My Travel Memories: Battle Ground, Indiana

I think.

On our way back to Chicago from Ohio, we went through Tippecanoe County, Indiana. The site of the battle of Tippecanoe.

We didn’t go for any kind of white supremacist reasons or anything. After all, the Battle of Tippecanoe was the United States Army versus the Native Americans. So, yeah. There’s that.

We went there because just to the north of the battlefield was an old Methodist church camp where my mom used to go to camp. The camp had, at that point, been sitting empty since sometime in the late 1960s. My mom wanted to take some pictures of the buildings there while they were still standing.

My mom’s picture of the chapel (just like it says on the tin) at the old church camp, 1987

So that brings my memories of our 1987 trip to an end. Up next: 1988 –New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore!

My Travel Memories: The Return to Detroit and Cincinnati

The first time we visited Detroit, it seemed like a nice enough city.  Of course, looking at the long term, Detroit was about halfway declined by then (Detroit had peaked in the 1950s).  The decline, however, was much more obvious to us in 1987.  Maybe we just visited more obviously declined neighborhoods on this trip, but we found that to be really sad.

Cincinnati was also kind of depressing as well.  In 1980, my mom and I had spent the day at Union Terminal, which was, at the time, a shopping mall.  When we returned in 1987, the mall was closed.  We had, at that point, no idea that three years later Union Terminal would reopen as the Museum Center.  We had had dinner in the rotating restaurant atop the Quality Inn which is now a Radisson in 1980.  That restaurant was closed as well.

I’m hoping to redeem the memory of that trip to Cincinnati, at least, the weekend of the total eclipse in 2017.  We won’t be able to see the eclipse in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which will be where the eclipse will be total for the longest period, as the trip back to San Antonio will take too much time.  If all goes as planned, we’ll be going up through Memphis and Nashville to Cincinnati and then across to either Kansas or Nebraska, depending on where we can get a room at this point.  Then we’ll come straight back and go back to work and (likely, though the calendar hasn’t been released yet) school the next day.  And we don’t need to stay right on top of the eclipse site, since we’ll be driving.  We can stay a bit out of the way and drive to the eclipse site.  Having our car will also open up more possible places to see the eclipse.  If the place we stay ends up being overcast that day, we can go northwest or southeast until we find a place that’s open.

My Travel Memories: The Car Ferry and Frankenmuth, Michigan

After Wisconsin, we repeated the trip that we made in 1980, this time from Detroit down into Ohio.  In order to get to Detroit, we could have driven back down through Chicago or up through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and back down.  Instead, we took the Badger, a car ferry that, at the time, traveled back and forth between Kewaunee, Wisconsin, and Ludington, Michigan.  Nowadays, the route goes between Manitowoc and Ludington.

I’ve always had a little problem with motion sickness.  It first really showed up when my folks took me deep sea fishing back in the 1970s.  I was miserable.  It never occurred to anyone to bring some kind of motion sickness medicine.  When I got older, we went on the Wendella Boats (a future Northern Illinois Destination) and I discovered that, so long as I can get fresh air, I’ll be okay.  Unfortunately, the car ferry was in 1987, long before Internet-based FAQs.  I didn’t know what I was getting in for, and didn’t know if I’d have access to fresh air.  As a result, I took a Dramamine before we left and spent most of the trip dozing in and out of consciousness.  It was a nice convenient way to travel from one state to the other, however, even if really industrial.  The Badger was originally built to carry train cars, so the Queen Mary it ain’t.

I was still a little drowsy until we got to our next stop, which was in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Frankenmuth is a nice little town full of white people, much like Door County.  The difference is that where Door County was settled by Scandinavians, Frankenmuth was settled by Germans from Bavaria.  And you can tell that is where they are from, because the town center has lots of kind of stereotypical looking Bavarian buildings.  I suspect that Frankenmuth looks more like Bavaria than Bavaria does (and in 2019, I’ll be visiting Bavaria and will be able to put my theory to the test.

Frankenmuth was the final destination that was new to me on our 1987 trip.  My next travel memory, and the final post on our 1987 trip will be a little bit about the return to cities like Detroit and Cincinnati.  I should be posting that one on June 4, if I continue to keep up with my schedule.

My Travel Memories, Door County, Wisconsin

During our trip to Wisconsin, we spent a day touring Door County.  If you look at a map of Wisconsin, Door County is that thumb that sticks up into Lake Michigan.

Door County is full of small towns that are, well, not so ethnically diverse.  The population is largely white and largely of Scandinavian descent.  It is a beautiful place, though, and is home to 11 lighthouses (all of my pictures of which are with my now-ex).  We walked around in a park and my mom thought that it looked like it would be a nice place to live.  I thought it might be nice for a while, but that I’d go nuts being so far from a city.

