Duluth, Minnesota–

Up here in Duluth, Minnesota they have a lakewalk on the shores of Lake Superior, they have an iconic old bridge that raises the entire roadway up and down (fancy), and they have a number of sweet inns right on the lake for gringos like us to rest our weary heads.  We are happy to be here. . .though today it is hard to believe that folks once believed that this area could be bigger and more important than Chicago…close, but no cigar.

We have popped up here out of curiosity as we continue our great tour of the American midwest. . .we find friendly easygoin’ people, some tasty grub here and there, soothing summer breezes off of this giant lake, and a sense that this place is ok with being somewhat under the radar. . .they enjoy having visitors like us here, but I betcha that folks who live here really like it when winter hits and only the intrepid stay behind. . .I betcha they do–mmmhhmmm!

If you ever find yourself doing a big cross-country drive here in the U.S., then you definitely gotta pop up here. . .there are cozy bars, welcoming diners, and a quality restaurant or two to satisfy any thirst or hunger you may have. . .also, you can pop into the Duluth Trading Company up on Superior Street–this company started here…fun to peruse the fire-hose work pants and the keep-yer-bits-n-pieces-cool-n-dry underwear on display…plus so much more.

I send you glad-we-made-it-up-here vibes from Duluth. . .feel them. . .not sure that I will send you these specific vibes ever again so get up here and check ’em all out fer yerself.

To see more amazing images from around planet Earth simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .dive on in. . .so much to see and sooo little time.

It’s lovely out there.

Delectable pub grub…Duluth, Minnesota–

POW!  We are in Duluth, Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior poundin’ down some majorly-good pub grub at a place called Grandma’s Pub & Patio…mmm, aaahh!

Duluth is the sister city to Superior, Wisconsin. . .Duluth and Superior exist because this is a major entry point for ships heading in and out of Lake Superior, one of the world’s largest bodies of fresh water.  In the late 19th century some folks thought that the port here could be bigger and more important than the ports in and around Chicago, but as history has played out, this has certainly not been the case.  Chicago is one of the world’s great cities now…while Superior is a grungy-feeling industrial town home to concrete factories–these are some of the most toxic types of factories on Earth…not pleasant to live near at all. . .and Duluth is somewhat shielded from these factories by the geography of the lake shore, bridges, rivers, and man-made coves. . .the Duluth folks have created a nice boardwalk/waterfront area that flocks with visitors like us during the summer…mmm, aaaahh!

Anyway, we have made our way through all of the toxicity to Grandma’s Pub & Patio…we are hungry…so we gobble fried walleye sandwiches, bratwursts, french fries, onion rings, etc. and wash everything down with bloody marys packed with sausages, pickles, onion, and peppers and  a couple of cans of Bent Paddle Pilsener. . .mmm, aaaahh–we are about as happy as two people can be while sitting near the entry harbor to Lake Superior between Superior and Duluth.

If you ever find yourself hangin’ out up here in Duluth for any reason, then please make your way over to Grandma’s Pub. . .you will find extremely friendly staff, tons of tasty pub grub, and lots of beverages to satisfy even the deepest of thirsts.

To see more fascinating images from around planet Earth simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .dive on in. . .so much to see and soooo little time.

It’s lovely out there.

#1 restaurant…in all of Wisconsin–

BOOM!  Here we are puttin’ a feed on at a place called ‘Sanford’ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  According to some sources, this is the top-rated restaurant in the entire state of Wisconsin. . .ooo, aaaahh!  Let’s dive into this dining spot and see what we think.

Sanford is situated inside a house in a quiet neighborhood outside of downtown Milwaukee. . .we like it here…reminds us a bit of the original Boucherie down in New Orleans before they moved to a bigger space.

