For many months Marie and I have been wanting to visit Tom and Julie at their new place in Milwaukee. We first considered flying, but then thought that this would be a good chance to drive and see the country. But it is over 2100 miles each way.Then we considered flying one  way and then driving back using a rental car. Then we looked at train one way, and rental car the other. Finally we decided to do the whole thing by train, but using a different route fro the return. We would go East on the Southwest Chief through Albuquerque re, Kansas City to Chicago, then a commuter train to Milwaukee. For our return we took the CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR to Sacramento via Denver and Salt Lake.  So, Lets start!
The porter driving the small electric cart just drove us from the main station here in LA out to the platforms where we boarded the train. We had checked two large bags, and were a little wondered if we would see them when we arrived in Milwaukee.
We had a Roomette On the lower level of this Sleeper Car. I was concerned that it might be noisy since it is closer to the wheels, but it was just fine.
We relaxed with some wine as the train departed on schedule at 6:45 PM. About an hour later we went to the diner and had a nice meal.
This is the observation car, with lots of glass, and a snack bar downstairs. I liked sitting here and listening to my audio books as the beautiful scenery rolled by.
We slept through all of Arizona  and woke up in western New Mexico. We had a very nice breakfast with interesting table mates.
It is hard to get decent photos through the glass of a speeding train. It really was more interesting than this implies.
We were a bit ahead of schedule as we arrived in Albuquerque. We had time to get out and walk around as the train was being serviced.
Marie is checking that they are not unloading our bags here!
Nice looking engine.
That is a large fuel truck filling the tanks on the engine.
We wandered on the nearby city street. It looked nice and not too hot.
We are heading into the high country in the North of New Mexico.
Then, to my surprise, we reached to top of a huge plateau, which was very green and looked like great cattle country.
Now we were getting into country near the Southern border of  Colorado - you can see the mountains in the distance.
I was enjoying this easy life!! Our roomette was very cozy. There is a small table that slides up between the seats. Just right for our wine and crackers.
Our table mates for dinner one evening were Mr and Mrs Carr, Willie and Priscilla. They were from Connecticut and were very charming company. They were returning from a visit to their Son in the LA area.
They were our table mates for breakfast the next morning. One of the really nice things about the train trip is all of the nice people who shared our table. Just 4 people at each table, and no one is in a rush. Great chatting.
We passed from Colorado into Kansas, and there was a major stop in Kansas City to refuel, etc. I was excited because I boarded a train here on December 27, 1945 on my way to Navy Prue- Flight School at St Mary's College in California. Also we could see some landmarks that we visited when we were in Kansas City several years ago.
Lots and lots of corn.
Crossing the great Mississippi on our way to Chicago
We were very happy when we made our connection in Chicago, and even happier when our checked luggage arrived in Milwaukee with us. Tom and Julie were there to meet us in the beautiful new  Milwaukee train station . They then took us  for a quick look at the Brumder Mansion, which was full that night. They had arranged for us to stay at a condo in the beautifully restored Knickerbocker Hotel.  But first we had a great dinner at a waterfront restaurant.
The next day, Friday, we explored the city by foot and auto. Fascinating. Lots of beautiful buildings and neighborhoods.Very lively spirit. After a great lunch in a charming Irish Pub, we went to see the highly recommended new  Art Museum shown here. It is located at a great spot right on the beach of Lake Michigan. I Loved the architecture.
Checking in. That huge window faces the lake.
Julie and Marie walking down the hall en route to the first gallery.
I was very pleased with their collection, and so I took many snap shots of some of my favorites. Of course, they were all taken using  hand held available light exposures by a partially sighted photographer, so don't be surprised if they are tilted.
I hope they give you an idea of the fine collection .
I love this Angel
Nice view of the Lake from a Museum window.
A Delightful spot to rest the weary feet.
Tom and I wondered next door to this Veterans Memorial Building.
Looking back to the Art Museum
Looking South along the Lake.
Part of the skyline overlooking the beach.
Then we went back to the Brumbder Mansion, Tom and Julie's beautiful Bed and Breakfast, located right on Wisconsin Avenue, a main street into Milwaukee from the West.
A large number of German immigrant settled in Milwaukee in the 1800's and one of the smarter ones started a German Language newspaper, and he made a fortune. His name was George Brumder, and he built this mansion for his son George Junior.
It is now a delightful Bed and Breakfast. Lets go in and see some of the interior.
This is the elegant foyer with the beautiful Dining Room in the distance.  The main stairway leads to the two upper floors.
I'm not sure what the official name of this room is, but I would call it the Parlor. It is beautifully furnished and decorated, and it entices one to linger and relax.
Part of the Library.
Library fireplace.
It is a wonderfully sociable environment.
Parlor fireplace.
I love relaxing on that Parlor sofa with a glass of nice wine during Happy Hour.
The antique organ.
There is a gorgeous chandelier hanging above the main staircase.
This beauty is right at home in the parlor.
The main dining room table where we had scrumptious special treats for breakfast.
Note the beautiful Dining Room fireplace behind Tom
Julie and Marie finishing breakfast
This is a view of the kitchen, with the dining room in the distance. Marie is chatting with Cheryl, the charming  innkeeper,who also prepares the delicious breakfasts.  Julie is busy at the sink.
