight-hour run. It was overcast and a bit chilly out there. I was also reminded as the waves kicked up (unforecasted) to occasional three-footers, that yep, I do get seasick. A few seasons under my belt helped me keep it in check, though, and overall, it was a great trip up to North Point Marina in Winthrop Harbor, just south of the Wisconsin border.
Sunday morning, a lovely couple saw our Columbia Yacht Club flag and invited us to the Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club for their $5 breakfast (we get reciprocal rights with most yacht clubs). We swapped sailing tales over scrambled eggs and pancakes and they helped us cast lines late morning as we pointed north once again.
The plan was to make a quick run up to Racine; the wind was straight out of the north and on our nose, so we wouldn’t be able to sail anyway. But just before we put the blinker on to turn left into port, the wind shifted to the northeast and the fog started to lift. Claire was happy as a clam and we thought, let’s just keep going! We cut the engine, rolled out the sails, and five hours later, we tied up at Milwaukee Yacht Club.
We’ll be here for a few days, meeting up with friends and taking advantage of the high-speed Wi-Fi to knock out some work.
It’s hard to believe it was so hard to cast those lines back at 31st Street…
My provisioning run to Target, outfitting the boat for a month of meals. I’ll let you guess what that bill came to. My wallet will be recovering for a few days…
Cardboard packaging does not last on boats (it collects moisture and gets soggy), and we also like to maximize our storage areas, so I repackage what I can into gallon-size Ziploc bags. This bag of trash is the unnecessary packaging from that one grocery trip!
Bubble whistles! The new rage…
Play-Doh – a great way to keep a kiddo entertained in the cockpit for at least an hour!
Our mid-way snack: Dubliner cheese, red pepper and feta spread, fresh raspberries and crackers. We do cruising right!
Must Have Wagon! You know you’re a cruiser with a kiddo when…
Yep, that’s a pretty good heel. Check out the water line.
After an eight-hour sail, we tucked into North Point Marina for the night, just south of the Wisconsin border.
The marina was … less than desirable. Weeds made docking challenging the night before, so Aaron cleared the path for our exit the next morning.
Piles of weeds on the dock that other boat owners hauled themselves. The marina is run by the state, and according to the locals, funding has been cut considerably this season.
We had a much-needed hot breakfast at Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club Sunday morning. The food was delicious, and the members were so warm and welcoming. A couple of members immediately ushered us over to their table, and another lovely couple played hide-and-seek with Claire for at least a half-hour. This is one of the reasons we love cruising so much – being able to meet such lovely people in every port.
As we headed north across the state line, a thick fog set in. Can you make out the water line? In these conditions, one of us always has to keep a close watch for other boats.
We originally planned to make a short trip up to Racine, but decided to hammer down for Milwaukee. We rounded Wind Point Lighthouse on the way. Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright designed the residence quarters here?!
Claire checking out Wind Point Lighthouse
Halfway through our seven-hour sail to Milwaukee, the sun broke through the clouds.
Aaron casually suggested that I hop on the paddel board and he’d tow me off of the transom. It was amazing! Three knots of boat speed feels pretty fast out there…
Milwaukee, I see you!
Heading in to McKinley Marina to tie off at Milwaukee Yacht Club.
All day long, we promised this kid a trip to the pool. So after we tied up at Milwaukee Yacht Club and had dinner, we took her over to the club pool for a dusk swim, drizzle be darned!
Happy kiddo! She passed out immediately after we got her back to the boat 🙂