We have a reservation…we roll in…we are told that we have to wait for our table to be prepared for us. . .we are a bit early, thought there might be a bar to have a drink at, but there is none.  We ask the valet parking dude out front if there is a bar nearby for a quick drink…he directs us to the end of the block, the Points East Pub, says we can get a drink there–also says the wings are really good there…maybe next time, we are dining in your place tonight, dude–too funny.  The valet guy is dressed in shorts and t-shirt…very chill…folks inside Sanford have been chill to us…there is a low-key interesting buzz here that we are digging. . .I think we might get a good meal.

So, we head to Points East Pub…grab a white wine and a whiskey–both are extremely heavy pours–we like it here, but there is not enough time to finish these enormous drinks, especially my whiskey.  Points East is packed and chill–bartender tells us the wings are awesome…maybe next time, duuuude. . .a no b.s. place just up the street from Sanford…we will remember this the next time we dine in this ‘hood.

We pop back into Sanford. . .our table is ready. . .we are seated. . .our waiter greets us, asks how we are doing, I say we just had a drink at Points East–we hear the wings are really good there and hope that maybe something here at Sanford measures up…he pauses a moment and then says, “yes, the wings are really good over there. . .hmmm. . .” then walks away.  A little irreverence–WE LOVE THIS!!  We can tell that the meal here is gonna be most-worthy of our attention. . .and that our server dude is gonna be a fun guide through our meal. . .jaaaa!!

We settle in at an extremely comfy table. . .lighting is warm and sweet. . .vibe is chill with that slight buzz that I noticed before. . .and the menu looks really tasty.

We gobble appetizers of crab and veggies and meats and fishes…my wife slurps down the fish soup–really good…then she has a red snapper that is tasty and delicious. . .but the superstar of the meal, for me, is my elk steak–ABSOLUTELY DELECTABLE!!  I can taste the juicy grasses that elk eat…the meat is lean but extremely moist…covered in a meat sauce that makes me smile real big-like.  All of this is washed down with a good bottle of Sancerre. . .this stuff is GOOD–we are real happy here.

In short, this is quite possibly our favorite meal that we have had during our time in Wisconsin. . .really high-quality ingredients, expert preparations, smooth and human service, lovely atmosphere, and overall a wonderfully restorative experience.  Please consider eating at Sanford if you ever find yourself in Milwaukee hangin’ out. . .is it the number one dining spot in the state?  I don’t know for sure, but one thing we do know: you will enjoy –I gar-ron-taaayy!

To see more magical images from around our teeny tiny planet simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .dive on in. . .so much to see and sooooo little time.

It’s lovely out there.


Beer place–

People in Wisconsin consume more beer per capita than any other state in the U.S….and Milwaukee is near the top of the list for sucking down brew within the state.  So, it makes sense that there is a beer garden here at the Brewhouse Inn & Suites built around a statue of King Gambrinus, the legendary European patron saint of beer. . .I am honored to have the opportunity to slurp down a tasty glass of brew in honor of this most-important saint–PROST!!

The Brewhouse Inn is a refurbished Pabst Brewery here in Milwaukee, and this thing ROCKS!  There is a giant sports bar for sippin’ and gobblin’ everything you would want in a pub: giant pretzels, lots of taps, lots of bottles, liquor, burgers, fries, onion rings, etc. and so on. . .the whole building is full of history: giant copper fermentation tanks, old photos, original piping, large rooms, beer-oriented room service, snack shops, etc. . .and though the staff are still figuring out how to service the large structure and all of the guests it can hold, this place is most-worthy of your attention and patronage.

Please come to Milwaukee some time. . .consider staying at The Brewhouse Inn–a giant brewery converted into a hotel. . .and pay homage to both King Gambrinus and Captain Pabst who make all of this beery goodness possible. . .jaaaa!!

To see more amazing images from around planet Earth simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .do it. . .you can go just about anywhere that you like right here, right NOW.

It’s lovely out there.

Wingspread…Racine, Wisconsin–

KAPOWY!  Sam Johnson liked the work that Frank Lloyd Wright did with his company’s headquarters so much that he hired him to design and build a home for his family nearby here in beautiful Racine, Wisconsin. . .and the result is a structure that they named Wingspread–mmm, aaaahh!

Wingspread involves lots of classic FLW elements: low profile, extensive horizontal windows for maximum views of the outdoor landscape, cantilevered rooms and extensions, a central hearth, and fascinating design elements here, there, and everywhere. . .we love Wingspread, and we know that you will too if you ever make your way out to these parts for roadtrippin’ and general exploration.

The home is now owned by The Johnson Foundation and functions as a conference center and meeting space. . .AND the entire place is available for tours by gringos just like us.  All you gotta do is visit the Wingspread website online to make reservations, show up, and enjoy.  2017 is the 150th anniversary of Frank’s birth making this an extra-special time to visit. . .though the kind folks here will welcome you any time that you can make it on over.

I send you magical and serene vibes from Wingspread here in Racine, WI…feel them…they will set yer mind right if you allow them to.

To see more wonderful images from around planet Earth simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .dive on in. . .so much to see and soooo little time.

It’s lovely out there.

SC Johnson Building…Racine, WI–

WOW!  Sam Johnson hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design the HQ and offices for the SC Johnson Company, and the result is a futuristic masterpiece of architecture that is still in use and available for visits even today.

The whole thing opened in 1939…it was a big deal back then, and is still a big deal now.  There is the famous administration building, the famous research tower, the famous flying saucer welcome center, etc. and so on.  Employees work here during the week…and then some employees lead free tours of the structures on the weekends.  All you have to do is go to the SC Johnson website, reserve a spot, show up, and you will be led through some of the most magical work spaces on the planet. . .damn, that Frank Lloyd Wright knows how to get your heart racing just through the creation and manipulation of space.

And since this year, 2017, is the 150th anniversary of Frank’s birth, this is the perfect time to consider a little excursion up to Racine, Wisconsin to check this place out and pay homage to arguably the greatest American architect of the 20th century and maybe any century.  Sam Johnson liked the resulting structures so much that he then asked Frank to design and build a home for him and his family nearby called Wingspread.  This can be seen in another post close to this one right here in this blog…mmm, aaaahh!

Racine is located on the shores of Lake Michigan halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago…about an hour’s drive from either town. . .perfect for a day trip if you are hanging out in either of these bigger cities.

Please pop onto Google to learn more about these wonderful buildings and spaces. . .they are most-worthy of your attention.

To see more stupendous images from around our teeny tiny planet simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .dive on in. . .you can go just about anywhere that you like right here, right NOW.

It’s lovely out there.

Sleep in an old brewery…Milwaukee–

BAM!  You can sleep in an old brewery here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin…it’s called The Brewhouse Inn & Suites, and it is totally fascinating–jaaaa!!

The old Pabst Brewery buildings in Milwaukee have been converted into a hotel. . .they have kept the giant copper fermentation tanks and built the hotel around them. . .the lobby and a hallway run underneath the tanks…and there are rooms to the sides and above these massive relics. . .this place is wonderful to stroll through–we highly recommend that you check it out some time and maybe even stay here.

Please be advised that there appear to be some staffing issues. . .room staff don’t clean the rooms in as timely manner as we might like…there is only one guy doing valet parking, baggage handling, and various other tasks–he seems exhausted every time we see him…his name is Steve…please give him a big tip if he helps you with ANYTHING…he is a good guy.

Another issue is the location: the building sits in a out-of-the-way part of town right next to a highway…there are lots of bars, snack areas, and outdoor patios for us to enjoy, but the highway traffic noise is not relaxing…so we are not enjoying this as much as we would like to.

The above notwithstanding, these buildings are full of history, nooks and crannies to explore, and some atmospheric settings for sipping a brew or three while paying homage to Captain Pabst and all that he built in the extremely fun town of Milwaukee.  Check it all out online…you might like it so much that you feel the urge to book a night or two sleeping next to a giant copper beer fermentation tank…sounds like fun, and it is–mmm, aaaahh!

To see more fabulous images from around planet Earth simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .do it. . .you know you want to.

It’s lovely out there.