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We made it to Chicago and were so excited to see the kids and Grandbaby, Estella Ana! Erin, Noe and Stella spent the night on the boat with us the first night.
We walked around Navy Point and had a Giordano’s the REAL Chicago Pizza Pie – YUM!
The next morning, Julio (Noe’s brother) and Noe’s parents (Papa Rey and Mama Atta) came for a boat ride through downtown Chicago to the Chicago Yacht Works.
There were 27 bridges that we went under — some were only 17′-6″ , and our air draft is 17 feet! There was one railroad bridge that was 15 feet that we had to call to ask them to raise the bridge. After his co-worker yelled on the phone to him “Larry, open the bridge!”, we had to wait for a train to cross, then “Larry” opened the bridge.
We dropped off the Macias’ clan at Chicago Yacht Works for their drive back to Batavia.
We saw our first barge after that and we headed to Joliet, but when we got there we decided to push on further to Harborside Marina just 13 miles further. Unfortunately, we had to wait on the Joliet lock about an hour, so ended up getting to the marina in the dark by flashlight. Luckily there were 3 locals on the dock to help us tie up.
The next morning we left Harborside Marina to meet Erin, Noe, Juve (Noe’s sister), her friend Dan and her 2 boys. We picked them up at Spring Brook, a riverside restaurant/marina. After a quick lunch, it was a great day for a 2-hour boat ride to Heritage Harbor Marina in Ottawa.
Erin and Noe got to try their skills on Locking thru by manning the line and hooking the bollard.
After getting back to Ottawa, we took a few days break from the boating and went to Erin and Noe’s house. We spent time helping unpack boxes in their new home, and doing a few projects — install RING doorbell, install TV, new WIFI Mesh, new sprinkler controller, yada, yada… But there was still time for the park with Stella and one night we got to do date night with Stella in downtown Aurora.
The Waukegan Harbor and Marina were very nice. There was another Silverton (like ours except 2003) that had an $18K Davit system that was so nice.
They had courtesy bikes which we borrowed to go downtown.
We stopped for an early dinner at La Casa de Samuel mexican restaurant, where we had margaritas and queso with choriso and fresh made tortillas which were fabulous!
We walked by the Genesee Theater which is a restored historic theater used for concerts, plays, etc. The theater reminded us of the Historic Abington Theater in Virginia.
There was a comedy show the night we were there — Michael Winslow – man of 10,000 sound effects, Marc Price (known for his role as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman on the television series Family Ties), and Mindy Rickles (Don Rickles daughter). So we purchased some tickets for only $30/pp, and went. They required masks when you weren’t eating or drinking.
The comedy was very good and this was the first live production we have seen since February before COVID shutdown all the theaters.
Kenosha was a nice stop at Southport Marina. They had a Hot-Tub! We enjoyed some time soaking in the Hot tub before showering and heading downtown for some drinks and dinner.
On the way we walked by a “Castle Park” — this will bring a new meaning to our kids who as children loved to go to the local “Castle park” in Kingsport. We got to try Angel’s Envy Bourbon — which was very good.
Walking around Milwaukee, we saw some interesting sites. We stayed at the McKinley Marina and walked downtown. We saw a statue of Father Marquette who was one of the first white men to visit Milwaukee in 1674.
The first day was sunny and we saw some swan paddleboats along with Art downtown.
Next day was rainy, but we still walked around and went to Usingers to get some fresh made sausages. We found a Wisconsin Cheese Mart too! Just as the rain started, we ducked into the Local Brats and Beer establishment and tried a sampler of the Usingers sausage and a BIG pretzel with our beer.
After a full day of exploring, we had dock-tails on the boat with John and Paula Hare then went back downtown for a very nice Italian dinner.
The trip down Lake Michigan to Manitowoc was a little rough. We waited until after lunch which allowed the lake to calm down a little before getting underway.
In Manitowoc it was rainy, so we got our umbrellas out and walked around.
There was a 28 Boat memorial walk outside the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, with the USS Cobia SS-245 submarine that you could spend the night in… Again we didn’t get to go through the museum or sub, but interesting to know that there were 28 different subs built in the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company during WWII.
Larry found this cute park and decided to do the fountain dance in the rain! We found a great concert at the Warf on the lake where a “Heart” tribute band, called Heartless was playing. They were very good and reminded us of going to the Black Jacket Symphony in Bristol, VA in the past.
We walked by Legend Larry’s buffalo wings place on our way to the best Brisket at Smokey’s BBQ. Manitowoc was also known for the ferry from Michigan to Wisconsin — one of these giant ferry’s came in as we were leaving the marina the next day.
We waited for a good weather day to cut across Lake Michigan from Michigan to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. It was a 55 mile trip across the lake — this was the narrowest distance across the lake. The Harbor Club Marina in Sturgeon Bay was very nice and like most places recently they had a help wanted sign too…
Next door was the Door County Maritime Museum. We didn’t get a chance to go there, but it had a submarine you could go aboard and the night-time picture was very neat.
We took a walk downtown and ran into this great bar with local Wisconsin Spotted Cow on Draft, and the best Prime Rib Sandwich ever at Greystone Castle — we split it, otherwise there is no way I could have eaten it all.
Greystone Castle was a pub decorated with lots of fish and wildlife that the owners and their family had caught.
Later that day we walked around Sturgeon Bay looking for a Cherry that Paula Hare (Sarah Bailey’s aunt) had painted. It was fun looking at all the different ones, and some were so creative, like the one of wine corks on an iron wine bottle and with flattened wine bottle leaves…
On our way to Frankfort we passed Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore — these were huge sand piles on the shoreline. Then we saw the lighthouse at the entrance of Frankfort harbor and canal to Betsie Bay where we were stopping for the night.
Frankfort was our Lay-up to crossing Lake Michigan to Sturgeon Bay on the Wisconsin side. It was a cute little town with shops and downtown area just off the boat.
After a boat wash-down, we made our way downtown to the local Brewery and stopped for some Brats and Beer before an afternoon of walking and shopping.
Then we called it an early bedtime, as we would leave at 7AM to cross Lake Michigan.
Leland Harbor was an easy day from Charlevoix. We had a very casual day on Lake Michigan — and looking forward to the crossing coming after our next stop in Frankfort.
Larry saw this red Car-Boat drive out of the water — it was cool — look closely and you can see propellers under the back of the car.
We went exploring in Leland a historic fishing village — first stop was lunch — Walleye! Yum!! The restaurant was next to this lodge with a waterfall from the lake above that flowed out to Lake Michigan. Next was a walk to the beach — they had brought in a lot of sand in for the beach, and at the waterline it was mostly small pebbles.
A quick walk around town — we found the Leland Post Office and their champion Cottonwood Tree that was over 100 years old, 100 feet tall and 76 feet across before it was cut down in 2011.
The Historic District of Leland as a commercial fishing district was the most interesting part of this small town.
Fishing has been going on over a century from this small town and the fishing livelihood has been passed down for generations
The trip from Mackinaw City to Charlevoix was much rougher on upper Lake Michigan than we expected. After cleaning up a bit, we headed to land to get rid of our “sea legs”. The marina was very nice, it had a play fountain and a nice sitting area, made as a tribute to the Armed Forces. Town was right off the boat, so we stopped for a snack before heading to see the Mushroom Houses!
Just 2 blocks from the boat was several of these “Mushroom Houses”. They were designed and built using indigenous materials – local stone, etc. by a self-taught builder Earl A Young. He built these houses starting in 1919 until the seventies.
The next morning, we went for a bike ride to visit some more Mushroom Houses several blocks away from the Marina.
Before leaving Charlevoix, we saw this Boat named Baboo — had to take a picture of it, as this is the name of Brevan’s late Cat. Brevan said Baboo would probably have loved boating, as he did riding in the car!