My computer didn't want to download the pictures from our trip, but technical difficulties are over. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the full photo-version of:
Things About Milwaukee That Make Me
(I'm not limiting this list to ten because I think it's possible I'm going to come up with more than ten things. Plus, I gotta show range.)
- Visiting old friends! K & B have a beautiful house with a cool yard and a kooky neighbor (well, a retired man they dubbed "Mr. McGregor" due to his pristine garden and the rabbits that like to frequent it). If I haven't told them enough, thank you thank you thank you!!!! We had the best time and you guys went above and beyond to be the best hosts ever! Thank you!
- Crazy Cats. Martin and Lewis, our gracious host's cats are prone to wacky antics like sneaking into our room despite J's allergy, crawling into baskets and having wrestling matches that you can dub over in funny voices.
- BEER!!! We drank a lot of it. And all the beer we drank was made in Wisconsin, if not in Milwaukee itself making our experience extremely authentic. We left wondering if we could ever drink imported beer again.
- The Miller Factory. It is massive and pretty amazing. We had the first of our Milwaukee beers there, because it is J's favorite beer. K and J had debates on the merits of "Lite" versus "high life". I think we all know who won:
There was more beer at the Miller Factory then you can even imagine- football fields worth of beer that leave within a day. Frankly, this picture doesn't even do the big-room-o-beer justice:
- Miller Sub Topic: Free (postage included) postcards: Yes, at the Miller Factory you can write out and have the gigantic mega-corporation mail out (free of charge) as many postcards as you can think of address for. Not knowing all that many addresses between us, J and I decided to send ourselves a card, and K and I each wrote out a card to a random student at our Alma Mater. Some other prominent US residents may have gotten a post card as well. Next time I'm bringing my address book!
- Lakefront Brewery!!! (Brief interruption to note that I'm already on number five and in Milwaukee-time it's still "Day 1") Lakefront was not only a brewery tour, but an opportunity for drunken debauchery with a fish fry and polka. So it pretty much had everything. You pay five dollars and the nice people at Lakefront give you a plastic cup-
Then you start the tour by filling up the cup. You are encouraged to refill your cup throughout the tour at will. During the first 5-10 minutes, you can go back to the first tap, but after that you might want to jog ahead to the next tap. I missed the middle of the tour. Whoops! Luckily, this just means that I got first look at all the Brewer's paraphernalia from the old stadium:
After the tour ended with a rousing rendition of the Laverne and Shirley theme song, complete with glove-on-beer bottle
we were off to...
- Lakefront Sub Topic: the Fish Fry! Fried fish, polka dancing, bubble machines and voucher coupons that we forgot about! What could be better?
- Lakefront Sub Topic: Melissa! No clue who she was, but we had a great time joking around with her, polka-ing with her and toasting with her. Plus she gave us our chorus for the rest of the weekend: "Heyyyyyy!!!!" Clink!
- The Milwaukee Art Museum. It was raining, so I didn't get a shot of the outside (and there was water on my lens, so my inside shots have a spot!), but the architecture was amazing and there was the biggest wedding I have ever seen in my entire life was being set up. I am envious of all the women I saw getting their wedding photos shot around that museum. We didn't stay to see an exhibit, but just stopping by the building was totally worth it.
- Alterra Coffee. Great coffee shop. Fun location. Makes even airplane coffee bearable. So happy. The perfect stop on a rainy day.
- Watching baseball in the pouring, miserable rain! Yes, our trip to Milwaukee was marred by poor weather. Luckily for us, Miller Stadium has a dome. We had field level seats in which to watch the Brewers kick butt and WIN! K & B even gifted us with gear, so we looked the part of good Brewer's fans when we watched the cheerleaders do their thing. Yeah, I don't really get the whole cheerleaders at a baseball game thing either, but there you go.
- Brewer's Game sub topic: Sausage Race! No, not that. Get your mind out of the gutter! At Brewer's Stadium, in addition to a man who is dressed up like a viking and goes down a slide every time there's a home run as seen in Exhibit B:
there are human sized sausages, with faces, competing in a foot race. Bratwurst versus Chorizo . Polish Sausage versus Italian Sausage. Hotdog versus everyone. Though it is a shame that delicious meats have to compete in this way for my amusement (can't we all just get along?), and the odds were on Polish Sausage (crowd favorite with 26% of the text messaging public betting on it) I went with the long shot Chorizo (only garnering a modest 12% of the vote) and we WON! Whoo!!! Yes, you heard that right. Not only did the Brewers kick serious butt, but so did Chorizo. Could a baseball game be any better??? Here's a picture as he edged in for the win:
- Homemade Indian Food. K & B are braver cooks than I and made us an Indian feast, complete with mango lassi and local beer. We ran around dancing and singing while cooking, and ended up with the most beautiful table ever which was captured forever in this photograph. Please enjoy this picture- it took a while to compose properly. I had to force K to pull out her tripod so I could get a clear shot in the low-light conditions. And yes, this dinner was as delicious and elegant and fun as it looks.
The sign says it all. The world's finest frozen custard. In fact, I suggest you get on a plane right this second and go to Milwaukee and get yourself a hot fudge sundae with pecans and extra cherries from Leon's. You would not regret that plane ticket at all. Don't quite believe me? It can't be that good? Doubters, I give you...
Makes me want to get on a plane right now... Especially because on the plane, you get the final reason that Milwaukee makes me happy:
- Homemade Cookie on the Plane.Yes, midflight the good people at Midwest offer you two delicious, fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies. And when you notice that the crazy people around you are refusing theirs, and you make a comment to the flight attendant about how strange that is, you might end up with an extra! Pair that with a little Alterra coffee, and you might just come up with the best airline experience ever. Keep your fingers crossed that any airline takeovers won't mess up this good thing!
In conclusion, there are many, many things about Milwaukee that make me very, very happy. Being happy is nice. I totally recommend it. Maybe the next time I visit one more thing that makes me happy will happen, and it will be sunny! Sadly it rained most of the time we were there. After our rainy trip to Barcelona earlier in the year, we're beginning to think we're cursed!
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