The main entrance is on the porch on the left. Julie has been enhancing the landscaping withe many flowers.
It is a delightful summer day here at the Mansion.
It has this nice large back yard.
This charming house, right next door to the Mansion, is part of the facility and is affectionately called "Grand Central". Tom and Julie use it for living quarters and office space whenever they are in Milwaukee.
On Saturday morning  Tom and Julie took us to see the wonderful new "HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM", which is only a couple of miles from the Mansion.
There are two large new buildings, connected by a bridge, and surrounded by large parking lots. The building in this photo is the one that contains the museum.
They have over 700 historic bikes in their collection, with about 120 on display.
Harley produced their first motorcycle around 1904. This side car version was make a little later.
They have a large collection of the motorcycles that they made for the military.
And extensive displays of the many different motors that they designed and built. I really think that these are more properly called engines, but who ever heard of an "ENGINECYCLE!!
They even had some motorcycles available for the visitor to try on for size.
He looks ready to speed off down the country road!
I liked the feeling of adventure and the call of winding roads!
We can see that Julie is enjoying this place!
Marie liked this streamlined baby!
I thought I should grab it before she zoomed off!
This may be more her speed.
I have included just a few of the photos that we took at the Harley Davidson Museum just to give you the flavor of the place.  I have organized the bulk of other photos into a separate photoblog entitled HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM, and I have placed a link to that photoblog at the bottom of this photoblog and also here:
After a great lunch we went to a "JAZZ FESTIVAL" being held downtown. Milwaukee has a great variety and number of festivals and fairs during the summer, making life very interesting. Tom and Julie told me that they had been to an "IRISH FESTIVAL"and an "GERMAN FESTIVAL" in the past two weeks.
This excellent Dixieland Jazz group performed in this park like setting, and then started marching.
Very relaxing and enjoyable.
Some of the younger set were dancing- and doing a good job of it.
We more senior types were covertly tapping our toes. 
A number of the more energetic generations were dancing.
The guy in the middle was using an old washboard. Now, who can remember what a washboard was used for??
Some members of a wedding party wondered by.
We enjoyed walking with the marching Jazz Band. I believe they were playing the rousing "76 Trombones".
Smaller group, louder speakers.
This is part of the famous historic "4th Ward" which has been redeveloped  and is a very lively and popular place.
All seem to be having fun.
You can get an idea about what the downtown area looks like from some of these photos.
Here they come again!
Now we were walking along the Milwaukee River. As one might guess, the early settlement was at the mouth of the river, and then the city just naturally grew up there. It is very pretty.
Tom and Julie then took us for a driving tour of the other parts of the city. This is a very nice and popular beach. We saw some excellent residential areas overlooking the lake. Then another great dinner and great nights sleep in our 3rd floor room.
We got up somewhat earlier on Sunday, for we planned to drive to Oshkosh to see their annual Air Show, which is one the largest in the country. It was a pleasant drive, and there were lots of signs as we approached, but it was so huge that we had quite a walk to get to the flight line. This was the last day of the show.
Again, we took lots of photos, and like the Harley Museum, we have placed the bulk of the air show photos in a separate dedicated photoblog entitled  "2008 OSHKOSH AIRVENTRURE AIR SHOW", and there is a link to it at the bottom of this Photoblog and also here:
Here are a few photos to give you an idea of the event.
The main entrance. It was very well organized and efficient.
The first place to stop.
One can climb through this pristine fully equipped B-17 for just $5.
Julie and I are just getting ready to climb through ,along with Marie and Tom. That was something special
This was a special treat for Julie, since the B-17 is her favorite war plane. She has attended many air shows with Tom, and has seen a lot of planes.
Marie liked it, but I think she liked the new "RAPTOR" better.
We are all having fun!!
This Ford Tri-Motor was giving rides for $50 each, and doing a land office business.
This is the new F-22 RAPTOR, I think it was the star of the show.
And the beloved P-51 Mustang of WW II fame. There were quite a few here.
Tom and I think it would be great fun to own one like this.
This was for the main part of the flying show. Lots and lots of great performers. Note that Marie has found the optimum position to watch the sky!!
And the climax of the show was when the WW II vintage P-38 Lightning and the P-51 Mustang flew in formation with the F-22 RAPTOR, the latest addition to America's air power.
Thence, back to a plesant evening at the Brumder, followed by packing for our motor trip tomorrow to see Springfield , Il, to explore historic Lincoln sites. Click below to go to Part 2.

4 / 1000 comments
Nov 9, 2008  ( 1 comment )  
Nov 10, 2008  ( 1 comment )  
Dec 3, 2008  ( 1 comment )  
Richard Carr (richard)
I really liked Mom on the streamlined Harley Davidson.  Now you know what to get her for Christmas!
Dec 4, 2008  ( 1 comment )  
Rebecca Sargent (rebecca)
WOW... you two went on quite the mission by train... and what that b&b is HUGE i cant believe how pretty it is.... I'm guessing it came fully furnished with all the antiques?  It's beautiful!
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