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My Van Life: Day 21

Friday, July 30, 2021

Two Rivers, WI - Cedarburg, WI - Milwaukee, WI - Downers Grove, IL

I would say our first Harvest Hosts experience was a great success! The spot we stayed at last night was nice and quiet and private, right outside this cute little town (Two Rivers, WI). Not to mention the fact that the weather was absolutely spectacular. We did a workout shortly after we arrived, unfurled our yoga mats on the grass just outside the van and enjoyed the mild evening. After we were showered up and changed into our pajamas, we were able to leave the slider and back doors open and enjoy the evening breeze...Until it blew the back doors closed. It was definitely stronger than just a light evening breeze that's for sure. But pleasant nevertheless.

That was last night. This morning we woke up, eager to enjoy my last Friday in July off and likely the last day we’d be in the van for about a week or so. We picked up some Starbucks in Sheboygan, WI and finished our route to Cedarburg, WI. Adam had some work to do (he doesn't have Fridays off unfortunately), so I walked around the little town while he took care of business in the van. It probably worked out for the best because the town really wasn't that big so I was able to hit all the shops just as he was wrapping up. The reason I say it worked out for the best is not only because I’m the one who loves popping in and out of random shops (not so much Adam), but we learned quite quickly that Cedarburg while extremely cute and quaint is NOT dog friendly. Mind you there were lots of dogs out and about walking the streets as there traditionally are, but we walked into probably at least three restaurants seeking a place to grab a quick bite to eat, all of which had outdoor patios and all of which did not allow dogs.

We had a particularly rude encounter with someone at Anvil Pub and Grille, the restaurant directly next door to Cedar Creek Winery, who had obviously seen us looking at the menu on the door outside and promptly said “we do but not for dogs” when asked if they had outdoor dining. Needless to say we bought our Amy’s Gourmet Chocolate Candy Caramel Apples (the real reason anyone visits Cedarburg) and decided to keep driving to Milwaukee in the hopes we’d find something a bit more conducive for Coco to join us.

The first place we drove to, Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, was closed! Well, let me rephrase that, the patio was closed, in other words the place we were planning on eating. Closed. What are the odds? And more importantly – why??? At this point it was pushing 5pm and we hadn’t eaten outside of the pumpkin bread we enjoyed with our coffee that morning around 9am. I went back to the drawing board (aka the app Bring Fido) and found a place only a mile away that looked suitable. Café Benelux is directly across the street from the Milwaukee Public Market (inspired by Pike Place Market) and has a fun, European ambiance. With indoor, outdoor AND rooftop seating it was the perfect place for us to FINALLY enjoy dining with Coco.

I’m happy to report Milwaukee, and especially this area of Milwaukee, was much more dog friendly. Coco sat right at the table with us and we thoroughly enjoyed our first meal of the day. We briefly walked through the Market after that, picking up our necessary Wisconsin souvenirs and then once again hit the dusty trail, headed for our final destination and home for the next week, Downers Grove, IL. We’ll be staying at Adam’s sister’s house for the next week, in other words living the life of absolute LUXURY, i.e. in a space much larger than a 24 foot sprinter van. We arrived here just before 9pm and are very much looking forward to a great night’s sleep in a bed inside a home.

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