We also went to a fish boil.  Watching the fish being cooked was really fascinating. They put the fish in a basket and put the basket in boiling water.  Then they put some kind of fuel on the fire beneath the pot and the fire flares up.  Unfortunately, the eating of the food is less exciting.  It tasted okay, but it lacked a certain something.  I also had the really disconcerting experience that no matter how much I ate, the amount of food didn’t seem to decrease at all. This led my primary memory of the fish boil being my mother grousing at me because I wasn’t eating. I’m glad I did it the one time, but it wasn’t the kind of experience I’d ever care to have again.

My Travel Memories: Manitowoc, Wisconsin

When I added “Wisconsin” to my tag list, for some reason WordPress wanted to turn it into Switzerland.  I mean, it has some of the same letters, but the two words aren’t that similar.

I’ve actually been to Manitowoc three times. Our first trip was to visit my dad’s cousins who live in that area in 1987. I later found out that my now-ex-husband (whom I hadn’t started dating yet in 1987) had a friend who lived there. I called her on the phone when we were there the second time (which would have been around 1990). Then my now-ex and I went there sometime in the late 1990s. No, I think it might have been the early 2000s.  I seem to remember that Alex was there.  I think it was the year that we went up a week early for Thanksgiving and spent that extra week in Wisconsin, but don’t quote me on it.

While we were in Manitowoc the first time, we visited the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (home to the USS Cobia submarine) and stumbled across Lincoln Park Zoo and Beerntsen’s Confectionery Shop.  I remember the submarine more than the museum.  Apparently they’ve enlarged the museum quite a bit since 1987, so perhaps there wasn’t much to it besides the submarine back then.

Lincoln Park Zoo was, sadly, kind of depressing back in 1987.  Again, photographs seem to indicate that the zoo has improved markedly in the last nearly-30 years.  In 1987, the three of us were all alone and most of the animals were in chain-link-fence enclosures.  At least the pictures show other people in the zoo. So that’s hopeful.

Beerntsen’s is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.  They also make chocolate candies in-house.  I won’t talk much about food in this blog, but I think that ice cream is probably fairly universal (though I’m not likely to want to eat mung bean or green tea ice cream or flavors like that on a regular basis).  I am, actually, a sucker for combinations of mint, marshmallow, and chocolate in sundaes.  This all started at Valentino’s ice cream parlor at the Old Crown Point Courthouse in Crown Point Indiana (That reminds me — I probably should write up the courthouse sometime.  Is it a travel memory or a Northern Illinois destination (despite actually being in Northwestern Indiana?)?).  Anyway, they had a chocolate-and-marshmallow sundae. A few years later, the man in line in front of my family at a Baskin-Robbins ordered a sundae with mint chocolate ice cream and marshmallow topping and it was all downhill from there.  Back in the 1980s, Beerntsen’s had a chocolate and marshmallow sundae, so of course I had to try it.  I seem to recall that it was awesome.

And, of course, I absolutely loved Manitowoc Breakwater Light.  I don’t know if you can still do so today, but back in 1987, you could walk right up to the lighthouse along the breakwater.  I think we took some pretty good pictures of the lighthouse in our 2000s visit, but those pictures are still with my now-ex and so the only picture I have of the lighthouse is yellowed with age. The first time we walked out to the light, it was foggy, so the fog signal was going.  I grew up in the Chicago area, but in a landlocked area, so this was my first experience with fog signals, which was pretty cool.

I don’t know if I’m ever going to get back to Manitowoc, but I certainly would like to return someday.

My Travel Memories — I Honestly Think that 1987 Comes Next

This will be kind of a short post, just to fill in the missing five years here.

I honestly thought that we went to EPCOT in 1982, but we were in Florida in July and EPCOT didn’t open until October.  Though that might explain why I have a memory of Spaceship Earth, which is the big golf-ball-looking structure, still under construction. We probably went to The Magic Kingdom and saw Spaceship Earth from a distance.

I wish I could find our photo albums from these years.

Since I don’t think we went anywhere in 1983, 1984, 1985, or 1986 (though I would be thrilled to be proven wrong), I guess that next up was our family trip to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio in 1987. We returned to some of our haunts from our 1980 trip and added a few more.

I do have photographs from this trip, mostly taken by my mom, so I will be adding them as appropriate once I start making those posts in another six days or so.

You will also see the first 400 words that I had already written on EPCOT in another couple of months, once I get to 1989.