I had the whirlwind car tour of Milwaukee yesterday with my DC neighbor's sister. She covered a lot of ground with just a few stops, but the Milwaukee Art Museum was one of them. It is a stunning building right on Lake Michigan that is meant to resemble a ship at sail. Colleen thinks that the inside space is what heaven would look like. Incredible light and a huge, open space with a Calder at the entrance. I was quite impressed.
Jan and Pat Reed are the next door neighbors you would request in the closing documents if you could. Bill and I consider ourselves quite fortunate. Over the past 5 years, we have come to know their family, most of whom live in Milwaukee, and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting them in their homes and going out to dinner at Jan's favorite pizza place, Balistreri's plus having custard creme at Leon's. Ron and Nancy, Jan's parents live in the quietest neighborhood ever and I slept like a baby. Naturally, I wish that I could stay longer. I am developing a list of places that I need to return to. This was just reconnaissance.
I am tempted to drive into Chicago today, a city I have never visited except for its airport. However, I would like to see Katy before bedtime, so I will get my cash ready for the toll roads and go around. Illinois and Indiana are two more states to add to my list, which may total to 23 or more when I get home. I am going to count DC as a state, folks! My license plate, which reads "No taxation without representation", is good for conversation starters at rest stops.
Speaking of rest stops, I had a really nice visit with a groundskeeper at the Blue Ocean Eastbound Rest Station in Minnesota, just west of Rochester. Lou owns a farm nearby but his sons are running it now so they told him to go get himself a job. He works at the rest station 12 hours a week. After he gave me a peek at the engine of his John Deere, he regaled about farming, weather, nearby cities and more. We briefly touched on Sarah Palin but I was pretty sure he saw her a little differently than I so we moved on to his neighbor's farm.
I have to admit to not listening to the news at all during this trip. I have a vague awareness of what's going on: floods, muslim monuments, Padres ahead of the Giants. I know that I'll get completely filled in on the political spectrum when I get into the car with Mr. Gilmore. I'll start reading the NY Times and listening to NPR. I'll go out for Mexican food with Jan and Pat and their "blue" friends. I'll read Garrett Epp's (Eugene friend now living in DC) informative and erudite postings in The Atlantic and the Register Guard and I'll invite him over for dinner.
OK. I have been at a VW dealer while the Jetta got its 10,000 mile check up. Everything is good to go and I am back on the road, folks.