We arrived at the Milwaukee Lakefront on a Saturday afternoon around 12:45 PM. The drive from Minneapolis was quite smooth as I and my wife split the journey evenly: driving 4 hours a piece as our back seat passengers enjoyed the opportunity to relax. After all, it was their anniversary.
This was the first time our dear friends had visited the city of Milwaukee, especially the downtown area, which overwhelmed their senses with the sudden appearance of the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan. “Wow,” this place is beautiful, “said Deidra, a look of utter amazement on her face. “I didn’t know downtown Milwaukee was this beautiful.”
“Yes, it is Beautiful,” said Maurice, who was partially blind, although I sometimes wondered how good he could actually see. Sometimes he amazed me with his observations. I guess he could make out the aesthetic shapes and lines of a beautiful landscape.
As the guide for the entire lakefront tour, I responded enthusiastically, “Yes it is beautiful, and this is only the beginning.
The Milwaukee Lakefront is a huge tourist attraction, expanding from the downtown area all the way to the Upper East Side, near the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. I nicknamed it the “Big U,” has been a student there for six years.
The Kite Festival: Center of Attention
But on this Saturday afternoon, the Lakefront swarmed with a diverse crowd-Caucasian, Afro Americans, Asians, Arabs, and Indians, men, women, children, young and old- of people from all walks of life and from nearly every state in the union. The great Kite Fair had begun, an annual event occurring around late Early June. The event consisted of participants from around the world.
While riding along the lake shore drive, we observed people strolling along in bikinis, shorts, sleeveless shirts, and sunglasses as a beaming 85 degrees impressed itself upon the people.
The kite fair had been a common attraction for me when I lived in Milwaukee nearly a decade ago. I liked seeing the multi-colored skill filled with many different types of kites from around the world, solid colored red, yellow, green, black and white, small and large single kites, the team-performing kites, square kites, circular kites, vertical and horizon, spotted and stripped kites.
The Tour Journey: the Show Begins
The Milwaukee Lakefront is expansive, but a beautiful beast. You cannot enjoy all of it in one day. But to make the trip memorable, the four must-see attractions include the Lagoon, Bradford Beach, the Art Museum and Discovery World Museum.
Families, fishing, and paddle boating are the highlights of the Lagoon, a body of water which stretching about a half mile and presenting a fantasy view of the Milwaukee Skyline in the distance. We walked over to a vacant picnic table and rested after several miles of bumper to bumper driving, searching for a place to park the car, finally ended up in a grassy piece of land suddenly transformed to a free parking lot.
While sitting along the shore of the lagoon, we enjoyed watching several families paddling across the water. One person had gotten out of one of the boats and attempting to swim. All the while he was yelling that the water was too cold. Eventually, he made it to the dock.
We didn’t rent a boat. Instead, we were contented enough to watch paddle across the water or fish along the shore. Anyway, my friend Maurice would have found it difficult to paddle boat due to a tormented foot that he had been nursing for a long time. Sometimes he used a cane to get around. However, this time he had forgotten and left it in the hotel.
The Art Museum
After sitting for more than an hour around the Lagoon, we made our way to the Art Museum. Along the way the women stayed several yards behind us, taking about womanly things, and sometimes enjoying the festivities of the kite festival, occasionally taking pictures of a big whale Kite with smartphones.
I and Maurice enjoyed each other’s conversation quite well, talking about and discussing topics regarding monetary success, political figures such as Donald Trump and Kim Jong- Un, and the whole world of interesting happenings
We walked toward the Art Museum, an impressive Wing-like aesthetic structure, with an expansive ship-like bridge stretching across into down Milwaukee. Featured in several movies, the museum had become the wonder of the Milwaukee Lakefront.
From inside the glass encasement, you can see the blue waters of Lake Michigan and a variety of colorful sailboats gliding back and forth on such a sunny blue-sky day. People walked along the wide sidewalk, some looking over the edges at the fish swimming among the rock piles near the edge of the water.
This was a great view for an avid photographer to get some sellable photos. You could also see the colorful kite festival with its thong of an excitable crowd gazing into the sky. Dreamtimes, Shutterstock and Getty Images love such break taking shots of beautiful vacation experiences.
Discovery World: Promises Made
Discovery world, a giant circular, beauty of white structure at the far end of Lake Michigan, near the Summer Fest Grounds, allowed people to set along the rocky coast for a closer view of all the sailboats sailing across the deep blue waters of the lake. You could also walk around the structure and venture near the edge of the lake water.
“This is so beautiful,” said Deidre, “We’ve got to save up our money and come back here.” “I and Maurice didn’t know the lakefront was this exciting.”
“Yes, it is, indeed,” I said. “I used to live out here in the summertime,” I said, as a figure of speech. When I lived in Milwaukee, the lakefront was my get-a-away from the calamity of the inner city.
Maurice was temporary leaning on one of the poles, just to rest his foot from the constant, but delightful experience of sightseeing. You can hear the kite festival contest as well as the music and excitable outburst from the crowd.
The Ancient Ship Spectacular
The highlight of the discovery world, at least for adults, is the 18th-century ship docked in the small harbor. People set along the benches and observe the activity on the ship, the nature of which we could not determine. All I can say is that the crew appeared to be getting ready to launch.
Made of all wood, the sails are let down while the ship is docked so that people can enjoy its symmetry and aesthetic structure. Once it leaves the harbor and goes out into Lake Michigan, its sails are released, revealing it as a compelling attraction and genuine work of art.
We took multiple pictures of the big attraction, wondering if there was a time when customers could ride the ancient wonder across the blue waters of Lake Michigan.
We made a promise to come back to discovery world to ride the ship, somehow, someway.
Bradford Beach: Brevity is Sometimes Best
Driving up to Bradford beach was a bumper to bumper experience. The hope of finding a parking spot and getting out of the car to enjoy the activities was dimmed once we saw the thong of humanity occupying this space: swimmers in the water, sunbathers lying in the sand, volleyball nets stretched from one end of the beach to the next, sunglass sellers strolling along while shirtless young studs jumping up and down, diving for volleyballs.
Deidra took out her gigantic smartphone with the camera and took advantage of the opportunity to capture this beach spectacular.
Although we could not get out and enjoy the scenery the experience of seeing the great unity of humanity was a delightful experience.
The Wonderful DoubleTree Hotel Experience
“Our rooms look so wonderful,” said Deidre. “You guys didn’t have to do this.” Our intention was to make their anniversary an event to remember forever. “It was our pleasure, “said my wife, Patricia, excitingly.
Our rooms were immediate across from one another and based on the same design, with the same furniture and comfort.
The rooms were spacious, organized and clean with big king size beds, with small, beautiful lamp lights in each corner as well as positioned on each side of the bed.
Immediately in front of the bed was a giant digital TV, loaded with a magnitude of channels, from HBO, Cinemax, the Movie Channel, Disney, Fox News, CNN, the History Channel and much more. If paradise is a relaxation experience, we had found the place.
The friendliness giving by the hotel clerk was nothing short of perfection. Not only did we enjoy a batch of famous, delicious hotel cookies, we also go a full, free, complimentary breakfast, consisting of all the works and fruit dishes.
The arrival of Sunday morning meant that we were about to be Minneapolis bound. I and Patricia hoped we had given the couple a wonderful anniversary experience. They had honored us with several experiences as well.
On the way out, we briefly stopped by the lake, near the Lagoon to take a few more pictures. The kite festival was over now. The sky above the field was nearly empty, except for a few personal kite enthusiasts, gazing into the sky. We looked too. The sky was still clear and beautiful, and so was our friendship, forever.