We had a few Fourth of July celebrations this year. We actually got started on July 3rd by cheering on Nate at his Hot Dam 5K run down in St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis. He hasn’t done a run in quite awhile and thought this would be a lot of fun. There were about 1,000 runners who lined up at the starting line for this beautiful run. I say beautiful because they got to run through the town a bit and then over the Stone Arch Bridge, which is very pretty and very old. I didn’t get a picture of it, because I, along with my friends, were on the wrong bridge! ha~ I did get a nice shot of him at the start though. He spotted us and gave us a thumbs-up!
While Nate was running, the rest of us had a “race” of our own. Since we were on the wrong bridge, we had to get back to the finish line before Nate and we weren’t really sure of our own route. We decided to walk across the bridge, down the street, then back over another bridge. It didn’t look that far, but as we were walking, we weren’t sure we’d get back in time. Kevin kept telling us girls to “pick it up”. Yeah, his legs are twice as longs as ours, and I needed to stop and take photos. It’s what I do! Here’s us on the bridge. It’s made of stone and it has arches….Stone Arch Bridge right? Apparently not.
So we start hustling over this bridge to get to the next one. The girls are getting sweaty and asking how much farther. We ignored them and said, “Keep walking, we have to hurry.” Kelly said to me, “Mom, Dad’s the one doing the 5K, not us!” “And we’re wearing sandals!” Ha~ good one Kel.
Our second bridge to get across was the very busy Hennepin Ave. Bridge. It’s been there forever but I’ve never walked across it. It’s known for that large Grain Belt Beer sign too. It was kind of fun being up that close and seeing the sights from there. So off we went and I took a few more pictures. At this point, Kevin wasn’t going to wait. He was over the bridge quickly. He was a bit worried we’d miss Nate. “Okay Kev….we’ll meet up with you soon!”
We made it time to see Nate finished the race, just where he wanted to…not first, but not last either….right in the middle. Great job Hon! So instead of waiting around for 35 minutes, we all had our own little adventure and did a little sight-seeing. Afterwards, we went over to the tents and got some beverages. Nate got a free one for being a participant. The rest of us were just thirsty on a hot afternoon and all that walking we did! Our good friends, Kevin and Sheri then told us it was their 20th anniversary. What!!! So we bought them a beer and toasted to their marriage. You just never know where you’re going to celebrate those wedding vows. ha~
The next day, we headed to Wisconsin to celebrate the Fourth of July with the Solbergs. We had a beautiful night to head over to Lake Michigan, where they light off the fireworks. We found a great spot on the beach, set up our chairs and chatted with Grandma & Grandpa until it got dark. Around 9:45, they started the show and as always, we were entertained.
By the time the show started, we estimated that there were about 10,000 people on this beach. Pretty neat. You are allowed to build fires only on the Fourth of July, so it also smelled like bonfires all around us. Perfect setting for the evening.
The next day, we met up with Chad, Jody & their girls. Jere (our activities director) planned a fieldtrip over to the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. We were going to tour the USS Cobia Submarine. This submarine was active during World War Two. It held 88 men, seven officers and one captain. It would go out to sea for two to three months at a time. It could stay under water for 24 hours, then would resurface and go back down.
The tour took us through the entire submarine and was about an hour long. Lots of neat information and we all just couldn’t believe that these men actually stay on this boat for 2-3 months at a time. It’s so narrow inside with so many things stuffed in every nook and cranny. Not sure I could be in the Navy and do that. They were also allowed to smoke on these subs. Can you imagine? Each time we’d enter a new “room” on the boat, we had to walk through a hatch-type doorway. You always had to duck your head and kind of go sideways to get through. I was so careful not to hit my head….how embarrassing that would be. ha~
In this picture, you can see how narrow the hallway is…the whole submarine is like this.
They had two cooks on board that had to make the food. Since I enjoy cooking, I was quite impressed with what these cooks had to endure on daily basis. They had so many men on the boat with only space for 25 men to eat at one time. This meant that the cooks needed to make three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners each day. They told us that the cooks were the only men that were allowed a shower each day. Yeah, I would think they earned that! Plus, they needed them clean while handling the food. They were allowed 90 second, cold showers. I guess if the water was cold, 90 seconds is long enough. This picture of the kitchen is really how big it was. I am standing at the doorway, so this is all these two had to work with. Pretty impressive.
One of the rooms we thought was cool, was the torpedo room. This room held eight torpedoes and the other torpedo room held six. Standing right up next to one of these, gave us a perspective on how large and heavy they truly are. Our guide said that it took the men two to three minutes to carry one over and load it into the launcher. Scary too~ That’s the torpedo to the left of Megan in this shot.
The outside of the submarine had ammunition too. We tourists had a chance to sit and pretend we were shooting at our enemy.
We had a great time today. What a fun idea Jere!
Our activities director had one more stop for us while in Manitowoc….candy and ice cream! We weren’t going to say no to that! We ended our day by enjoying some ice cream in an old fashion ice cream parlor. Jere recommended we try this place and we were happy to oblige. It was a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.
On our way out, the girls spotted the chocolate counter. We bought a little chocolate covered toffee treat as we exited. Couldn’t resist!
What a fun day we had. We headed back to Grandma & Grandpa’s house for the evening and just hung out with the family. Such a good time and always nice to get caught up with the Hailey and Melanie and Chad & Jody. Brett also joined us and told us about his new home that he has recently moved into, near Milwaukee. We enjoyed some dinner then later relaxed outside on a beautiful Wisconsin evening.
Before we could leave Wisconsin, we Minnesota Solbergs had to make one more trip down to the lakefront. It so relaxing to hang out there and listen to the waves come in. We took off our shoes and walked around the beach and enjoyed the sunshine. I think we could get used to beach living~
Thanks again for a wonderful time in Sheboygan Falls!