Last weekend was the dog days of summer in the Conrad household. Just minus that whole summer part. My doghter, Lucy, came to visit while her dad was out of town and I was thrilled to spend some quality time with my favorite furry friend.
When Lucy and I lived in the Third Ward, we walked all over the place. For coffee. For drinks. To the market. To shop. For kicks. For giggles. For sh*ts. Literally.
But when we really wanted to walk, when it was more about the journey and not the destination, we'd hop in the car and drive to the Shoreline. North Lake Drive and the streets perpendicular to it are simply spectacular via foot and one of the reasons I decided to make the move from the city to the 'burbs. The architecture and landscaping are like no other. It's like walking through a real life storybook.
So on Sunday, when the weather finally warmed up enough to ditch the parka and mittens, we headed out. Only this time, there was no car ride involved. Lucy and I walked right out our front door and into the storybook.
We headed East and stopped often to marvel at the blooming flowers on display at each house. Well, I marveled. Lucy sniffed residual dog butt smell.
While walking I desperately tried to take pictures of Lucy near all the beautiful landscaping. I don't know what it is about that dog, but photos are not her forte.
"Lucy, look at mommy....Lucy....sit....look here....LUCY!! LOOK! AT!...wanna treat?"
"GAWWW! You moved your head!! Whhhyyyyyyyaaayyyyayayyyyy???"
Sigh. Even after stopping at Alterra to pick up a coffee for me and a piece of banana bread as a Lucy bribe, I still didn't get any decent shots. If you were out on Sunday morning and saw a pigtailed blonde chick with an Airedale Terrier doing a tango with a leash, camera, coffee cup, and banana bread...nice to meetchya.
Aside from Lucy's perpetual anti-camera stance, we had a lovely time.
Between attempts at capturing that elusive photo, I took note of the political signs dotting the landcape. Some made me happy. Some I wanted to punt into the lake. But all shows we're apart of something bigger and I liked that. You don't see political signs in my old 'hood. Those stinky condo associations frown upon things like expressing individuality.
Another difference I noted between strolling about the Shoreline and walking about downtown Milwaukee? People actually say things to you as you pass by here. And it's not "Hey, girl, you got a light?"
Nope. At the Shoreline people say things like, "Good morning!" or "Hello there!" The best part? They really mean it. And I don't feel like frantically clutching my wallet in a panic when they do. Oh, Shoreline, how I love thee.
The only thing I missed about living in the city was the ratio of sidewalk to trash receptacles. I didn't think twice about walking about with a giant cup of joe until I was finished and realized there wasn't a garbage can in sight. I was glad my tagalong was an empty cup not a bag of stinky dog dirt. That would've stunk.
Lucy and I carried on though, despite the wayward cup flopping about when she would surprise me with a jolt towards a spot she just couldn't wait a second to sniff. I think my arms were each 3 inches longer as our walk wrapped up. The terrier in her never fails to disappoint.
When we finally finished up our very long walk around the neighborhood, both Lucy and I sunk into the couch tired and happy. I like to think Lucy enjoyed the trek. She's a city dog but I believe even she can appreciate the serene environment of the Shoreline.
As long as it doesn't involve a photo shoot.