Destination: Kenosha and Beyond

1/29/2018 - Erin Stuckey

2017TravelAdventurePoster_LegalSize-(1).jpgImagine yourself on a pristine white sandy beach looking out onto sparkling blue water while a warm breeze rustles the leaves of a palm tree overhead. Picture colorful sailboats and luxury yachts rolling by as you sip on a fruity drink and enjoy a good book. You can almost feel the sun on your skin as you picture yourself relaxed in a hammock and listen to steel drums playing in the distance.

This whole time you’ve been right in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I had the opportunity to attend the Kenosha Public Museum’s Travel Adventure Series “Pearls of the Caribbean” back in November, and for a couple of hours, I felt like I was on a mini-vacation! This informative and visually stunning presentation invited guests to embark on a detailed tour of several Caribbean islands, highlighting the differences between each one, and showcasing the countries’ varied landscapes, climates, culture and history.

The Kenosha Public Museum is home to the Travel Adventure Series, presentations hosted by professional filmmakers who share their stories through documentaries on various subjects. The events typically last around 2 hours, with a brief intermission, and allow for interactive discussions with hosts and visitors! The Travel Adventure Series has actually been around for a long time, beginning in 1936 and was formerly called the “Lamplighter Series.” 

Our host/tour guide of this particular event, “Pearls of the Caribbean”, was Marlin Darrah, an award-winning cinematographer and one of the world’s most traveled filmmakers! He has visited over 140 countries and has produced over 70 documentaries, featured on networks such as PBS and the Discovery Channel. He created the footage over a span of 3 - 4 years, visiting each featured destination several times, learning and experiencing new things each visit.

Marlin took us on a guided tour of some of his favorite islands in the Caribbean - Cuba, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Bart’s, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Antigua and Dominica. Even though the islands are relatively close to each other, they each have their own distinct features and characteristics. We traveled to the lush mountains, rivers and waterfalls of Dominica, lounged on the poster-worthy public beaches of Barbados, spent time at the lavish shopping ports of St. Bart’s, and took in the colonial architecture and ever-present live music and dancing of Old Havana, Cuba. We could almost taste the fresh fusion seafood cuisine in Saint Martin! We visited the colorful public markets in Antigua and swam in the ocean off the coast of Dominica. We appreciated the friendly hospitality of the locals and fell for the lively spirit of life and laid-back charm in the islands. I really hope to visit the islands and experience this in person someday!

The things that stood out to me the most about this presentation were the vast differences in terrain, climate, and general “feel” of each island! The islands each have a distinct history and their residents are proud of their heritage! I loved the colorful footage of local markets, the sounds of live bands and the relaxed lifestyle that is true to the Caribbean! I appreciated the historic information of each island and how Marlin showcased the major cities as well as ventured out to the countryside and less-touristy spots. It was a fascinating presentation and made me forget for a while that it was 17 degrees outside.

Whether you live in the Kenosha Area and want to escape for a few hours, or your are visiting our community and are seeking a cultural activity this winter, the Travel Adventure Series is a fun option. This is just one of the many educational, yet entertaining, programs that the museums offer throughout the year. Admission for the Travel Adventure Series is only 5-dollars per event and a season pass can be purchased for 25-dollars. Popcorn can be purchased at the door also! The next Travel Adventure Series event will be held on February 8, 2018 and is titled: Superior, Land of the Woodland Drummer. Hope to see you there!

Erin Stuckey

Community Blogger

Social butterfly. Lifelong learner. Relentless optimist. Night owl. Bad joke enthusiast. Registered Nurse. I love sunny days and exploring Kenosha, meeting wonderful people along the way!