Chicago Friends and Miller Time – 8/20/14 – 8/26/14

Miller-Coors Brewery in Milwaukee, WI

MillerCoors Brewery in Milwaukee, WI

We officially arrived in the Midwest and Central Time Zone and experienced the crazy summer storms. A lot of rain, thunder, lightning and humidity! We had a hard time finding an RV Park in the Chicago area, so opted to stay a bit north near the Wisconsin/Illinois border in Zion at Illinois Beach State Park right on Lake Michigan.   The park was about an hour from downtown Chicago, but since we have both been there a few times, we were ok with this. It was nice to just relax and enjoy the park. The weather wasn’t great, but Mike did get some fishing in and there were some bike trails that we took advantage of.

The highlight of the stay was our trip into the big city to see Mike’s golfing buddy, Ron Hansen. He used to live in the Seattle area, but has been in Chicago for about 4 years, and flies back for the guys golf trips. We drove into town on Saturday afternoon to his condo in the River North neighborhood. Wow, both Mike & I just loved his place. It was a very unique, 2-story loft style condo in a 1907 building, renovated in 1997. Exposed beams and ductwork, yet very modern looking with a killer outdoor patio featuring great views. It was in a quiet neighborhood, but within walking distance of bars & restaurants, true city living! His girlfriend, Carolyn, joined us and after a few cocktails on the patio, we headed to Mastro’s Steakhouse for a delicious dinner! Our evening continued at Declan’s and Chicago Blues, before walking back to his place for a nightcap on the patio. Thanks Ron & Carolyn for a great evening showing us “your Chicago” and letting us crash in the guestroom! The next day, Mike & Ron played golf and I had a low-key day. The course was close to where our park was, so Ron came over afterwards to visit and see the MoHo. We had a mellow night getting ready for “moving day” the next morning.

Ron & Mike on the patio at Ron's Condo.  View

Ron & Mike on the patio at Ron’s Condo. View of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) in the background

Enjoying the Chicago nightlife

Enjoying Chicago with Ron 

We got on the road just in time before a huge storm hit, on our way north to Milwaukee, WI. The trip was just over an hour, so we arrived at the Wisconsin State Fair RV Park in the rain.   The park was basically a glorified parking lot, but had all of the amenities we needed including the best wi-fi we have had in a long time, plus the location just couldn’t be beat. We decided to head to “Miller Valley” and the MillerCoors Brewery. We took the hour-long free tour then to the sampling room for Miller Lite, Miller High Life (the champagne of beers) and one of their craft beers, Summer Shandy by Leinenkugel, which I have seen a lot of lately and is very tasty.   We hit the gift shop for a few “It’s Miller Time” items, couldn’t resist. We were hungry for dinner, so headed into town for a Guy Fieri Triple D spot, the Comet Café. It was in an eclectic looking little neighborhood and the food was delicious!

Brewery Tour...where's Laverne?

MillerCoors Brewery Tour…where’s Laverne?

We were bummed that the Brewers didn’t have a home game while we were there, as Miller Field is one that we would have liked to visit. The rain seemed to have stopped and the sun was starting to peak out, so on our last day we headed into town to explore. We parked near the Public Market in the Historic Third Ward area and headed toward the River Walk. What a cool area with lots of condos, restaurants, shops and outdoor art to look at. The city had a great vibe and seemed to be full of young people, more hipster than I would have thought.   We made our way to the Fonz statue for some pics, then headed back to the Public Market. This was a neat spot full of local food, wines, cheeses, meats, deserts, produce, seafood, olive oils, breads, etc all housed in a funky warehouse. We walked through and landed at the Wine Thief for a cold one and to take a load off from the humidity.   We headed back to the MoHo and sat outside for a bit to enjoy the sunshine we had been missing. We really enjoyed Milwaukee, a place we would gladly come back to.

Next up is Iowa City, Iowa.

River Walk in Milwaukee

River Walk in Milwaukee

Mike & the Fonz

Mike & the Fonz

Ayyyyyyyyy

Ayyyyyyyyy!!

Enjoying a beer in the Public Market, Milwaukee

Enjoying a beer in the Public Market, Milwaukee

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