I always thought the word serendipity was an interesting word. A quick dictionary search on my MacBook as I write this returned the following: “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” My own personal travel definition is a little more simplistic: “stumbling upon something cool you weren’t really looking for, but glad you found it!”
As I travel most weeks for work, I often don’t have time to venture out and sightsee. I guess after traveling for work for nearly 30 years it gets a bit old, or the “I’ve probably already seen it before” mentality sets in. I still try to do something in each place I visit, even if it’s just a drive around town if I have time. This week I’m working in Port Washington, Wisconsin, a small city some 25 miles north of Milwaukee. I’m staying at the nearby Hampton Inn and Suites, Grafton, (just south of there via Interstate 43) which is very nice for a Hampton, complete with an indoor pool and whirlpool, and fitness center, which I actually used for a while this evening. For my room I have a large and comfortable King suite with fridge and microwave and lots of space to stretch out in.
This evening I decided to venture out around Port Washington, and I’m so glad I did! After heading back to the hotel after work and changing clothes, I did a very short workout as I wanted to drive around the town before it got dark. Not to worry, as in early August it doesn’t get dark until up here until around 9pm. I drove thru the quaint waterfront area of Port Washington, which is located along Lake Michigan, and here is where the ‘serendipity’ comes in to play. I don’t know what I expected, but it Greatly (pun intended for Great Lakes) surpassed my expectations! After driving past some Mom and Pop businesses, Churches, restaurants, bars and the Holiday Inn on the water, I parked (for free) in the south beach area parking lot. I then took a walk for an hour or so along the waterfront path of this beautiful park area taking several photos in the process. Coming from Florida, the weather was ideal with no humidity, and I was quite comfortable in my shorts and T-shirt at 6:30pm.
There was a plaque next to the Memorial Pavilion that explained a 24 year old man had died while kayaking nearby, and several months later a man drowned near here while swimming.The plaque says both “The Buczek and Dougherty families hope this pavilion provides the community with a place for family and friends to gather and create happy memories. 2014”. There is a circular staircase in the pavilion I climbed up and had a look out towards the water, and said a short prayer for the families.
The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight organization had a brochure box there that explained their cause, where they have flown thousands of veterans to Washington DC ‘with honor, respect, and dignity.’ Each veteran is flown to D.C. with a guardian volunteer who assists them throughout the trip. What an honor and fitting tribute for the veterans!
I then continued walked along, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the beautiful August evening. The few people I passed by sitting on park benches were happy (almost felt like expecting me) to engage in friendly conversation. I chatted with several different folks, all of whom were from the area, and I told them how much I enjoyed the town and waterfront area. And lack of humidity! LOL!
This is truly an area I would like to return to sometime, staying downtown for a weekend trip with Dos, enjoying the water, restaurants, and area hospitality.
It’s evening’s like this make all those work trips a little more fun; i.e. a bit of serendipity!