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Chicago & an Introduction to Wisconsin

Black Point Estate“The two things you gotta eat in Chicago are a Chicago Hot Dog and an Italian Beef Sandwich”, this culinary advice came from Bill, a former American footballer who now travels the world designing football stadiums. We were sat next to each other on the United Airlines flight from Heathrow into Chicago O’Hare and, like everyone who has visited Chicago, he enthused about the city’s qualities and why it was one of the USA’s best cities to visit.
More about Bill’s foodie tips in a separate post. I first had to negotiate US customs and as a first time ESTA holder this was going to test my patience.
My travel companions had all been to the States previously so they were all able to use the automated entry points, whilst I was ushered into a large queue of visa holders and first time ESTA holders. Time went by slowly with many people concerned about connecting flights,my concerns centred around delaying my fellow travellers. Two and a quarter hours later we were reunited and on our way to our the first stop on our trip in Wisconsin.
Black Point Estate is a beautiful 19th century mansion on the banks of Lake Geneva. It was owned by the Seipp family, wealthy German immigrants, who, during the lives of four generations of their family spent more than one hundred summers at Black Point Estate. Today the mansion is a museum showcasing life for the wealthy during the 19th century.
Leaving Black Point Estate by boat which was moored on the property’s private pier, we headed back to the main port of Lake Geneva. The Lake Geneva Cruise Line operate a number of boats on the historical lake which takes its water from springs. We enjoyed superb weather as we headed back to Lake Geneva’s Riviera Docks but, as our guide pointed out, Winters are tough in this part of the world, and she described how cold they get it with the lake freezing solid. A couple of years ago, Lake Geneva hit theworld news headlines; they were hosting an ice festival with vehicles parked on the frozen ice. Suddenly, parts of the ice began to crack and a number of vehicle were lost to the lake.
Lake Geneva Resort
One of the things which becomes apparent when you visit the Great Lakes area, is that Winter is not a barrier to enjoying the great outdoors. Aside from the mishap described above, people in this region do embrace the winter with loads of different sports and activities including skiing, ice fishing, snowboarding and snowmobiling just some of the options available.
 
Before arriving back at the Riviera Docks, we cruised along shores dotted with magnificent estates and mansions which were mostly built between 1870 and 1920. The dock area has a lovely vibe with a real holiday atmosphere. A cruise on the lake is a magnificent experience which will stay with you forever.
 
We rounded off a long day with a meal at Crafted Americana Restaurant which is part of the Ridge Hotel & Spa. This is one of Lake Geneva’s best restaurants and we got to taste local food including Cheese Curds which are a soft mozzarella type cheese coated in a beer batter and deep fried and served with a chilli mayonnaise. The deserts were also incredible with a rich flour free chocolate cake, a crispy baked bread and butter pudding and a deep fried oreo pie which was surprisingly good. It was back then to our hotel, The Geneva Grand Resort.

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