Sunday, May 27, 2012

Overnight trip

Last weekend, we wanted to take a little trip somewhere.  Wisconsin is a vacation destination for many but living here, we don't always take advantage of what we have.

We headed east to Lake Emily County Park, where we hadn't been in a long time.  That is the park my daughter and a friend decided to hike to, when she was a young girl.  The two hikers had plans to spend the night and packed canned goods in a backpack.  We wanted to take a picture of her as she prepared to walk over to her girlfriend's house.  She famously said,"Hurry up with that camera!  This thing is heavy!" You can imagine the difficulties that came up when she actually tried to hike the 15 miles.

Then on to lunch in Amherst. We kept driving east and stopped in Manitowoc, on the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan.  Manitowoc is home to shipbuilding and was the site of submarine manufacture and launch in World War II.  We toured a sub and learned about the 60 day tours submariners spend on duty, most of which time is spent on the water's surface.  Submerging takes battery power and puts extra stress on the ship and the 80 men aboard.  We learned that some

We drove to Kohler, WI, a well-known early planned American village related to the Kohler manufacturing plant, maker of toilets, bath tubs, sinks but has also made cannon and other implements to help American war efforts.  We had dinner at Cucina, an upscale restaurant in the little Kohler mall. Excellent dinner and excellent service.

We spent the night in the larger community of Sheboygan and the next day visited the Kohler Design Center.  Their thirty-foot high wall of toilets sounds gross but it isn't.  Besides, as we all basically know, a toilet is The Big Necessity (memorable book by Rose George). The whole design center brings to mind the value of careful, thoughtful and forward-looking design.  Ever since I read Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind", I have been thankful to designers who plan our clothes, houses, autos and implements, including computers.

Finally, we visited Sheboygan's John Michael Kohler Art Museum.  Naturally, the museum is famous for its highly decorative and artistic bathrooms.  There are two men's rooms and two women's rooms and one family bathroom.  The practice is to knock and ask if the room is unoccupied before entering for touring purposes.  We did and saw all of them.  Impressive and memorable, much like the restrooms at Shoji Tabuki's Theater in Branson, Missouri.  Scroll down this page to see pictures of his.

The highlight of the whole trip for me was Anna Hepler's memorable inflating sculpture.  We also bought and are using a Buddha board, allowing us to paint with water that turns black for a short time to be admired before the whole thing dries away to nothing.

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