Well, it looks like my dream of the warm fall temperatures continuing well into November (and let’s be real, ideally all winter) is officially crushed. I came to this realization as I begrudgingly hauled my winter coat out from its hiding spot yesterday…tear. So instead of attempting to increase the temperature using sheer will power and determination, I decided to reminisce about the nice weather by writing about our summer road trip.
Who doesn’t love a good road trip?? Last year, we (and of course I’m referring to me, Eric, and Mike) drove around Iceland’s Ring Road in a camper van. This year we zipped around a few Great Lakes in the Pilot, camped, and caught some ball games along the way!
What spurred this journey? The Jays were playing the Cubs at Wrigley Field, which could have been a highly anticipated series in the thick of the playoff race. If you follow baseball, you’re probably aware that the Jays were not quiiiite as hot this year as the previous few seasons. But still, Wrigley is an awesome ballpark and Chicago is an awesome city so it was still well worth the (awesome) trip.
We could have just driven or flown straight to Chicago, but where’s the fun in that?? Instead, we opted for the (very) long way around through Lake Superior Provincial Park, Thunder Bay, along the shores of Lakes Superior and Michigan… and ended with Eric driving in a straight shot from Chicago to Sudbury. And if you’re thinking “Oh, you guys must have gotten a pretty early start to do that drive”, you would be incorrect. We left Chicago at 4:30 PM.
It was a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s always fun to check out new places. And that drive along Lake Superior was breathtaking. If you haven’t done it, you should definitely go. The cities we visited were also pretty cool.
We spent the first three nights camping; Eric and I in the Pilot and Mike in a tent. We stayed at Rabbit Blanket campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Rainbow Falls Provincial Park, and Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota. Other than Eric aggressively breaking our camping stove night one in combination with our firewood being wet (I was obviously super happy about this), things went pretty smoothly. It was warmer than Iceland (surprise), plus Eric had a sleeping bag this time instead of just a teeny Ikea microfleece blankie.
Our first baseball stop was Minneapolis to see the Twins take on the Indians at Target Field. The Twins lost pretty badly, but we did get to see “Big Sexy” pitch (best nickname?) and the Edwing made an appearance. I also had delicious salted caramel + cookie dough ice cream so it was an overall win.
- Sculpture Garden
- Bridges (so many bridges)
- Mill Ruins Park
- Brit’s Pub (lawn bowling green + free outdoor movie night!)
We had to leave right after the 7PM Twins game since the next game on our schedule (Brewers vs. Pirates) was in Milwaukee at 2PM the next day. We stopped in Eau Claire for the night. The only reason to stop here is to sleep and then leave immediately, which is exactly what we did. This was by far the worst (and cheapest for good reason) accommodation but it suited our purposes fine. There was a pool…but it was filled with mattresses. Anyway, moving onto Milwaukee…
I really liked Milwaukee! Like Minneapolis, it had a mix of older and renovated warehouse-type buildings along the river and an industrial vibe to it. There are tons of pubs and breweries here and Miller Park was a really neat stadium with lots of parking lot space for tailgating. And the frozen custard….so freaking good. And deep-fried cheese curds…probably not something to eat regularly but also delicious.
The Brewers game was a lot closer and they won, which is always exciting. After the game, we took an “Afternoon Stroll” on the field as the roof closed. Cool. The stadium food here pretty good too…I got some deep fried curds and I think the guys got sausage or some other meat-based item. If you like cheese, beer, and sausage (sorry…”brats”) then Milwaukee is the place for you.
- Miller Park
- Swing Park
- Bronze Fonz (creepy)
- Lakefront Brewery (free cake!)
- Frozen custard
- Frozen custard
- Frozen custard (not a typo, it’s just that good)
- Eric’s two-plate breakfast
- Waterfront – Veteran’s Park
Chicago was our last stop and we planned on spending a few days here since we love it so much. And it didn’t disappoint! We stayed in a different area (near the Water Tower and John Hancock Center) than we have during previous visits, and there was great access to Magnificent Mile shopping and the waterfront trail from here. It was a busy weekend in the city with the Air Show and Jays in town.
One thing we learned was to double check the time of the game. We thought we had lots of time but the game was actually at 1:00…not 2:00. Thanks a lot time zones. Also check which gate you have to go through…oops. We had bleacher seats, which were a ton of fun plus we got tank tops for Budweiser Bleacher Fridays at the gate. One size technically can fit all… it just so happens that mine is a dress and Eric’s is a bit more “fitted”.
- Joe’s (we go to this restaurant every time we visit and it is THE best)
- Biking and running along the waterfront
- Driehaus Museum
- St. James Chapel (beautiful stained glass!)
- Andy’s Jazz Bar
- Gangster walking tour
And that was our road trip in a nutshell 🙂 Now it’s time to hibernate for winter, see you in June.