Friday, September 11, 2009

Computer Troubles and more Holiday Sights

My last post was written in brief snatches between periods of blackout in the screen. I work on a MacBook Pro that we got in May of '06, and have been very happy with. Bought it on the advice of our "techie" son, Geoff. This past week the screen began to flicker and die, so we took it in for diagnosis. It's a simple thing really, the light that lights up the screen is dying. But because they replace things in "units" that simple little problem will cost $1100. to fix, plus $120 labor.

In the meantime we bought another MacBook, but a much simpler one, price tag: $1147 plus tax. Now we have to decide, do we want to resuscitate the three-year-old, bells and whistles laptop, or just use Migration Wizard to put the info into the simple, new laptop.

Back to our great holiday, and sorry for no pictures last time. I had them ready but couldn't get them into the blog before the computer died.

After crossing Lake Michigan on the ferry, The Badger, we drove to Milwaukee and got a motel. Actually kind of nice to be with just the two of us again! Tuesday morning we set off to see what Milwaukee has to offer to tourists. My impression of Milwaukee had been, of course, the city that makes beer, so I expected a very much blue collar sort of place. Well, let me tell you, Milwaukee has some fantastic buildings, and a beautiful lakeshore park area that runs for some miles along Lake Michigan.

First we went to "The Domes," indoor gardens under geodesic domes. There are three different areas representing three different climates. It's a beautiful place to visit and relax, and of course, Jim loves gardens, so this was really his thing, but I enjoyed it also.

We then drove downtown to see the museum and the planetarium, only to find that they are closed on Tuesday.

That turned out to be a very good thing, because next on our list was the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) which is FABULOUS!!! This is a shot of the astonishing atrium of the building. Sorry, I forgot to write down who the architect was.

The art works displayed were also absorbing. I would have hated to have missed this experience.

We had a very good lunch of Tilapia and rice pilaf in the museum cafe. And only left the museum reluctantly at 5 p.m. when it closed.

Because we didn't want to get involved with traffic between 5 and 6 p.m. we went for a walk along the shore, and this was beautiful. All park with a broad sidewalk for walkers, joggers, skaters and bicyclists.

It was threatening rain, so we headed back to our motel and made a supper of some terrific zucchini bread my sister had given us on Sunday. I'm asking for the recipe, and when she gives it to me, I'll share it. It was simply the best zucchini bread I've ever had.

The next day, Wednesday, we drove to Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. It was just a short drive, so that afternoon we went to tour the Capitol Building. It is a beautiful building that cost $7 1/2 million when it was built in the early 1900's. This was the first capitol building that we toured on our holiday, and we learned that each of the four we saw had a story of an earlier building totally destroyed by fire in the very early 1900's. This was the most elaborate and costly of the capitols we toured, and it was gorgeous. We had an excellent tour guide and really enjoyed it. We learned that they replace the gold on the dome every thirty years at enormous cost.

After a sandwich at a sidewalk cafe nearby, we rushed through the Wisconsin Historical Museum, because it closes at 4 p.m.

On our way back to our motel we visited
the Obrich Gardens, a 16 acre intensively
developed garden complex. Very beautiful
and enjoyable, and the home of the only
golden (real gold) Thai pagoda in the States.

Next post will be more capitols, museums and cousins.

1 comment:

  1. The architect for the Milwaukee Art Museum was Santiago Calatrava. He is quite famous, and known for elegant, sweeping designs with lots of cables and lattice. Apparently, the roof of the museum can fold in on itself to shield the museum during storms.

    Up until now, my favourite work of his is the "Puente del Alamillo", a bridge in Spain:

    However, he was recently commissioned to build a pedestrian bridge across the Bow River in Calgary. While not as beautiful as Puente del Alamillo (probably because it had to be built to shield pedestrians from the harsh Calgary winters), it will be great to have such a structure built locally -- particularly one dedicated to non-car traffic. Renderings below: