Over the weekend, my parents finally came up to Milwaukee to see the house for the first time! I was excited for them to see it and hoped they'd love it just as much as Eric and I do. The good news is: they did! They had great things to say about our house and our neighborhood. I was definitely happy with their thumbs up on our new digs.
Aside from hanging around the house, we had a weekend planned to enjoy one of the last beautiful weekends of fall. We woke up Saturday morning and took a little walk along the lakefront near home, then decided to try something none of us had done before: Check out the view from Holy Hill.
Holy Hill is an incredibly ornate Roman-Catholic shrine perched atop a large hill about 30 minutes northwest of Milwaukee. The average 300,000 visitors per year can climb up the 178 stairs to the top of the church's tower to take in breathtaking views of the Wisconsin countryside. On clear days, you can even see the skyline of Milwaukee - 30 miles away!
We couldn't have gone on a more beautiful day, and the inside was just as beautiful as the perfect weather outside.
After looking around inside (AND my very first spotting of an honest-to-goodness monk!), we decided to brave the tower to catch that phenomenal view from the top.
Even though we were a couple weeks late to catch peak fall coloring on all those trees, and it wasn't clear enough to easily see the Milwaukee skyline, the view was still fantastic. It was amazing to see so much open land all around. I couldn't believe I'd lived in the area for longer than three years and had never been up on Holy Hill!
On the way home, we stumbled upon something that may have been even more mesmerizing than the view from the top of Holy Hill's tower.
SKELETON BEACH PARTY!!!
This might be the most awesome thing I have ever seen. Someone with an incredibly hilarious sense of humor is selling this boat, and decided to get in the holiday spirit and dress it up, skeleton beach party style. There was no way we could pass up something so spectacular without a proper photoshoot.
I kind of want to buy this boat just to support the fantastic people who came up with this idea.
After we recovered from the awesomeness of Skeleton Beach party, we grabbed some lunch on the way back to Milwaukee, stopped at home and rested for a bit, then went to dinner at the Organ Piper Pizza. I first went to the Organ Piper a couple of years ago and instantly fell in love with all the kitsch, glitz and fun. Every night of the week, an organist perches atop the mighty Wurlitzer and plays for all the guests as they chow down on thin-crust pizza. Across the restaurant are little percussion sections that aid to the organ music, like a gigantic xylophone hanging from the ceiling, a chime, a large drum and, my personal favorite, a line of ducks that each quack a different note. It's so incredibly corny and it's one of my favorite places in the Milwaukee area. I'm sorry I didn't take any photos - I just got a little too excited about my surroundings!
We stuffed our faces and enjoyed the music and then headed back to Bay View to catch the Pumpkin Pavilion. For the fourth year in a row, Humboldt Park in Bay View has offered this free, fun event where they display dozens and dozens of jack-o-lanterns carved by any member of the community who'd like to donate to the display. I love jack-o-lanterns, and seeing them all lit up at the same time is a super sun (and spooky!) sight.
I love that the Pumpkin Pavilion gives kids the chance to display their pumpkin work to the entire community, but there were some really intricately-carved pumpkins on display, too. May favorite? This pretty leaf design.
After the Pumpkin Pavilion, we went back home to hunker down and watch the World Series (Boo, Cardinals won that game) and the Wisconsin-Michigan State game (I'm an OSU fan, so no skin off my back, but Wisconsin lost in a heartbreaker at the last second... Eric was not pleased).
We packed a lot into the weekend, but mainly I was just excited to have my parents visiting and staying at our house. Living a couple of states away, I don't get to see them often, so this was a special treat having them on my own turf! Thankfully, I'll get to see them in just another month, at Thanksgiving, too! Sometimes you don't realize just how much you miss your family until just after they leave from a long visit.
How do you entertain family/guests when they're visiting? Do you get to see your parents often?