This weekend Racine hosted "The Big Chill" snow and ice sculpting competition in downtown Monument Square. I dragged Cory and his girlfriend out for the afternoon yesterday to check it out, along with the turn of the century business district architecture and a couple of small museums. Like Fort Atkinson, downtown Racine is only an hour drive away for us, and when we used to live in Kenosha we zipped through downtown on the way to the zoo but never paid much attention to what we were passing by.
The weather was gray and windy, but luckily over 40 degrees or it would have felt a lot colder! The ice sculptures were dripping pretty good. To make you feel more sorry for us here yesterday was an anomaly, today's high is only 17! Bundled up against the wind, I snapped a few pics of some of the architectural details, mostly on Main Street. The other neighboring streets' buildings were in pretty severe disrepair and most of the storefronts were empty. Such a shame to see them going to waste. A lot of other Wisconsin towns are promoting their old downtown districts and encouraging businesses to move in and shoppers to "shop local". Even Kenosha has revitalized their downtown district attracting even large retailers like Jockey, but Racine seems to be a step behind. Hopefully they'll catch up soon.
Racine's Heritage Museum is located in the old Racine Library, which was beautiful outside but not a lot left of the original inside and no photography was allowed. The museum was free, but very skimpy. What they did have was displayed very professionally, but I was surprised that for such a big city they had so little.
The Racine Museum of Art was having
a free day and we stopped in to check out their small collection as
well. And...we just didn't get it, for the most part. Photography was not allowed there either, but I stole this shot from their website of the one exhibit that I did enjoy
featuring Rosita Johanson. I recognized this tribute to Frida right
away, and I thought her use of thread, beads and fabric very interesting
in her pieces.
No visit to Racine is complete without stopping at O&H Bakery for some kringle.
In addition to their famous kringle we picked up some other baked goods. For dinner I had popcorn...and kringle and a cupcake. I know, I know! So delicious, though. O&H will ship their kringle, a doctor I used to work for used to have it at the office in Illinois every Christmas. I cut my two kringles into servings and put them in the freezer to enjoy throughout the winter. They had some really cute "conversation hearts" for Valentine's Day that would make great treats for a kids' party.
And, last but not least, we drove just a few minutes farther north along the lake for a quick stroll along Lake Michigan at Wind Point Lighthouse. The light and museum were closed, but it was fun to walk the frozen beach. I didn't get the kind of beach shots that Erin has been getting at the beach, but all the creatures are too smart to still be hanging around.
Boy, you look at a picture like this one and sometimes you got to wonder what the heck we're all doing living here, right? It would be a lot nicer without the wind, maybe I wouldn't even want to leave!
Cory got in a car accident with Katrina's car while she was home over the holidays and it needed some windshield and bumper work done. Hopefully all will be finished this week and I plan to bring it back to her by next weekend. I'm looking forward to what the road to Eau Claire has to offer up that I haven't noticed before now that I'm doing so well searching out old places and seeing them with new eyes!